Saturday, February 20, 2016

By Debbie Evans Interior Design 
I have put together the following information as there seems to be a lot of confusion out there on how Interior Designers Charge with a few notes on Permit Drawings and Architects as well. This is my experience and every firm is different. This does not allow for Interior Decorators or Stagers but I would be happy to include additional information if someone has comments or suggestions.
Every Project and client are unique and each project is reviewed and bid on individually. I have only posted this as an example of potential fees. My firm works with all budgets depending on my clients needs and wants. We usually allow for 3 options when bidding on a project giving the client the option to review each price and scope of work so they can chose what they are comfortable with. Once selected they know exactly what they are getting for the agreed upon fee. 
I also put this together as I have recently heard of people building custom homes in the range of 5-6000 sqft Approx cost to build $ 5,000,000 allowing $ 20,000 all in for design including Full working drawings for Interior Detailing. That works out to approx. 133 hours x $ 150 Hr for a 2 year project
OR Interior Designers charging as little as $ 1.00 sqft for a new build ( On a 5000 sqft home that is 50 hrs x $ 100hr so your designer better be really fast with no changes or they will be working for free after the first few weeks. It’s hard to keep the designer excited about a project or motivated when they are working for free for the next 18 months
I have heard of Architectural Designers – Not Architects – charging $ 35,000 all in to do a 7000 sqft very custom home Value $ 4,000,000 plus – How motivated is that Home Designer when you need changes or updates or the builder has questions.
Avoid expensive mistakes by hiring a professional that instinctively understands your desire for the perfect interior that captures your personality and design sensibilities. Relax and let a well-orchestrated team work harmoniously to anticipate your needs and guide you through a complex project.
You love building, and creating a wonderful project for your clients, yet keeping the client on task, making decisions quickly is a challenge.  Relax and let a designer manage the process and produce accurate specifications. Most Builders do not want to pick tile and finishes and they want to focus on the build.
There is nothing worse than when a designer does not understand the budget and over designs the interior detailing and specs or selects specifications that do not fit the schedule or deadlines leaving the contractor to break the news that the house price to build has just increased substantially and they cannot build the home with the agreed upon price or they need to put the renovation on hold because the cabinets are 6 weeks away and the tile is 8 weeks away. How much does it cost to put your renovation project on hold for a few months or your new build on hold for 8 months?
If the budget is really tight the contractor also gets to inform the client that everything they just approved and love in the design needs to come out and be replaced with items of a much lower cost. Designers who work with budgets can often massage the budget through out and make cuts where you would not notice and execute the design so that the client gets the desired results.
Many projects increase the price and scope as they go but it needs to be presented to the client and agreed upon during the design phase and not figured out in the middle of the build. The best way for a contractor to start a project is to have completed architectural drawings, Interior drawings and specs so he can properly prepare a budget. This will keep the entire project running smoothly and save money in the long run as the builder can get estimates from trades early on and secure the price. If there are changes during the build, and there often are, then the builder can allow for them and update the budget accordingly so that the client is always comfortable with the building process.
Most common form of Billing – Hourly Plus Mark Up
Interior Designers Charging hourly and Mark Up – Average Rate’s from $ 100 - $ 150 Hourly for Senior Designers and $ 75-$ 100 Intermediate, Junior Designers $ 50-$ 75, Admin $ 45-$ 65
Mark Up could be from 15% - 35% for purchases – depending on project
The designer would estimate hourly charge depending on scope of work for all of the people in their firm working on the project and provide fee according to the project. All purchases would be cost plus the mark up set for that project.
Flat Fee – Experienced designers who can review past projects and time allowances and come up with a fee that will cover their time and mark ups for a project and provide a flat fee for a new project. As long as the overall scope of work does not change significantly the client will know how to budget for the design fee in a project. This fee would include time and mark up for purchases.
Hourly with no Mark Ups on purchases – The hourly fee would often increase to $ 250 - $ 350 an hour or more to cover time and overhead. Or this may be used on smaller jobs where someone wants to only have consulting time of 10 hours for a project and wants to purchase the items at your cost.
Example 10 hours x $ 250 hr/$ 350 = $ 2500 - $ 3500 for a kitchen consultation or bathroom consultation.
This might include the client meeting with the designer to review specs and drawings for a small renovation where they have everything ready to review with the designer and get approvals as 10 hours is not a lot of time.
Fee Minimums - Most Interior Designers will not work for below a set fee and it could be $ 2500 minimum or $ 5000 minimum. I also know many architects who set minimum fees restriction as well.
Time Sheets – Most designers keep track of their time with time sheets and this includes time in meetings with builders and trades, client meetings, drawings review, order prep, researching products, etc Their staff will do the same as it is a lot of work to put a project together and organize it. It should all be tracked so that the hourly billing can be reviewed if the client has questions.
Square Foot Charge – This is not used as often in Residential Design but I have included some notes
New Builds - $ 7-10 a square foot depending on how custom it is
Renovation - $ 7- $ 11 a square foot depending on how custom it is
Permit Drawings - $ 2 - $ 2.50 a square foot base price ( Architectural Designers may be $ 1oo- $ 150 hr and Drafting Techs might be $ 56-$ 95 Hr depending on experience)
Architects Fees – Approx  6.5 % – 8 % of estimated construction building cost. With Registered architects often charging  8-15%
Return On Investment - “The secret to success is to find out what people want and help them get it!” -  Harry Browne

Investing in timeless design saves money and leads to easier and faster sales.
With Real Estate your are dealing with one of the largest investments you may ever make. What is your investment worth to you ?

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