9 Things to Consider Before Signing an Interior Design Contract
Planning to hire an interior design company to set up your home or corporate office interior design? You need an iron clad interior design contract that details the scope of the work to be done, how it will be done, and the modalities involved among other things. A well-drafted interior design contract doesn’t just protect your interest in case of a potential dispute but functions as a guide for you to rely on and know about the status of your interior design project.
An interior design contract is also important for interior design companies since it documents the exact terms and inclusions of the project and avoids scenarios where clients end up expecting more work than what was originally agreed upon. To help you have a hassle-free interior design project, here are 9 essential points you must consider when signing an interior design contract.
1. Specifications Matter: One of the first things you need to check before signing an interior design contract is the project specifications. As part of their interior design services, firms need to detail all the work that’ll be done via a comprehensive plan and 3D drawings (where required). A few common examples of interior design specifications are furniture choice, color palette, lighting choice and placement, fabric selection, and a summary of all the over design and construction work that is a part of the project.
2. Scope of Work: While specifications detail the material to be used and a general overview of the work to be done, the scope of work includes a comprehensive breakdown of all the work that’ll be undertaken during the interior design project and delivered to the client. For instance, if the project covers a kitchen interior design remodel, the scope of work should list out exactly what parts of the kitchen will be changed and how. Generally, an interior design company doesn’t offer structural modifications and alterations to the heating, plumbing, air conditioning, and more.
3. Third-Party Contractors: Since an interior design company isn’t responsible for services from contractors like construction, plumbing, lighting, and more, they are not liable to ensure the quality of work offered by these consultants and contractors. The interior design company does supervise the contractors to make sure the work goes on according to their plans but cannot be held responsible for their performance or even the quality of materials used. You’ll need a separate contract for each type of contractor you engage for your home improvement or interior design project.
4. Drawings and Details: Another crucial element of your interior design contract is a detailed blueprint. From rough sketches to eventually a detailed layout, each element of your interior design project should be represented in drawings and other documents. While these drawings serve as a concept for the design, they cannot be used for any other purposes and this must be stated in the contract. Many interior design companies also include a clause forbidding clients from using the blueprints and drawings for any other purpose than what is mentioned in the contract.
5. Interior Design Fee: A major part of every interior design contract is the fee structure and a detailed breakdown of how charges will be made plus the stages in which the payment should be processed. The client needs to follow the payment plan laid out in the contract and make a payment whenever presented with an invoice. Most top interior design companies also require the client to pay a non-refundable deposit to set a minimum fee for all design services. Before signing the interior design contract, carefully go through the payments clause, and sign only if you agree with all the terms and conditions.
6. No Price Guarantee: An interior design consultant cannot provide any written or verbal guarantee of the price of any merchandise or service that they don’t provide. This is because third-party vendor pricing is often subject to change and the interior designer doesn’t have any control over what prices vendors charge for their products and services. Make a note of the price guarantee clause when signing an interior design contract to avoid any pricing related complications in the future.
7. Reimbursement Policy: Any interior design contract needs to explicitly mention that the client is responsible for reimbursing the interior designer for any out-of-pocket expenses undertaken during the interior design project. This includes everything from delivery and storage costs to postage and freight charges. If the interior designer needs to travel to a place for the project or stay overnight, the client needs to reimburse them for travel, lodging, and food. While it’s generally mentioned in interior design contracts, it’s advisable to check for a detailed reimbursement policy to avoid any future issues or awkwardness.
8. Delivery Timeline: Another crucial clause in any interior design contract is the segregation of the project into phases and a delivery schedule for each phase. A well-defined delivery timeline doesn’t just help clients keep track of the estimated time left for project completion but also keeps the interior design firm in check and ensures the timely completion of the project. When going through an interior design contract, carefully note the estimated date of completion and also lookout for any hidden clause that might exempt the interior design firm when it comes to possible delays.
9. Insurance: Both the client and the interior design company need to ensure that a robust insurance policy covers all the furniture, furnishings, and materials during moving and installation. The cover also needs to include the interior designer and the client is responsible for the payment of the insurance premium. Particularly crucial for medium or large scale projects, an insurance policy is required for the interior design project to commence.
Make sure these 8 clauses are a part of your interior design contract and you’ll have a hassle-free interior design project. Looking for a reliable interior design consultation to upgrade your home? CasaOne can help. Apart from premium quality furniture for rent, we also offer personalized interior design consultations with experts to help you furnish your home with the best possible furniture and decor items. Get in touch with us today!
- Which is the best interior design company?
Interior design is a popular business venture and many commendable interior design firms offer great design services. Some of the best interior design companies include StudioMart, H&H Studio, ST/AC Architects, Alisa Bloom, Goddard Littlefair, and iCrave. If you’re looking for an interior design consultation along with top-quality furniture rental services, CasaOne is a great choice as well.
- What does an Interior Design contract say?
A typical interior design contract lists out the specifications of the materials and furnishings to be used, a detailed breakdown of the scope of work, blueprints and drawings detailing the project, interior design fee, reimbursement policy, delivery schedule, and insurance details. Depending on the work being done and the interior design company involved, the contract can include additional clauses about third-party contractors, price guarantees, and more.
- What does an Interior Design firm offer?
An interior design firm provides its services at the start of a construction project and generally partners with architects and builders to create floor plans, electrical, and plumbing plans. Other things interior designers work on include project specifications for lighting, floors, moldings, countertops, and millwork. If an interior design firm is brought on for a remodeling project, the scope of work reduces since there isn’t major construction or floor planning involved.
- How to finalize an Interior Design firm?
The key to finding a reliable interior design firm is two-fold; you need to carefully look at their track record and past reviews, and look at the plan they draw up for your interior design project. Other things to evaluate in an interior design firm include the cost of their services, the scope of services offered, delivery schedule, tie-ups with service contractors, and more. Finalize an interior design firm only when you’re completely satisfied with their offerings.