fees for
full service
design services
—an explanation


 

It’s a question that people ask at the get go:

“What do you charge?”

The next question is:

“How do you work?”

So here is a basic guide for Full Service projects. (An informed client is a good client. ;-)

MY HOURLY RATE AND HOW IT’S BILLED

I work primarily on an hourly basis. My rate is $150 per hour. I charge $75 per hour for drive time, when going to a project outside of The Woodlands or when driving to showrooms in Houston.

I charge for my assistants’ time when they are working on CAD drawings, sourcing products, or visiting a job site or showroom for me for your project.  I do not charge for their time when they accompany me to job sites or meetings....so you don’t get billed for both of us in that instance. Their time is billed out at $50 per hour, drive time included. I also have a project manager that I bill out at $75 per hour, $50 per hour drive time.

I bill once a month, at the end of the month. Sometimes I’m a little late with that, a few days or if there’s only an hour or so to be billed and there will be more billing in the next pay period, I’ll just save it till then.

INITIAL MEETING

We have two options available for our get-to-know-you meeting. You can make an appointment through my studio at a cost of $250 for an approximate 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour visit to your job OR you can schedule one of our Free Friday Walk-Throughs, done on the first Friday of every month. These "Free Fridays" are not "consultations" to give you ideas generated on the spot for your space, they are for the discussion of your project, how it will fit into our schedule and how we can help you achieve your goals. You can read more about these HERE.

THE AGREEMENT

After our initial meeting, I write up a Letter of Agreement, where I describe the services you are requesting and detail the payments required, etc. After you sign that, via SignNow, for a digital signature, we can get started.

I can typically give you a ballpark range for the design fee for your project when I submit the Agreement. That estimate is based on my experience with past projects. However, the big variable here is you and your unique circumstances. Since we are just getting to know each other at this point, please realize that decision making, trust, the need to see many options, etc., all affect the length of the design portion of a job, thereby affecting the fee. While we go to great lengths to get you comfortable with your design and to provide you with options if needed, time spent on continuous revisions and reselections has to be billed.

AVERAGE COST FOR A DESIGN BASED ON PAST PROJECTS

Here are some average costs for design on a project.

  • Bathroom remodel design - $3000 - $4000
  • Kitchen remodel design - $4000 - $5500
  • Design Plan Only for a room with furnishings, no hard pricing included - $2500- $3000    
  • Additional time spent on quotes for actual pieces or treatments - $2500 - $3000
  • One room full of furnishings, with items like furniture, window treatments, custom bedding, rugs, etc. can run approximately $5000-$6000 for a design fee with a turnkey service. Products are priced out to purchase through our studio, with installation and completion managed by us. Multiple rooms can be done with a fee slightly less per room.
  • Minimum project design fee is $3000, no matter how small the job. Most of our project design fees average $5000 or more.

After a construction project is started, site visits are always done additionally by the hour with a minimum of $100 per visit. Once a week is usually typical to help us keep tabs on things with a good contractor managing your job. We strongly encourage our clients to keep us involved this way, as that's the best way to ensure the integrity of the design is achieved. Site visits are defined as unscheduled visits done at our convenience, to check on the job. These are not onsite meetings. Onsite meetings are done at the regular hourly rate.

It’s very difficult to put flat fees on projects since all of them are so unique and different. That’s why most designers, me included, charge hourly. The above costs are simply a guide, based on my experience with other projects.

These estimates of fees generally include:

  • Initial meeting with programming
  • Schematic Design Presentation in my studio
  • Two or three additional meetings or shopping as required for the project
  • Documentation of the design with drawings, general notes, and specifications
  • For projects with furniture, a digital storyboard is included

Obviously, the beauty of charging by the hour is that if you want more, we can give you more without having to write up a new Agreement. I don’t proceed ahead on design with new things unless you direct me to address new areas.

PURCHASING THROUGH MY STUDIO

I can get quotes together for you for any purchases you wish to make through my studio. I do charge for that time, however once you place your order there won’t be any more time billed for that purchase. For example, if we’re doing custom window treatments in your home, once you’ve paid, the time spent tracking and coordinating everything that relates to those window treatments is covered in the cost.

READ BELOW IF YOU HAVE A TIGHT DEADLINE

If you have a tight deadline or a drop dead date or you need me to jump on your project right now, an additional fee is assessed.

ONE TIME CONSULTATIONS AND OTHER OPTIONS

One time consults can be fit in and I welcome those when my schedule permits. Click here to find out how our in-home and on-line consultations work. 

I cannot take every project that is presented to me, primarily because of time. If I cannot take on your project or I find it might fit better with another designer, I urge you to peruse the ASID TGCC website for many qualified designers in our area.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option for design services, I do a Q&A type consult remotely too, Designed w/a Click.

HOW WE STAY CONNECTED

I prefer e-mail and texting to phone calls, because I’m often out driving, on job sites, or in meetings, but I’m not afraid to get on the phone and discuss issues.  I have a beautiful studio where we can have meetings or you can drop things off there anytime, someone is usually around and I have a big slot under my door to slip things (like checks!) if I’m not there. You’ll get my personal cell # when you sign your contract.

I’m pretty much available anytime, except Sundays please, but again, if it’s after hours, contact me via e-mail or texting if it’s urgent. I feel that if problems arise, they are best handled quickly. I don't ever do weekend meetings, but I can do a late afternoon meeting during the week, no later than 6:00 pm with a one hour limit.

Please note that I have a great staff that have been hand-picked and trained by me. They handle much of the day to day and production part of the job. On projects, I am the project designer, so all design choices and selections, all design decisions are finalized by me. They may help me with many things throughout the process, from management to errands, and much of your interaction will come through them. However, I am a control freak :-) and I am well aware of what's going on with your project at all times.

I hope this takes some of the fear of the unknown out of working with a designer. It’s here for your information so that you can be better informed when we start.

Thank you! / Carla ;-)


 

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