Save Time, Money, and Headaches: Hire the Architect, Interior Designer, and General Contractor At The Start of Your Project





Do you want the best outcome for your new building or remodel project? Then it’s important to hire the architect, interior designer, and general contractor all at the same time at the very start of your design process. Many people hire an architect first, bid out the project to different contractors once the construction drawings are complete, then hire an interior designer when construction is near completion. This approach results in numerous costly changes to the drawings, contractor change orders, and schedule delays.


When you hire the interior designer at the same time as the architect, they can work as a team to ensure the interior layout is functional and drives the exterior design. The furniture should be placed on the floor plan to help determine location and sizes of windows, locations of electrical outlets, lighting, and more. The interior designer will develop their interior construction drawings at the same time the architect develops their architectural plans, providing the general contractor with the exact scope of work, so the contractor can get accurate bids from subcontractors which will eliminate guesswork and “fat” in their budget as well as save the contractor a lot of time in coordinating design efforts between the client and cabinet, tile, flooring, and electrical subcontractors. The savings achieved from this will more than cover the interior designer’s fees, as well as result in a smoother, less stressful process. Also keep in mind that most publications will not publish a completed project unless an interior designer is on board.


When the general contractor is brought in at the same time as the architect and interior designer, they will be a resource to both and will help keep the project on budget so drawings don’t have to be revised after bids are received resulting in additional fees and time delays. Many clients will assume they won’t get the best price unless they bid out the project to several general contractors, but that means a contractor can’t start until after the construction drawings are completed which is too late in the game. When bringing in a contractor at the start of the project, their profit and markup, general conditions, and supervision fees can be negotiated up front, and they can still bid out all the trade work to subcontractors when construction documents are complete.


Start by hiring one of the three professionals who will be able to recommend several options for the other two companies for you to interview to see who feels like the right fit. You’ll be married to this team for a long time, and it’s important that personalities jive.