An Interior Design Contract is a legally binding agreement between an interior designer (or design firm) and a client for interior design services.
The contract outlines the scope of work, responsibilities, scheduling, pricing, and other terms and conditions governing the project. It is essential for establishing clear expectations, ensuring accountability, and protecting both parties’ interests in case of disagreements or disputes.
What Is an Interior Design Contract?
An interior design contract is a service agreement between the designer and the client. It includes a detailed list of the scope of the work, party information, and other critical parts of an enforceable contract.
Interior design contracts outline what types of work will be done in the home, business, or another area that needs to be designed. It might include a list of the services and materials necessary to perform the work.
Why Use an Interior Design Contract?
Whether you are the designer or the client, you want to create and sign a contract before offering services. Here are the main reasons for creating an interior design contract:
- Clarifying Expectations: Helps to ensure the designer and the client have clear, mutually understood expectations for the project.
- Financial Agreement: Outlines the financial aspects, preventing misunderstandings or disputes regarding payment.
- Project Management: Aids in efficiently managing and executing the project, ensuring all parties are on the same page regarding timeline and deliverables.
- Legal Protection: Provides legal protection to both parties by explicitly stating the terms and conditions, reducing the risk of potential legal conflicts.
- Dispute Resolution: Facilitates smoother resolution of any disputes by providing a reference for agreed-upon terms and conditions.
What To Include in an Interior Design Contract
In your interior design agreement, you should include at least the following:
The Jurisdiction and Date
The written contract should include the state in which it was signed and its date. This provides the important legal information necessary to enforce the contract.
The Party Names and Information
The interior design contract should include the interior designer’s name, client, and any other parties. It should also include their names, addresses, titles, and business names.
Description of the Work
This section should list all of the interior design work that will be performed on the job. It should include materials, services, or other key details. This description should be as detailed as possible to avoid disagreements about what work should have been performed.
Price and Payment
The interior design agreement should list the price of the services or how that cost will be calculated later. It should also include any separate fees and how material costs will be handled.
The contract should include lines for each party to sign. Each line should have a spot for a printed name and the signature. It should also include the official title of any company representative.
Tips To Consider When Writing an Interior Design Contract
A few tips specific to interior design contracts you should consider include:
- Incorporating a no-price guarantee clause
- Detailing any design fees that are separate or optional
- Addressing how you will handle changes in the middle of the design process
What to Include in an Interior Design Contract
There are several main aspects you need to consider take to ensure your interior design contract includes all the information required:
Step 1 – Scope of Work
Outline the scope of the project in as much detail as possible. Everything that you intend to charge for needs to be mentioned. You also need to detail what your work does not include: any services that will need to be provided by contractors, such as plumbing, electrical, and ventilation.
Step 2 – Design Fees
You must decide how to charge your clients, such as hourly or fixed fees. If you charge hourly, include your rate, and all time spent on the project, including responding to emails, researching, drawing, and purchasing products, will be charged.
You could also include that the fees will be charged in increments and can be paid when they receive an invoice.
Step 3 – Drawings
You need to include in the contract a section about your drawings. You need to state that any drawings, plans, or renderings are conceptual and are intended to set forth design intent.
Also, you need to emphasize that your drawings rely on the accuracy of the information provided by your client and that, unless you’re measuring yourself, you won’t be liable for any miscalculations or design flaws.
If you need to, you can state that your designs are purely for the contracted project and cannot be shared or used for other purposes.
Step 4 – Refunds, Cancellations, and Expenses
If you’re purchasing furnishing items or ordering anything for the project, you need to detail that these won’t be refundable, especially when it comes to custom-made orders.
You may also want to include a section covering expenses the client must reimburse, such as travel costs or storage fees.
Step 5 – Payment Terms
Clearly state the timeframe you must be paid and the payment terms. If you send invoices to the client, include when you will send them and how long they have to pay after receiving one.
Interior Design Contract Sample
This sample contract can help you get started. You can download our free interior design contract template in PDF or Word format: