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SHOULD I D.I.Y. OR DO I HIRE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?

If you are interested in undertaking some home improvements, this is a good question: Should you get down to the dirty work or should you seek professional help?

There are, like many things, benefits to both answers. However the important thing to work out is which option is better for you. This advice will look at the benefits of both Interior
Designers and doing it yourself.

THE COST (THE FEE)

There is no getting around it; the budget is a limiting factor for any decorating plans. So, let’s discuss the real cost of both options.

NB: We’ll look at averages for this example, though you can revise all these numbers to your personal situation.

The average cost of an Interior Designer is around £500 – £950 per room, so we’ll presume that it will cost you around £725 to hire an interior designer.

NB: If you find your quote is more or less than this amount, don’t necessarily be discouraged. Think about that individual’s portfolio and experience – the price might be worth it and they may save you money in different ways such as good industry connections.

Now let’s compare this figure to the cost of doing it yourself.

You won’t actually be paying yourself in hard earned cash; however you will be costing yourself time. So this equation works out how much time you have available for the equivalent of the Interior Designer fee (£725).

Your Salary / Your Hours Worked Per Year = Your Salary Per Hour

Interior Designer Fee / Your Salary Per Hour = Your Number Of Hours Available For D.I.Y.

Roughly speaking, the average UK salary for a full time worker is £27,000 per year. They will on average work 233 days (5 days a week plus 28 days holiday) and will be working 8.5 hours a day. This means that the average UK full time workers clocks 1,980.5 hours per year (233 days x 8.5 hours) for £27,000.

So, our equation looks like this:

£27,000 / 1,980.5 hours = £13.63 per hour

Therefore £725 / £13.63 = roughly 53 hours

This means that you would need to design, source and project manage your room in 53 hours to be cost effective. Also, just to illustrate this clearly, 53 hours is the equivalent of 6 working days or, if you would consider working 3 hours each evening which seems pretty fair as on average us Brits watch 4 hours of TV every day, then you need to get the job done in 18 evenings.

Therefore a good question to ask yourself at this point is, is this time achievable?

THE COST (IN BENEFITS)

There are also other cost benefits to consider when making this decision.

Interior Designers can help you save money due to their industry knowledge. Good Designers will know where to get the best bargains from; helping you save money on the cost of the room decorations. They also have professional experience of negotiating with tradesmen and potentially more buying power if they regularly use particular labourers.

This isn’t to say that an Interior Designer is better. This is purely to make you think about the comparable skills that you have. Are you good at negotiating? Do you already know tradesmen and retailers who will offer you a good price?

Another benefit of Interior Designers is their experience of the job at hand. Good designers are naturally creative and will likely have experience of similar projects. They understand room layout styles, colour palette combinations and will probably know a handful of sneaky storage hacks.

This is where I stop you again and ask you to question your skills. Are you naturally creative? Can you work out how you are going to get all your furniture and decorations to fit in the room?

If not, then you’ll probably love the software many Interior Designers use to mock up the room layout. They can show you exactly what they are thinking before making any design commitments.

WHY D.I.Y.?

Despite the benefits of Interior Designers, there are great rewards to doing the design work yourself.

Firstly, you have the opportunity to design exactly what you want. If you see something you like, no one is stopping you from having it.

It is also likely that in the process of D.I.Y. you will learn new skills; such as plastering, wallpapering and sanding. It can feel great to learn new things. Plus, when the job is done, you will feel a great sense of achievement.

Also if you have the right skills and personality for the job than you will probably really enjoy doing it. You are also more likely to save yourself money if you are creatively savvy.

MAKING THE DECISION

This guide has given you pros and cons of both options. So, do these three things to help you make your decision.

1)      Decide Your Budget

Before making any decisions, work out how much you have to spend. This will keep you grounded, whichever option you pick.

Be realistic about this too. Although you might want to keep the costs down as much as possible, room renovation can be expensive. The average Brit spends £3,000 on a new bathroom and £6,300 on a new kitchen.

2)      Find Out What Your Money Is Worth

Once you have decided your budget, find out what Interior Designers are willing to offer for that amount.

Ask them about similar projects and look at their portfolio. You may be surprised to find that not only do you like what they suggest but it is also within budget.

3)      Think About You

Throughout this article I have been consistently asking you questions about yourself. It is important to do because if it’s not an Interior Designer than the work falls to you.

Would you enjoy doing it? Do you believe you’d be good at it?

Another good one is – If the Interior Designer can offer you what you want, how does that make you feel?

So, although I haven’t strictly given you an answer, I hope you have found this information useful and it helps you make the decision that is right for you.

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