Here on DESIGNED, I've discussed quite a bit about what clients should expect to spend when hiring an interior designer to remodel their home.
This link, and this link too, are sent to homeowner's who contact us about projects. These links provide potential clients with a full understanding of the types of projects we work on, as well as what they (generally) cost.
For the most part, if you only have $10,000 to spend on a remodel, it doesn't behoove you to hire a full-service interior designer.
When you're undertaking a remodeling project, you want every penny you spend to go towards the purchase of products and labor expenses, thereby assuring you that you'll get the most bang for your buck. However, you must remember this:
Not all of that $10,000 budget will go towards product purchases and labor expenses.
That's right — if you're working with me, my minimum project design fee of $5000 must be accounted for. So, ultimately, once that's factored in, you're only left with $5000 to cover the expenses of the remodel. And, if you're wanting me to be honest with you, I must say...
That's not a good allocation of funds.
However, if money is tight, and you absolutely want to work with a designer...
I recommend you fish around online for one who performs inexpensive online services. You could find one who, perhaps, runs a business with lower overhead and a tight design process.
Another option for the budget conscious would be to book a consultation with me. I offer an interior design service where I can provide you with some insights and direction so you can perform a project on your own.
You see, here at my studio we're geared up for "full-service design". It's how we prefer to work because...
Full-service design requires a hands-on attitude; one where every step of the design process is overseen by me and my oh-so talented staff.
Business models, such as ours, where we invest as much time, money, and effort that's necessary into design projects that transform clients' homes are expensive to run. That's why I just can't afford partial or low-budget projects. Unfortunately, they just don't pay the bills.
When determining your budget, you must also remember that there is a chance that you will wind up wanting to do more on your project than you originally intended.
You can perhaps understand with remodels, that projects can tend to snowball, from a partial remodel to a full-gut reno, before you know it. Once people start really thinking about their project, it's hard to put good money on top of bad, for example: put brand new beautiful countertops on top of rickety, old cabinets.
No matter how much clients think they have a hard budget number in mind, things inevitably happen during the design process that might change your mind and push you to spend more.
For the record: Here at DESIGNED, we try to allow room for a little bit of project growth in our design fee estimates. However, because we also have to protect ourselves against these issues, we typically like to price the back end of our projects on an hourly basis, as this allows for scope creep.
Ultimately, when you're trying to determine your budget for the design of a remodel, your end projection can be somewhat estimated by a percentage — that percentage being...
8 to 12 percent – that's how much of your budget you should devote to paying for an interior designer's services. (Note: 12% is more what experienced designers charge.)
This percentage is for design only, in my case. I don't sell kitchen cabinetry, appliances, or finishes through my studio, I let the contractor buy those products since they have to warrant all the work. I am talking only full service design here.
Now, that means you have to have a realistic budget first. Most often I see people apply percentages to their budgets but their budgets are way too low to handle everything they want to do. Looking back in hindsight to many of my remodeling projects, I realize that this percentage works for all the design part of the job pretty accurately.
A $150,000 kitchen and family room remodel should mean approximately a $15,000 fee, etc.
At 8 to 12 percent, you'll be able to afford quality design, attention to detail, and quality service. Your design goals will be at the heart of your designer's every decision — which is exactly what you should want more than anything else from whoever you're working with.