Fee Structure for Interior Design Services


Some methods of billing for interior design services are fairly simple and straightforward. Methods of charging interior design fees, such as the 'percentage over costs' rate, the hourly rate, or the cost per square metre rates, are the least complex of all available options of charging for interior design services.

Many professional interior designers, who are more inclined to performing commercial interior design tasks, employ the combination billing method of charging for their design services. Using the combination billing option works very well with commercial interior design because large and sometimes complex projects are involved.

The Interior Design Consultant's Reasons For The Combination Payments Option

The combination interior design fees option is usually advisable for commercial interior design services. These may involve a vast scope of tasks that normally involve other professionals in the building industry such as electrical engineers, structural engineers, architects and so on. They all have to work together in consonance, with an objective of a successful final project delivery.
During the initial interview between the two parties, the interior designer already knows that the commercial interior design project will involve a large scope of services. Therefore, at this time, the client is made to understand that there definitely may not be one form of payment method for the project, due to its complex nature.

How This Option Of Charging Interior Design Fees Works For Commercial Interior Design Projects

Assuming the initial and subsequent interviews have been done between the client and the interior designer, the designer knows the interior design services expected for the project. The usual familiarisation which occurs between the two parties has been established at this initial stage. Now, to proceed with design works, the commercial interior design project will begin with space planning.
The interior design consultant may suggest that the initial space planning be done on square footage basis, also referred to as a 'cost per sqm/sqft'. This is common in contract commercial interior design works where you want to be certain that the space being considered is adequate to fulfill all interior space needs. Several different spaces may be considered before a final selection is made. This may sound like an unnecessary expense, but it's better to know that any space rented or purchased will meet all the necessary needs.

Pre-fixed Rates for Interior Design

Space planning can also be charged at a pre-fixed rate because the scope of work is fairly apparent in any commercial interior design project. With this payment option, clients and interior design consultants discuss extensively the scope of the interior design works involved, and an agreeable fee is then set. Pre-fixed rates covers all contingencies and, on a final agreement, an agreed percentage of this fee is paid by the client in advance, before commencement of designs.
Since commercial interior design obviously includes the order of items of decor and pieces of furniture, percentage-above-costs billing can be used. So, in essence, the space planning aspect of the interior design service is billed per square metre, square footage or by pre-fixed rates, whilst the ordering of furniture, furnishings and deliveries can be charged using percentage over costs.

Billing for Retail Commission Purchase

If the same commercial interior design project includes the purchase of rare vintage or antique items that are expensive, the retail mode of payment will be applicable. With this form of interior designer's fees, the client is the one that pays the price on the tag, with no discounts offered. However, the interior designers makes their money from a fixed commission given to the interior designer by the retailer of the rare furnishing items.
In some projects, commercial interior design works with multi-task services within the same project, and some aspects of the project can be charged at an hourly rate. This form of interior design fees can cover all design and drafting works. Nowadays this is often done using some form of interior design software ; this has become the popular way of creating designs befitting of any interior space.

Combination Billing As Interior Design Fees For Commercial Interior Design Projects

The combination method of billing is the best option for commercial interior design projects in that it incorporates the best methods of payments that are appropriate for each aspect of the vast design project. This may be a combination of:

» Pre-fixed rates
» Hourly rates
» Percentage over costs
» Costs per square metre or square footage
» Retail – Commission

Combination billing works quite well, benefiting the commercial interior designer and the client. However, it is best to have every detail of the payment options in black and white so all parties are pleased and ready to proceed with their individual responsibilities. This way, the client will receive a good service and the best of work from a interior designer who is well compensated for interior design services.