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Interior Renovation Contractors: General Contracting vs. Interior Design

Aug 16, 2022 | Interior Remodeling

They say it takes a village to get a home remodeling or renovation project done right, but what they leave out is that you need the right set of people in that village. The best way to get the job done well is to be clear about your requirements and then understand the differences between a general contractor’s role and that of an interior designer. This clarification of roles will make it easier to finalize your selection and get the ball rolling with your chosen interior renovation contractor. We tell you what and who you need to look for in your quest to get your dream home.

How to Determine the Type of Interior Renovation Contractor or Home Renovation Professional You Need

To build a proper game plan, you need first to know what falls under the expertise of each of them.

General Contractors

You turn to these folks when looking for a team to work with you right from the drawing table. General contractors come into the picture for the more service-based construction tasks. As most likely the first point of contact for your project, they will listen to your plans, consider your layout and space, draw up blueprints to match what you envision, and put a practical spin on your whole project. In the end, you’ll have a solid plan, which they will work to make a reality. General contractors will get the project on the right track, much like a right-hand man. They will guide you from the most basic of requirements like taking care of your plumbing, electrical, and wiring needs up to more complex tasks like hiring subcontractors for the different phases of the project and coordinating with your interior designer if you have one. They can help you plan your overall budget and care for all structural needs. They will (or should) work to build a great rapport with you and keep the communication lines open at all times to keep you apprised of the work or pain points and the solution for them. They can also help steer you towards better cost-saving solutions or ideas while keeping the structure, local regulations, area and building permits, and home codes in place. As far as project management is concerned, this is the interior renovation contractor team you need.

Interior Designers

If you need a lot of design work, you will benefit from hiring this team. Here you’ll get enhanced, more holistic, and creative design services from a far more decorative and spatial aspect that can include materials, vision boards, 3D sketches, and floor plans. They will work with your contractors, budget, and timelines to complete the project. Interior designers will need to come at the onset, i.e., the initial blueprint phase itself, to ensure that the space flows just as it needs to with everything placed correctly. This team will also go the extra mile to focus on your personal design preferences bringing you as close to the look as you envisioned in terms of fabrics, palettes, hues, textures, furniture, furnishings, wall coverings, tiles, fixtures, and materials. They add the aesthetic appeal you need to finish your renovation.

Interior designer Katie Heyman describes our process.

So, to put this into perspective, if your interior designer suggests particular cabinetry, your contractor can confirm if it would work from a structural and budget perspective. Or, if you want to move a wall, your designer can create the floor plan while your contractor will confirm if the wall is load-bearing and moveable.

But before hiring either team, you must have a robust vetting process. This process should include recommendations from friends and families who have used them in the past, your thorough research, looking at past work and projects they’ve completed, and the firms themselves giving you proof of all their credentials before expecting you to sign along the dotted line. And both teams need to work closely with each other and with you.


Interested in working with an interior renovation contractor who offers a design team and construction service all in one? Many professionals, such as our team here at Owings Brothers, offer a design-build option. This choice is great because it reduces risk while allowing for the likelihood of a much smoother delivery schedule. When you’re working with one team for both design and build, it creates a single point of responsibility and can help to decrease your overall cost.

Contact Us Today

When you’re confused over which professional you need to get your home looking just how you envisioned it, you need experts who can take over and bring your vision to life. If you get both services in one firm, it will take care of all the work you need to do to check separate credentials and ensure both teams work well together towards the same goal. At Owings Brothers, this is just what we do. We offer both design and build services, and our award-winning team ensures you get unmatched quality and service with one thing that sets us miles apart from others – the amount of heart we put into every project we take on. Contact us today to see how we can make your dream home a reality by taking your needs from brief to build.