home remodeling careers

Difference Between a General Contractor and an Interior Designer

When it comes to a home build or home remodeling project, there are certainly a number of professions involved. This can make it quite confusing when trying to determine exactly who is your point of contact during each stage of the project. To help you better understand the difference between a General Contractor and Interior Designer, our team at Total Restore has created this informative guide. You’ll learn all about the specific responsibilities and specialties that each role plays in the building process. Let’s get started!

General Contractor vs Interior Designer — Roles Defined

General Contractor

General Contractor

Typically, the general contractor or “builder” is your first point of contact during your project. No matter if it’s a new build or a remodel, your contractor will work alongside you to develop a vision and a budget for the project. General contractors are also usually responsible for assembling either an in-house or trusted team of specialists to finalize all of the finer details. Your builder is your right-hand contact from start to finish during your project. They will make your vision become a reality while also verifying that the work is done correctly, within budget, and on time.

Interior Designer

Interior Designer

When it comes to the decorative aspect of the project, the interior designer is the primary contact. After consulting with the general contractor, the interior designer will begin to coordinate the decor and soft goods involved in the project. Some examples of their influence include deciding on the type of flooring, paint, textures, or even furniture used when creating the space. They can also make suggestions on the type of cabinetry, floor plan, or specific fixtures implemented in the design plan. Builders can certainly provide guidance from experience in this realm however it is not their profession.

What Other Specialists Are Involved in a Project?


Also heavily involved in the design stage of the build or remodel, architects are responsible for signing off the master blueprints of the project like spaces, walls, and design elements. They also work closely with both the interior designer and general contractor when proposing their ideas. Together, the team will develop a strategy to accomplish the project goals without compromising on time or budget.


In general, there are three types of engineers that can work on a new build. A Civil Engineer is tasked with coordinating the plot of land as a whole. They will handle tasks like moving dirt, adding a retaining wall, and managing runoff, sewage, or water access. The next type of engineer is called a Soils Engineer. These individuals determine the soil compaction level and type while making recommendations for the type of structure that the home will require. Finally, the Structural Engineer will take care of the structural integrity of the building itself. This includes determining what type of steel is necessary, designing support beams, and other structural elements.

Total Restore can help you bring together a team of professionals to build the space you are envisioning — reach out to us to get started!

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