I will be starting a series of blog posts related to Home Stuffs under the ”House & Deco” section on my website. As our Singapore government ramped up the amount of new homes these few years, I am sure like me, many of you possibily would be getting a new home soon or planning to. I hope my series could provide some tips and my experience that might just help you in some way or another.
I am sure when you receive the TOP letter, the first thing that comes to your mind is ”How should I renovate my house?” with flashes of all these beautiful home images in your mind and not knowing which style suits you the best?
I had moved a couple of times previously, had to do find Interior Designers to renovate my beauty salon and now looking for Interior Designers once again for the new home coming soon. I guess I had my share of experiences and dealt with more than 20 over Interior Design firms out there.
Today, I will be sharing the Types of Interior Designers to Avoid.
1. Avoid the ”I can’t design or start work for you until you have paid a deposit” type
Don’t give in! At the very least they must show you a professional 2D design of what you wanted or if you don’t know what you want yet, they must be able to propose to you their design ideas for you. Only if they do this, you can feel safe to part with your money right? I seriously don’t understand how these ID company work sometimes. We should only pay if they can show us they are competent. They must be able to show good service first, if not, after you paid them I don’t think their service would get any better.
I did asked many of them ”How do I know if I want to engage your company without knowing if your company could give me what I wanted? And without showing me that you can give me what I wanted, how can I trust you and pay you?” – Usually silence from them…
Most company expect you to pay a deposit of $500 – $1000 even before they would propose to you any designs they can do for you with the ideas you gave them. Totally ridiculous!
Don’t go for interior design company that just draw by hand a rough sketch on a piece of paper that look messy? Even my niece and draw better than that… *facepalm*
Initial design should look like this and done professionally with measurements preferably…
2. Avoid ”Everything Can” Desperate Type
Whatever you suggested or requested, their reply is always ”CAN” and they promise you the world and everything is possible with THEM. Becareful, because there are actually many Interior Design Firms out there that are not even ACRA registered.
A friend of mine previously engaged one like that, instead of using his down payments to buy materials, hire contractors and carpenters…etc to do the work, the guy gambled all his money away. My friend wanted to sue him and then only realise that the company name on the name card and invoice is fake and the address of the company doesn’t even belong to them. There is no such company at all.
Make sure you are choosing a reputable company and verify with ACRA online that this is a legitimate company. As much as for convenience sake, most interior designing company staffs do not mind coming to you all the time but do take a trip down to their office to check that the company is there and run professionally.
3. Avoid Company with Poor Ratings
Thank God for the internet. As most of us are most probably IT savvy, we could simply go online to do some research on whether the interior designing company that you want to work with have good testimonials from their previous customers and see what their portfolio is like for the past work they had done.
It is important to see if the end product of the house looks like what was initially designed.
If the company do not have a website to check out the BEFORE and AFTER photos then do request directly from them instead. If they hesitate to provide you with the photos, then you know they are definitely not the one for you.
I first came across 9 Degree on their Facebook Page. They have so many attractive photos on their page to show case their past projects which made me contacted them because some of their designs look different and unique. I wanted a design unique to myself that stands out as well so I could be excited about it.
Some of their recent work
4. Avoid Company that are not Professional
I remembered there was one ID company which sent 2 ”Ah Bengs” down to meet me at my shop when I was looking for ID to do designing for my beauty shop. They were 1 hour late. They had blonde messy, rather long hair for guys.
First impression, minus minus minus points. When they start to speak, I wanted to faint. They were not professional at all, speaking mainly with singlish. I lost all confidence and of course dare not engage them and just sit through their presentation as not to offend them. Can’t imagine what sort of hokkien vulgarities that might be coming out from their mouth if I offended them.
5. Avoid Company that tells you their price is the best and the lowest you can find
I believe that all businesses has their running cost and overheads. No one in the right mind will do a deal that loses money. When it comes to ID, your objective is not finding the lowest price. Lowest price means higher chance that the quality of the services and products will be very bad as they will cut cost and cut corners whenever they can. Make sure the quality is not compromised. Good ID designers will always explain to you the materials that they are using and show you the samples so you can compare and feel.
9 Degree explained to me the different materials, showed me the materials and even let me compare the differences
9 Degree also proposed to me materials that is out of the norm like the tiles made from real coconut husk. Really interesting! They are already processed so will not rot or smell… hahah don’t worry.
6. Avoid Company that do not have good customer support
Ask them to do something and they take a million years to get back to you? And you have to chase and chase and chase? I am the paying customer and I do expect them to follow up with me and not the other way round. Some of you might have been through this frustration. Sad to say, many of the ID companies out there are like that. It is time to cross them off your list since they seem too ”busy” for your contract.
Test them out initially by sending them a fax or email and wait for their response. A company that does not respond to your queries within 24 hours is a company that has a poor customer support system.
7. Avoid company that doesn’t give you after sales warranty of minimum 5 years.
If they claimed that the quality they give you is good then it shouldn’t be a problem for them to give you a longer warranty right?
But sometimes good quality can also have some hiccups and break due to unforeseen circumstances, therefore warranty is very important.
8. Avoid company that Overcharge
Many of these Interior designing company in Singapore will try all ways to over charge you and try rip you off. Ask several companies to give you a quote for your project so that you will know the average prices for your project.
Also make sure that the quotation invoice that they give to you is as detailed as possible right to the measurements, length of the item, type and colour of the materials. This is to avoid them to come back to you at the later stage to make changes and charge you more by trying to tell you the item is bigger or material is different….blah blah blah. These ID company are the expert in trying to hide hidden costs to later whacked you with a higher bill.
Why I settled and chose 9 Degrees?
My quotation by 9 degree was very detailed. They had to redo the quotation multiple times for me but they were so prompt with their response and patient with me. Apart from the agreed price, the agreed 2D design which they did up for me was also very precised to what I wanted. When I explained to them and tell them what I wanted, they made me feel they really open their ears and heart to listen carefully to what I had to say while many of the other companies that I enquired with either did not came up with the things I wanted and worse, some did not even come back to me AT ALL.
Another thing to highlight is that I think many of you probably think that home renovation expo is the best place to find interior design companies that are reliable and reputable but it is not true. I thought that initially too but of all the enquiries that I put in at the Expo with 3 different companies after walking through the entire Expo hall comparing which companies to go for is a total waste of my time because none of them came back to me with the design they promised. During the Expo, they are just trying to get as many contracts they can. So be careful.
If you are wondering who I am working with at 9 Degree, her name is Mychelle Wong. She is such a bubbly nice lady to work with. When I first met her, she told me that the theme I wanted wasn’t really her area of expertise. I admired her honesty because so far the Interior Design companies I went to kept telling me how good and expert they were but they did not deliver.
The theme I wanted was not very common, so even with my own research efforts online, I couldn’t find much photos or ideas myself. But Mychelle showed me that she spent a lot of her time doing research with the theme I wanted. When she showed me her final design, I fell in love with the design of my dream home.
Mychelle even offered to go to my new house to check the defects with me as this is a first time for me to get a brand new TOP house so I have totally no experience in checking defects or know what to look out for. SO NICE OF HER! (I will do a post about checking defects as part of this house blog series as I think many would find this helpful)
I now have the full confidence to let 9 Degree go ahead with the project because I know that my little nest will be in their good hands.
Special Promotion just for my Readers!
When you call, quote ‘‘Jessie myfatpocket blogger” to ENJOY….
1. 15 FREE LED down lights for every contract of ANY VALUE
2. 9 Degree will also sponsor $88 of my beauty salon voucher (www.beautyrecipe.com.sg)
GREAT SAVINGS… HURRAY!!! 🙂 Call them up for enquiries and get a quotation for your dream home.
9 Degree Construction Pte Ltd
Here are their details
Tel: 6793 1123
Mobile: 9129 8288 / 9221 7733
FAX: 6684 8769
Address: 18 Boon Lay Way, #03-102, Tradehub 21,
Thanks for reading! 🙂