It's really important to meet at least a few IDs before you sign up for any interior renovation contracts. There are all sorts of IDs around, over just one week, we met people who are over confident, not so confident, friendly and frivolous. We met up with 5 firms, only comfortable with 2. The quotation from these 2 will be higher, although to us, as long as quality of work is acceptable it's great. No point getting a low cost quote but is unhappy during the whole renovation process.
One of the IDs proposed getting them to do design consultation first then get a quotation based on that, it's a non-conventional way of working. This is a good and possibly faster way to get things done and confirm that the final result is what we wanted. However, there is a risk that we may not be able to get what we wanted within our budget (This, we will only know when the design is done). Further, if we change our mind and decided not to use this ID, there's a design cost of SGD2k. Not a lot but also not little for us non-million earner. However, this ID is creative and practical plus most importantly, we can clique.