This is the continuation of an interesting conversation started last week. To start from the beginning click here.
Continuing our conversation from last week the second question asked of me was…
2. Do you charge hourly?
For the most part the answer is no. I charge by project which I have found to be a better way to charge you. This way there are no surprises on how much it is going to cost you. You and I both know up front the grand total and I bill the total in installments.
Charging hourly is a scary scenario and a hard sell, because you don’t really know exactly how many hours it is going to take to complete the project. And, quite honestly, if I actually charged you the time I put into it you would never pay it. I’m a perfectionist and put many hours into the design of your home.
However, there are times when the design service that is needed is not as time consuming and so in those situations I do charge hourly. For example, I have a client right now who doesn’t want to hire me to do Full Service Interior Design but needs help getting started so she can do the project on her own. I am charging her hourly for my time. Each situation is different and unique but for the Full Service Design projects I charge the client a fee based on the size of the project whether it be one room, several rooms or a whole house.
3. Do you purchase everything and is there a minimum?
Great question! and I’m going to attempt to answer this as easily as possible because there are many parts to this question. Another way to ask this question is “How do interior designers make a living?” I charge for my services as stated above but that charge is an interior design intellectual property fee that includes over 20 years of interior design experience. When you consider that most full service projects take 4-6 months to complete then you quickly realize that there is no way an interior designer can make a living off of that fee. So, how I supplement my income is I have my own vendors in which I receive deep discounts for specifying their products, and I add a small percentage to that wholesale amount. In the end, depending on the vendor and the discounts I receive, you end up still paying less than retail costs and you had me helping you the entire way.
Here is the other perk of having me order the product for you: quality control. I am behind the scenes working with the vendors to make sure things are on time, in stock, and have not been discontinued. When they come in damaged I deal with that, not you. Whenever there is an issue of any kind I take care of it for you. And, trust me, every single project I have worked on has something come up.
Now the question that was asked, however, was do I purchase everything? Yes. When you hire me I understand that you are expecting exceptional service and part of that service is quality control such as: making sure items are not damaged, or back ordered, or discontinued. Part of that quality control is being on site when furniture is delivered to your home to make sure that the furniture is placed in the correct space as well as arrives undamaged. Doing the purchasing helps me to stay in control of the project and that is why you hired me in the first place. I assume you don’t have time for all of this, since it takes a majority of my day, and so allowing me to do the purchasing allows me to know what is happening with your project and take the burden off of you so that you have time to spend on other things.
The second part of this question was…
Is there a minimum?
I do NOT require a minimum purchase, however, in order to complete a project I always help the client come up with a reasonable budget so that they understand how much it will take to get the room they are imagining. Most people don’t know how much it costs, and I don’t really expect you to know, so I help you in advance come up with a number that makes both you and I comfortable that the job will get done to your expectations.
For ideas on how much it costs to decorate a room from top to bottom starting from scratch click here.
4. Is any job too small?
I will continue this conversation in next week’s blog post……stay tuned.
To continue to Part 3 and the last of this series click here.