If you would like to hire a decorator, but have no idea what to expect in terms of pricing, this guide will help you. Here we list down the most common pricing criteria used by most decorators.

  1. A flat or fixed rate- After establishing the work to be done, the client and designer will agree on a fee. This fee is paid in several stages and a deposit is paid before each step. The stages are concept and layout, design development and implementation. Parameters of the work have to be set beforehand and contingency measures set up to cover any extra work that may come up. The fee paid does not usually include furniture, fixtures or other equipment needed for the renovation. The fee is determined mainly by experience, size of the space to be designed, time and the client’s budget.
  2. Hourly rate-They will charge for the hours they spend working on the project. When considering the rate, they include time spent on calls, emails, and troubleshooting, driving, making purchases among other things that may be overlooked. The problem with this method is that some designers may take longer than others to complete a project. It will also be difficult to ascertain that the hours you are billed for are accurate.
  3. Percentage of cost- The fee paid is a percentage of the total amount spent on the project. It is similar to a flat fee but the price is not standard as it changes depending on what amount is spent on the project. The problem with this is that clients feel the designer may choose more expensive items to draw up their commission.
  4. Cost per footage or square meter- This is used for space planning tasks. The space to be designed is measured and that figure is multiplied by a predetermined rate. This method can be combined with other billing methods if more work is required. This is more suited for commercial spaces or new construction.
  5. Retail price-It is more common with residential spaces. It is an old way of payment, going back before the mid-twentieth century. No fee is charged directly to the designer, but instead, they get paid in the form of discounts given by retailers after a client has paid the stated retail price. the problem comes when the project requires other services such as a plumber whom they have to source and supervise. They may be forced to resort to other charging methods to cater for such extra costs.
  6. Department store retail- Many stores that sell furniture also double in designing. In this method, the services will be free as long as a certain number of furniture and furnishings are purchased from the store.
  7. Combination rates- It is recommended for large and complex projects. It combines the square footage and hourly rate criteria. Percentage above cost can be used when buying furniture and for deliveries. The best billing method is chosen to fit different aspects of the project.

The best billing method for you will be determined by how much you wish to spend. If you need more guidance, our team will help you out.


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