Comparing Interior Designers? Make Sure You Understand How They Are Charging

If you have decided to hire an interior designer to turn a room or your whole home into an aesthetically pleasing yet functional space, you have probably contacted a few for estimates on what it is going to cost you. However, as you are looking over the quotes, you need to take into consideration how they came up with the estimate. Not all interior design services charge the same way. You may need to pick apart the estimates to understand how they are charging so you can be sure you are getting the best price. Here are the common ways an interior designer charges for his or her services.

Flat Fee

If a designer charges a flat fee to complete a job, he or she will come to the house and decide how much the service fee will be based on the size of the area being remodeled. They will also take into consideration how easy it will be to find the materials to finish the job. For example, if you want an antique desk in the den, it might take extra time to find the piece. Make sure that the contract for the flat fee is all inclusive. You do not want to be billed for "extra services" you did not know you would be charged for.

Hourly Rate

Some designers charge for their services by the hour. This can be tricky for you. He or she will bill you for the time spent searching online for items to complete the job and for time spent shopping and looking at paint colors and such. If the designer works slowly, you will be charged more too. While a quote should tell you approximately how long the designer feels it will take to complete the job, it is not always close. Sometimes it is nowhere near close.


When a designer charges you by using a percentage of what you spent on materials and goods used in the remodel, it can be difficult to get an accurate estimate. You must be diligent about collecting receipts for everything bought. You should also put a limit on how much can be spent on different things. You do not want the designer paying $20 per square foot of carpeting when the same stuff can be bought for only $12 in order to charge you more for his or her services.

Remember, you will be paying for the services of the designer and for the cost of everything bought to complete the job. You may want to go shopping with the professional to make sure you are not paying extra for the items that are bought. You should ask each designer for references and actually check with them, before making a final decision on who to hire. When talking with the references, be sure to ask how close the final cost was to the initial estimate.