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Whether you are remodeling the interior of your home or just need some advice before making some big furniture purchases, an interior designer can help you save a lot of time and money.
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Most interior designers bill their time by the hour, $ 50 to $ 500 according to their experience. On average, you can expect to pay $ 100 to $ 200 per hour, generally totaling about $ 5,200 in the design costs, not including the cost of the furniture. Understanding the different levels of service that interior designers offer can help you determine if hiring one is the right choice for your project.
Average prices of interior designers
What does an interior designer do?
In order to better understand the cost of hiring a designer, it’s important to understand the service you’re going to be paying for. The role of an interior designer is to consult with you to create a space that suits both your lifestyle and your tastes. They will create furniture arrangements to maximize flow and lighting while keeping your tastes, budget, and general trends in mind. It can look like drawings, presentations, 3D renderings, and moodboards.
In most cases, they will offer you furniture, lighting and decor to suit your budget and help you prioritize your needs for the space. They can purchase furniture on your behalf, arrange orders, deliveries and installation and, in the case of larger remodeling projects, coordinate with contractors and manufacturers.
Interior designers often wear multiple hats within a project and every designer and design company is different. Understanding the services they offer or not is essential to anticipate costs.
Interior designer prices
When it comes to billing, interior designers use many methods to calculate costs. Billing strategies vary depending on the size of the business and the scope of the project, among others. Below we have outlined some of the most common methods used by interior designers to calculate their costs.
Regardless of the billing strategy, most interior design projects will cost, in total, between $ 1,500 to $ 12,000 for the designer himself, excluding furniture costs. The average for a typical house is around $ 5,000.
Interior designer Cost per hour
Billing by the hour for designer time is the most common method, especially for small businesses or designers who work independently. This is especially common for small projects. When a designer bills their time, they are billing all of their time, including travel, site visits, correspondence, and any coordination they perform. The average hourly rate is in the $ 100 to $ 200 per hour range, but it depends on the experience level of the designer.
For example, if there are multiple designers working on your project, the time of a junior level designer may be charged at $ 50 per hour while the lead designer time can be charged anywhere from $ 200 to $ 500 per hour. For small businesses or freelance designers who work alone, expect to pay within $ 100 to $ 200 per hour range.
In most cases, a designer’s hourly rate covers only their design and coordination services. Furniture and hardware purchases are usually billed separately on an invoice with any markup included for coordination. Other costs such as coordination costs or special rates for travel time, etc. will also be billed this way.
While less common, some businesses, especially larger ones, will charge a flat rate for a project. The most common package is per room, which is determined by the type and size of the spaces in question. If you include furniture purchases, the average room will cost you between $ 2,000 and $ 12,000, but if you go only for the design work, expect to pay between $ 450 and $ 1,500 per room.
Online interior design services usually charge a flat rate based on the type of room. Typically, they will carry out all of their advice remotely and you will handle the purchasing and coordination yourself. Expect to pay between $ 500 and $ 1,500 per room depending on the size. It’s a great way to save money while still getting the help you need with your design.
When it comes to flat rates, it is essential to understand what is and is not included in the cost, as there is not as much leeway for scope adjustments as the project progresses. . This billing method is best for projects that don’t require a significant amount of coordination or customization. If you are planning on doing architectural work, using custom furniture or built-in elements, or planning to want a few rounds of overhauls, this probably isn’t the best method for you.
Commissions on purchases
When a designer charges a commission on purchases as part of their fee, it is usually separate and in addition to the hourly design rate. Most designers get a commercial discount on furniture, so they will pay less up front and then charge you the retail price, keeping this percentage to cover the time needed to coordinate the purchase. .
In some cases, companies may choose to charge a higher commission, scoring items up to 10% to 30% above retail. On an invoice, it would look like a line item for hourly design charges, one for the furniture itself, and one for purchasing charges. Each company does it slightly differently, so it’s important to clarify their methods and make sure everything is clearly outlined in your contract.
Percentage of project cost
This pricing method is most common for large residential projects and renovations, typically anything that will require a lot of coordination. There are two ways a designer can bill this way, as a percentage of the total cost of construction or using the cost plus method, which we’ll cover below.
The percentage of the construction cost is the simplest. This will only happen on projects where a contractor is involved. These are typically projects where an interior designer designs a space for a renovation and manages the construction process from start to finish. The rate in force for this method is 10 to 30% of the construction cost (only the cost of the project itself, excluding the contractor’s fees, etc.)
The second method is the cost plus method. Similar to the percentage of construction cost, the designer charges a percentage (typically 10% to 45%) of the total cost of the job. This time, however, that total includes the cost of construction, the cost of any purchases they make on your behalf, and their estimated costs of time spent managing the project. Typically, this will not be calculated in addition to the initial design fee.
Tips for finding the right interior designer for you
The most important thing to do before hiring an interior designer is to understand your scope and budget. Make a list of everything you want for your space and take the time to prioritize your list of needs and wants. Also try to refine your taste. Many styles can look good in a space, but they often don’t go well together.
In general, the more time you spend refining things up front, the less time a designer has to spend refining it for you. Narrowing down your tastes can also help you find designers that suit your style as well as your budget. While most designers are able to work in a variety of styles, you’ll find that everyone has their niche.
Once you have a good idea of ââyour project and your style, ask for recommendations. You can also find many interior designers online by looking at ratings and reviews. Social media is another great resource, as many designers now have Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts that can give you a good idea of ââtheir portfolio.
The most important part of hiring a designer is finding someone who matches your personality and your communication style. You will probably be spending a lot of time with this person. Make sure you feel comfortable around them and can clearly communicate your wants and needs.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior designer?
Interior designers primarily deal with finishes and decorating, although they may also handle furniture orders and layouts. Interior designers are required to have licenses and certifications that qualify them to make larger plan changes and handle project management. If your concern is more to dress up a space or tie things together, an interior designer may be a good choice.
When and how do I pay my interior designer?
Most designers will require a down payment at the start of a project, usually 10%, although with smaller projects it is sometimes higher. After that, you will pay the rest in installments which are outlined in the contract and are usually based on project milestones. Keep in mind that designers sometimes ask for a 50% upfront payment on all furniture purchases.
Is Hiring an Interior Designer Worth the Cost?
Having a knowledgeable professional to help you navigate the design process can make things less stressful and often save you time and money. If you find that you are particularly indecisive, don’t have a lot of spare time, or are looking to take on a large project, an interior designer may be worth the extra cost.
How long do interior design projects typically take?
It depends a lot on the range, but a good rule of thumb is two to three months. If you have a large number of custom or build orders, the whole process may take longer, but if you are just designing it may take a few weeks to put the designs together.
Do interior designers sometimes charge per square foot?
Yes, but this is usually reserved for large commercial or hospitality projects. When billing per square foot, designers do not break down service or furniture costs, but aggregate them. This method is only really cost effective for large projects that don’t require a lot of customization.