What does an interior design timeline really look like?
When you’re entrusting your space to be designed to an interior designer, it’s important you have a realistic idea about the interior design project timeline.
TV shows give unrealistic expectations, and anecdotes from friends can give you wildly varying ideas.
This is why, as a Bangladesh interior designer that’s worked with dozens of clients and answered many questions on how long their interior design project will take, we are publishing this blog post on the typical interior design project timeline.
Hiring a designer (1 – 2 weeks; in some cases up to a month)
The obvious first stage of an interior design project is to hire an interior designer. And this is the most crucial step.
Many design clients think all designers are the same; that they can hire any designer, tell them what the basic requirements are, and the designer will just create the space they’re looking for.
It doesn’t work that way. Designers are different, with their unique styles, temperaments, and ways of working.
As a client, the onus is on you to do the research. Go through their portfolios (you can find ours here), see their style of work, and try to understand whether it matches what you’re looking for.
The initial consultations
Once you shortlist a few (up to three) potential designers, schedule initial meetings with them.
At this consultation, you will tell the designer about your requirements and design tastes and they will pitch you a few basic design ideas.
Based on that, you need to go ahead and finalise one designer with whom you’ll work.
Tip: Depending on the volume of work your shortlisted designers are handling, it might be a few days or weeks before they can schedule an initial consultation.
Contract signing (1 – 3 weeks)
Based on the initial consultation (and maybe a followup meeting), the designer will send you a design proposal containing a basic outline of the design project. If you like their proposal, you need to sign the formal project contract with them.
As the next stage will be the design work itself, many designers require the payment of a retainer or a deposit before the design work starts.
Creating the design (1 – 2 months, in some cases more)
This is the bread and butter of the interior designer – the design work. The time creating the design takes should be roughly outlined in the proposal.
I think you can understand that the time will vary depending on the project. A single room (say, bedroom interior design) will take much less time than a bungalow remodelling project.
You and the designer will also discuss the design between yourselves, look at mood boards, rendering and creatives and so on. Plus, most designers handle multiple projects at once.
This is why creating the design takes a fair amount of time.
Tip: Some designers charge extra fees for design renderings to be handed over to you. I’d suggest paying that and taking the renderings. That way, you can compare it with the final product and make sure that the final product is what you discussed.
Presentation and revisions (1 – 2 weeks; sometimes more)
Design presentation can be done in-person or online.
If you like what you see, you can move to project implementation.
If you don’t, however, you will have to ask for revisions. While some revisions take little more than a few tweaks, others require major work and can end up being time-consuming.
Tip: As some kinds of revisions are major work, the number and type of revisions are also outlined in the design proposal and contract. If you ask for anything over and above those, you may be required to pay separately for them.
Design execution (procuring materials and building the space) (anywhere from 3 weeks to 12 weeks, sometimes more)
Time to start building!
The time for this process can vary wildly, depending on what your project is (one room vs a whole house) and what your design preferences are.
For example, if the work can be done using materials from retail stores, it’ll be relatively smooth and fast.
However, if you fancy high end, luxury materials, that may take a little time depending on availability.
Similarly, availability of contractors can be an issue. Sometimes, good contractors can be booked for weeks, pushing your project down the queue. Or you can look for someone else.
Factors that can impact an interior design project’s proposed timeline/schedule
Reading this post, you have a basic idea of what the typical interior design timeline is, and how long it should take for your project to be completed.
You should also have a design schedule included in the formal project agreement that you enter into, with your interior designer. And right now you have an estimate of how long that schedule should be.
That being said, there are a few factors that can affect work, cause project overrun, and delay completion and handover. These may be issues that are beyond your designer’s control, as we discuss in our blog post on things your interior designer wants you to know.
Here are a few of them:
The interior designer doesn’t execute the project himself. He will either hire contractors to do it, or ask you to hire contractors.
There can be issues with the contractors, like poor quality of work, repeated absence, or other disagreements.
If that happens, you can understand that the project will be delayed.
This CAN be avoided to an extent if you work with a full-service designer (like us) who will have contractors on their team, or contractors with whom they transact regularly and thus have a good working relationship with.
Unavailability of materials
Are the materials that are needed for the design – that you WANT to have in your space – available?
It may happen that a very elegant kind of floor tile that you want for your kitchen is not available when your project is ongoing.
If that happens, and you really don’t want to proceed with alternative flooring, the project will be held up till the tiles are available.
In general, luxury materials CAN be out of stock sometimes (as by definition they are not for mass consumption and thus sellers may not maintain lots of stocks) so this can be a pain point for high end, luxury interior design projects in Bangladesh.
Tip: When the design is being planned, ask the designer to list out the materials that may be unavailable, and ask them to procure those materials in advance.
Rough, unexpected weather can severely impact progress in interior design projects like a penthouse design.
Extremely hot weather will make it dangerous for the contractors to proceed with the work. On the other hand, certain aspects of the building can not be carried out if it rains heavily or storms.
In either case, your timeline will have to be pushed back till it’s safe for the work to resume.
Tip: With the help of our approximate timeline, plan ahead. Try to fit the work schedule at a time of the year when you don’t expect it to be very hot or rainy/stormy.
Regulations and codes
Many kinds of interior design and building projects require permissions from the local government. And it is the responsibility of the designer to get these permissions.
Unfortunately, sometimes getting such permits can prove time-consuming.
There is not a lot you can do about this, except to hire an interior designer with a proven track record and trust them to get this done for you.
Materials may arrive damaged. Contractors may fall ill. Shipments may be delayed.
These are problems beyond your designer’s control. However, a good designer can be relied upon to do their level best to deal with these issues and ensure their impact on your project is minimal.
Work with Bangladesh’s most customer-focused interior design company
Located in the heart of Dhaka, The Lavish Interiors is Bangladesh’s most customer-focused interior design company.
From interior design for single rooms to extensive home remodelling to building offices, we handle all kinds of interior design work.
Have a glance through our portfolio, glance through our reviews, and if you’re interested, work with us to unlock the full potential of your space!
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