Interior design scope of work – 15 must knows for quality


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Interior design scope of work – Must know this before giving interior work contract

This post will share you smart ideas for home interior scope of work identification. You may use these information as smart ideas for business, that is to provide a unique selling point (USP). Post covers key workmanship quality aspects like what specification of materials, how it should be fixed and the checklist for the same from a quality and value for money conscious customer. These are the points that drive the quality of work and longevity of the interior furniture work. Understand the key aspects to consider assist you to decide yourself and negotiate better rather than just accepting the proposal of your interior work contractor.

Once you read this post, recommended to read the related posts given below as all these posts together cover the entire information regarding the interior wood work.  

Defined Interior design scope of work –

Thickness of the Plywood to choose (cabinet means the boxy structure of wardrobes, lofts etc.)

Thickness of plywood is important as the plywood is made with layers of hardwood sheets. The greater number of sheets, that much is the strength it has.

  1. Cabinet Back Wall thickness – when mounted on the wall & not resting on floor – Minimum 12MM thickness with 1MM thick laminate at both sides resulting the net thickness of 13MM. If the cabinet is not resting on floor and fixed at a height, this is the recommended thickness considering the weight of all sides (even screw support from other sides are there) held by this back wall of cabinet.
  2. Cabinet Back Wall thickness – when resting on floor – Minimum 6MM thickness with 1MM thick laminate at both sides resulting the net thickness of 8MM. As the backwall is holding all sides except the door of cabinet, it the recommended thickness for better stability.
  3. Other walls of the cabinets – 19MM thickness is recommended. But ensure a minimum of 16MM thickness, if you wanted to reduce the cost. When applied the laminates on both side, the wall thickness will become 21MM. Typically a 19MM plywood sheet have around 13+ thin sheets glued together.
  4. Edge protection – Must protect the edge using PVC edge banding. Better to use 2MM thick edge banding. Must ensure that the edge of the plywood resting on the floor have the edge banding to protect it from water spilled on the floor. Note that based on the type of Plywood, it can withstand some level of water exposure. However, limiting the water exposure can extend the life of the plywood much more by protecting it from water.

Options to get the interior wood work done?

  1. Labour contract mode – Pay based on the front dimensions of the cabinets.
    1. Get the design of your new house interior designed and drawn in Sketchup (3D) (optional) and convert the design to drawing with dimensions. Typically, interior designers will charge and give this part.
    2. Identify a reliable carpentry labour contractor. Above step may be done by this labour contractor also with an additional price.
    3. Review the final design with carpenter and get the plywood sheet estimation along with labour cost.
    4. Get the estimated plywood & laminates and accessories. Eg. Screws, glues, fittings etc. Go to  wholesale market as the price difference will be big if you choose from local retailer. In Chennai, Nehru market have many wholesalers of leading brand.
    5. Share the expectations of quality and get the work done. I will have another article soon to share the carpentry work quality parameters. It is applicable for all type of interior wood work.
    6. Pay based on the front view dimensions.
  1. Specify the plywood materials used as mentioned in this article, if you are comfortable.
    1. Then agree on the contract and get the work done. Refer below paragraph and agree on what work will be done at site and what work will not be at site. Also agree on your right to check the plywood after it is cut in to required dimensions.

Word of caution when your contractor do cutting & lamination at their factory and NOT at your house

  1. Although you specify all the above requirements and select the right type of plywood as part of contract negotiation, following are the areas you should be aware and cautious about. Your contractor can use a low quality or type plywood when they stick the laminates on all sides of the plywood sheet at their factory. Because when they cut plywood sheets & press laminate to assemble according to the dimensions suiting your approved design, you will not be there at their factory. You may pay attention to some of the following options.
    1. Choose a contractor who can be trusted 100%.
    2. If you are unsure about this, you can ask the contractor to cut the plywood and paste the laminate on one side where the manufacturer’s plywood label/printed specification is NOT there. Edge banding also can be fixed at factory for better compression. This way they can do majority of work like cutting and pressing laminate on the visible side of the plywood at their shop. When they bring the cut pieces at site, you can verify the print label of plywood manufacturer on the other side of each cut plywood piece. Some pieces may not have the print when it is small. But that is okay. At site the contractor can stick the laminate on the second side of the sheet.
    3. Alternate option is to check with contractor, if they can allow you to see the plywood sheets after it is cut BUT BEFORE the laminate is glued to plywood in their factory. Because once they cut the standard plywood sheet to the no. of pieces needed to assemble your design, they cannot use it in most of the cases unless they have another order for same design. If this is permitted by contractor, then before applying the laminate you can verify the specification printed on the plywood sheet.

Interior design scope of work for contracts

  1. One of the recommended options is to ask the contractor to do the entire wood work at home, except for the doors. In order to ensure that finishing is good, the contractor can prepare the doors of the cabinets alone at their factory. This way the core of the cabinet is guaranteed to be at right specification and door alone may have a trust issue, if the contractor is cheating.
    1. If you want to ensure that the plywood specified is the one used for door also, ask contractor to glue laminate on one side of the door along with edge banding and other side of door where plywood manufacturers label appears can be manually applied at site. However, get the edge banding done at factory as factory pressing give the good finishing.
    2. Another advantage with this option is that carpenters are measuring and doing the work at site. So measurement errors will be less in comparison to doing all measurement once & cutting at factory. When measurement errors happen, contractor will do some work around which may not be good.
  1. If you are unable to use any of above option, how to verify the quality?

A less dependable option is to see the cut pieces at site and visually check the layers of plywood. For that first visit the nearby Plywood shop and take the photos of the edges and sheets of MR, BWR and BWP variety of plywood sheets. Also observe the following differences at shop for educating yourself. You may also refer how to check the plywood test pieces yourself in another post in this Blog.

    1. BWP plywood sheet will be darker in comparison to MR grade plywood due to the waterproof type glue used in BWP manufacturing process.
    2. When you check the edge of the plywood sheet, if the plywood is manufactured using Gurjan hardwood, you can see the sheet layers are darker and more granular texture. If Eucalyptus, layers will be bright in colour than Gurjan based plywood.
    3. Preferred to go for known Brands for important areas like Kitchen where the moisture content will need best manufacturing quality. Major Brands are Century Plywood (including Sharon Plywood ), GreenPlyKitPly etc. More than Brand, right type of plywood make the different. Example – Using BWP plywood should be used at Kitchen instead of BWR.

Lot of additional information is there in this link. 

Also I recommend you to read the article – TYRE BURST reason& 1 MUST AVOID & 3 EASY ways to CONTROL CAR

Disclaimer– Through this blog, I share my learning and experience. Every effort is made to avoid errors. It is not possible to rule out chances of error, however. If you try any ideas or tips given this Blog, it is solely on your risk. I won’t be liable, if you suffer any loss or damage. Meanwhile, I am happy to answer any clarification requests posted via the comments section.


If you notice any error or have a constructive feedback, please notify me. You are also welcome to share the general comments. Your feedback will help for continuous improvement of the content. Thank you for your visit to my Blog Home Page.


Thank you for your time to read my post. If your time permit, have a look on to other posts in key categories appearing in my Blog Home Page.

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