If you're wondering how to calculate the cost for an interior designer for a new construction or remodeling project, we'll list some guidelines below.
Or, maybe you're wondering if it's even necessary to hire a designer? Perhaps the builder offered a design service for free? Below we'll list the reasons many people hire an outside source, as well as the times that it is not necessary.
You'll want to check out both the reviews and the portfolio of the DESIGNER. We're referring to a separate portfolio & reviews from the builder. Through their personal portfolio and reviews, you can learn a good deal about the designer, such as:
a) Years of experience.
Experience which can help you avoid costly mistakes. The more construction projects they've done through the years, the more they've learned ways to save you from expensive "Change Orders" by avoiding issues BEFORE they occur!
b) Innovative solutions - even on a limited budget
Does their portfolio reflect clever solutions? Do their reviews state they helped clients stay within budget? Note that allowances for lighting, flooring, moldings, cabinets, etc are normally low, and very hard to stay within. You'll want a designer who is experienced at knowing which manufacturers and which sources are the best value for your money. This will keep you from going over budget in each allowance, without compromising on style and function!
c) Will they be your best advocate?
You'll want someone who can communicate your best interests with the builder, the electrician, the carpenters who build the mantle or bookcases, and so on! For some examples, in looking at their portfolio, does the tile back splash have electrical outlets in unattractive locations? Or are the outlets hidden? Do the recessed lights in the coffered ceiling line up nicely within the moldings? Does the portfolio show amazing attention to detail, even on a limited budget?
As for how much Interior design services will cost, there's various ways designers charge for their services:
1) By the job.
2) A retainer, such as $1,500 or more up front, with a contract
3) By the hour, which gives you freedom to hire them as needed!
A qualified designer will have reviews that express the many ways a designer actually saved client's money! Below we'll list some examples.
AFTER above, Before below.
A designer can help you coordinate colors, recommend correct size and scale, recommend the best stain colors, mantle styles, tiles, light fixtures, paint colors, carpet, stone, brick, shingles etc. In this 10,000+ sq ft Greensboro, NC home, we made the building process enjoyable and less time consuming! Keep in mind that oak won't accept the stain the same way maple or walnut will, so there will be a lot of "tweaking" involved to get colors and stains to compliment each other.
1) Some designers charge an hourly fee, instead of a flat rate.
If they don't require a contract which would lock you in, perhaps you can hire them for additional work ONLY IF YOU'RE HAPPY after the first consultation? That is, if you feel they're saving you from costly mistakes or redos! For a few examples:
- Perhaps a room could feel more open by removing an unnecessary (no load bearing) wall?
- Perhaps a window could be larger without affecting the exterior?
- Maybe a fireplace wall without symmetry could easily be changed to allow the symmetrical look you love? These are all the type things that must be caught early, before they're too expensive or hard for the builder to change!
2) They'll be your best advocate.
If they've done enough new construction or remodeling projects, they'll be your best advocate working with the builder or sub contractors to insure things go smoothly. Not sure if you need a designer? READ REVIEWS!! Reviews for a qualified designer will talk about issues they caught - early on so it's not an expensive redo.
3) They'll save you time!
You can have the designer narrow down choices for tile, light fixtures, cabinetry, hardware, stains, colors, mantles, moldings, doors, stone, brick, shingles, carpet, etc.! Or you may choose to get the designer involved for very limited things -- such as wall paint colors only. Because it can vary so much, it's wonderful if you can hire a design firm that will allow you to determine when (or if) you get them involved. One that will allow you to pay for hourly services, only when you need them.
Building or remodeling involves many more decisions than most people realize. An interior designer can catch things that are much easier to change if caught early, but would be very expensive or impossible to change later.
How much the design fees will cost depends totally on how much assistance you want. It could be as little as a few hundred dollars if you don't need much time with the designer. Or, some firms require a minimum retainer of $1,500 or more. If you aren't sure you'll want to be locked in, consider a firm that is willing to work hourly instead.
If you've built several homes or remodeled homes before, you may not need a designer's assistance as much as a person who has never done so. It varies greatly from project to project.
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