9 renovation terms to learn when working with interior designers


These basic renovation, plans, and budget terms will help you communicate better with your interior designer.

If you’ve done any homework on hiring an interior designer and what it entails, you’d likely have come across some of these terms.

We’re setting the record straight on some frequently used and confused terms to ease your working relationship with your designer.

1. Interior designer

Firstly, it’s important to know what interior designers do. Interior designers do a lot more than decorate your space. They consult you on your space requirements and examine your floor plan to create a design that is safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. Interior designers work with fixtures, furniture, lighting, colours, and textures, amongst other things.

These professionals can also act as project managers for your renovation, helping you manage your communications with your architect, contractor, and subcontractors.

2. Architect

While architects and interior designers have overlapping skills and are both in charge of designing and planning your space, there are crucial differences between the two professions.

Architects are in charge of designing safe buildings and sound structures. They focus on designing the exterior of the home and plan electrical and plumbing points. Interior designers focus on space’s interior and finishing.

3. Contractor

A contractor executes the plans of the architect or interior designer. They provide materials and labour to complete a job, such as tiling. Contractors usually hire subcontractors that specialise in different areas of the construction.

4. Blueprint

Architects prepare these detailed technical drawings to represent the building. These blueprints are used to construct and plan the space.

5. 3D design

Interior designers prepare 3D imaginations of a space’s floor plan along with furniture, lighting, and fixture choices, layout, and colours.

6. Floor plan

Not to be confused with blueprints, a floor plan is a drawing of the space viewed from above. It indicates the locations of walls, windows, doors, architectural components, fixtures, and major appliances.

7. Payment schedule

You might find this term in your invoice or contract. It determines when you must pay what sum of money to the professional. It covers deposits, periodic payments, and final payment.

8. Allowance

Your interior designer might have you allocate an allowance for the renovation. This is a budget for miscellaneous costs during the construction. You can ask your designer about the foreseeable costs and allocate an appropriate amount.

9. Back charge

Costs incurred and prepaid by one party that according to the contract, should be borne by another party.

For example, your interior designer might have to pay for certain contractor fees beforehand. This will be charged back to you. In the same way, if you source for materials on your own, can charge it back to your designer who has included it into their fees.

READ: 5 things you need to do before meeting your interior designer

This article was originally published as 9 renovation terms to learn when working with interior designers by atap.co and is written by Charmaine Kon.