What is your Design Fee? How do you calculate it? An important question.

There are many stories about how Designers and Architects price your job, here is three Myths that I am busting about design fees. I have phrased these into the questions or statements I have heard from people over the years.  

Myth One. If I tell the designer how much I have to actually spend, they will have higher design fees!

The model of setting design fees based on the size of a budget is archaic, and I don’t use it. That’s the reason for the Design Advice Consultation. I can accurately get an idea of how much your project is going to cost in design fees because I have an accurate idea of the scope of your project.

Myth Two. What’s your Square meter rate that you use for your design fees?

Square meter rates are a guide to the cost of the building, but they aren’t accurate enough to define the scope. The work involved in designing and documenting a 200m2 house is not proportional to what needs to happen to design and document a 300m2. Alterations are entirely dependant on the nature of what you want to achieve and the nature of what is existing, so generic rates simply arent accurate.

Myth Three. Can you just give me an indicative price over the phone, you must have a price list, right?

It is impossible for a designer to give you an accurate price over the phone. If you want any figure plucked out of thin air, sure than maybe, but if you want an accurate and guaranteed price with a clear set of deliverables, then make an appointment for a Design Advice Report. In business there is a fear of under-pricing a job, so when you have unknowns its natural to build in assumptions and worst-case contingencies. If you are interested in an accurate price, then we can spend some time understanding the exact nature of your project. 

When you choose to invest in the process, the result is accurate. If you want to book a Design Advice Consultation, drop me an email or give me a phone call and we can talk specifics about your project so I can give you accurate design fees.

To get a better undestanding of the process I use, click HERE to go to the process page, where there is more links to some additonal resources. 


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Offsite NZ Member    Licenced Building Practitioner    New Zealand Green Building Council Passive Designer Homestar Designer
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