Pricing for the design project

Often it is very difficult for the person who decided to hire an interior designer to understand – why in this sphere there is such a great range of prices? I’ll try to explain what is the determinant pricing factor.

The education of the designer

Three is no secret that there are different ways of obtaining designer profession. Accordingly, depending on how much time, money and energy a specialist has spent on his education, is formed the price for his services.

1. There is a certain category of specialists without any professional education. Most likely, this person just immediately started working as an apprentice to a professional, what, by the way, is a very good indicator – an experienced professional will train you better than any institution.
2. There are also designers who have made several projects for themselves – repaired their own homes, apartments and so on, and then started taking orders for the projecting the interior design.
3. There are plenty of more or less short-term courses (from 3 months to a year), where students get a diploma of designer. All courses, of course, are of various degrees of severity, and graduates, respectively, are of different levels. In general, you can rely on the rule that the shorter courses are the more superficial they are, the less the person who has graduated from them, has practical knowledge.
4. Large schools of design, in which the training lasts from one to two years. From point of view of clients it is very difficult to assess the graduates of such schools, because, on the one hand, these schools have quite a high level of teaching, and at the same time they may have not the highest demands to the students. This is even more dependent on the teacher than on the school. However, perhaps, to understand the level of your designer it will be useful to read reviews about the school, from which he has graduated.
5. University students – a separate category. As a rule, they do not have high prices and the level of their education is quite good. But it should be clearly understood that they have no practical experience.
6. Graduates from the universities in design specialty are almost the same as graduates from the schools of design. It is very difficult to assess their level. Even at accredited universities the level of programs and teaching can be very different.
7. Graduates from universities in architecture specialty usually have much more knowledge of design standards and construction technologies.

Work experience

The experience of a designer is measured not only and not so much with the years but with the objects. Or to be more precise – the realized objects.

Not every project, no matter how beautiful it is on paper, is put into practice by 100%. Some of the projects even do not reach the stage of implementation. Others are modified in the process so, that the authorship of the designer is no read at all. And sometimes the designer does not even want to mention his authorship – so the project can be spoiled by numerous amendments.

There often exists a situation when the contact between the customer and the designer is terminated at the stage of decoration. In this case, it is also hard to make good pictures of realized objects. However, it is still a basic “yardstick” of a designer’s experience. The more projects are realized, the better the designer understands the construction site, the better he can orient on the market of furniture, fixtures, finishing materials. Respectively, higher is his price.

The other side of this issue is the experience of managing the objects with different functions.

For example, residential interiors have their own specifics; apartments in panel houses or log houses, is there the difference? Of course, if the designer has developed over 20 projects of apartments, there will be no problem for him to find out and clarify the details, which may have the object of another type. But very often the customers want that only a specialist in log houses works with their log house, and loft to be designed by one who has many lofts in his portfolio. In this case, there is also no wonder that the price bracket is increasing.

The same goes for interior style – there are designers who work only in the classics, while the others prefer modern style, and some are working perfectly in any style. It also affects the price of the project, although it is difficult to say exactly how. But in general, we can expect that the classic is more expensive than minimalism.

If we are talking about the objects of public importance, the situation is quite different. Not necessarily a designer, who has a wide experience in the design of apartments, will excellently cope with a restaurant. It may be also vice versa, by the way. The sites for different purposes in the portfolio also raise the price.

Untwisted, brand designer

People can have very different attitude to the brand. Some people believe that to pay big bucks for the thing just because it has some well-known name is stupid. The others, on the contrary, believe that the brand is not only guaranteed quality, but also a certain status.

We will not try to find out, who is right. But I want to note that when deciding to hire an interior designer, you already mean that you have a certain status. It is as if you ask a stylist to help to create your image. So, let’s get together on the fact that the repute of the designer is not the last value.

Designers are not so famous as models, actors or writers. Therefore, for a person who is not connected with the design and architecture by occupation, it is difficult to understand who is famous and who is not. He has not heard either one name or another.

The main criterion in this case is publication in professional journals. The higher is the level of the objects, the more qualitative work is done by the designer to bring the project into reality –so, with greater pleasure glossy magazines take this project for publication. Accordingly, the more the designer has such publications, the better he is known both in professional circles and among potential customers. Of course, there is also a specific rating of journals, in which some designers are listed above, others below. But in general, you may well expect that the more publications the designer has, the higher is his price.

Also of certain fame are the designers involved in TV projects, such as “Housing issue”, “School of repair” and other similar programs. Perhaps, it is much easier to judge about the professionalism of these designers, because we can see the whole process of project implementation.

The design project as it is

The pricing factors of less importance, in my opinion, are the nuances related to the development of the design project.

1. The composition of the project, the list of drawings is approximately the same for all designers whether these are large studios or the beginners and students.
2. The quality of drawings – of course, it may be substantially different. But, first, for a customer it is quite difficult to understand these differences. Secondly, when hiring a designer, the customer still buys the final result, not the drawings. If a designer can sreate a unique interior by drawing with pen on a napkin or with a lipstick on the glass, the better it is. The main thing is that the process of implementation is debugged and not injured.
3. The quality of sketches, visualization. There is a big debate among the designers: what is better: visualization or drawings by hand? Photorealism or live manual chart? There is no single answer on this question, but again – it is not so important how realistic the “pictures” are – provided that the final result will meet them.

Author’s supervision

This is a very significant cost item in the interior design. The figure may be quite comparable with the price of the design project, or even exceed it in several times. It is very difficult to say something definite, because the designers are working on very different schemes. Some of the fully include the cost of supervision in the price of the project, the others ask a fixed payment for a fixed number of visits to the site. Some designers set hourly fee. In any case you should reckon with the need to pay for supervision at the rates of the designer.

Employment of a designer

Fortunately or unfortunately, it is also a price forming factor. Design service is a very flexible item. If a designer feels that he has more customers than he is able to serve, it seems logical that he raises the price. And vice versa, if for some reason the designer feels that he has enough customers, he may decide to lower the price. There is no sense to complain – it is business.

The outcome

For all of the above, I want to emphasize that there are no cheap or expensive designers. Every professional assess him on his own, and the market shall either confirm or reject this assessment. So, in the end, a practicing designer worth the money he asks for his service.

Recently, one of my colleagues compared the service of the interior designer with machines. If a machine is just a vehicle for you, then even an old “Moskvich” will suit you. But there are plenty of brands of cars from Wolkswagen to Maserati, which people buy. And although they are all vehicles, there is still the difference between them. The same story is with designers:).