Can an Interior Designer Hire Subcontractors?

Grow Your Interior Design Business with Subcontractors

Most interior designers act as project managers and hire subcontractors to complete a major home designer or staging project. Having full-time employees can be financially straining to complete these projects, so subcontractors are a great way to protect your margins and get the right skill level for the job to enhance your designs!

Top 6 Subcontractors that Interior Designers Hire

If you are looking to grow your interior design business, the best way to do it is to set up partnerships with specific subcontractors that you can work with on a regular basis. Subcontractors can help you take on larger, more complex projects as well as offer mutual business referrals.

General Contractor

Interior design often requires taking out walls, gutting a bathroom, or changing the layout of a kitchen. This work requires an experienced general contractor and their team to make sure the job is done to code and the work lasts. Many interior designers hire general contractors to help them complete their vision and impress the client.

Artists or Painters

Professional artists or painters are one of the most common and valuable assets to subcontract with. Their skills can bring a room to life, adding brightness or originality to your interior design. Finding artists and painters that compliment your aesthetic can help you tie a room together and set you apart from the competition.


If you want to customize the curtains, quilts, drapery, cushions, or even the napkins, then subcontracting with a seamstress can be the right solution. Seamstresses can enhance your interior design when you can’t find the right fabric or upholstery ready-made.


Often, rooms have odd dimensions or large open spaces that require custom made furniture. Subcontracting with a carpenter that can transform a piece of wood into a work of art customized for the space can become the focal point of a room. Carpenters can help you get the most use out of a space or create a one-of-a-kind piece that will thrill the client.

Lighting Designer

Light is an integral aspect of actually living in a space. Subcontracting with a good lighting designer will help make your interior design livable and pleasing to your clients after the job is done. Lighting designers know what type of bulbs to use, where to add light, and how to enhance the natural light in a room, highlighting your design.


Making sure a building and all of its renovations are safe and structurally sound is of paramount importance to any interior designer. Therefore, an architect is one of the six most valuable subcontractors to an interior designer.

Grow Your Interior Design Business with Subcontractors

If you are looking to grow your interior design business, it will most likely involve setting up partnerships with subcontractors. When working with subcontractors, it is important to have written contracts in place, specifically outlining the tasks, timelines, and responsibilities as well as non-compete, indemnity, and defense clauses. PenEx has created contracts specifically for the interior designers that are free for members to use and written by our risk and claims management attorneys.

Another way to protect your business while working with subcontractors is through insurance. Each subcontractor should be covered by their own insurance or added to your interior design insurance policy. Get a quote or call us at (877) 438-7369 for more information.