I get this question a lot. There are several different ways a designer charges to work with a client to make their office or home, a great place to be.
For commercial projects, a project fee is the best. While everyone wants to know what the full project would cost, commercial projects are easier to determine. There is a set Scope of Work, employee hours are budgeted, plans are developed, a complete presentation is prepared, the scheme is set. I estimate the number of total hours and put a flat fee to it. There may be a few revisions, but generally the entire scheme is accepted and the flat fee covers the few revisions.
Residential projects are harder to determine. I rarely, if ever, give a flat fee to a residential client because the time spent on the project is more often time spent working with a client. So how long will it take them to finally decide on the perfect sofa? the perfect fabric? the perfect tile? It’s impossible to calculate exactly. So for residential clients, I can give a base price for specific services: like putting together a full color scheme, but then I charge hourly for my time or my Design Assistant’s time to change any items or shop for additional items after that. So most often, residential schemes are billed on an hourly basis.
Rarely do I charge for a project as a percentage of the construction budget. The reason being that often clients are not forthcoming about their budgets. If I will be handling the full project management and billing, then a percentage would work. Generally, it is 15%-20% of the construction budget.
I welcome any requests to look at and price a project. I’m always eager to work with nice people and to create something special, something that has meaning for them and makes them excited to go to their home or office. That’s one of the reasons, we’re called “In-Site”…for our insightful interiors.
In-Site Interior Design, incorporated in 2005