Design Fees

cpw-hall-2I work on an as-needed basis. So your costs depend on the scope of your project and your availability to participate in your renovation. How much legwork can you realistically handle? If your job requires you to work 50 hours or more each week, you’ll likely prefer professional project management.

There are four phases to the design process:
1) Design and drafting
2) Pre-production
(Getting approvals, choosing and trafficking materials, preparing for construction)
3) Construction oversight
(Quality control, scheduling issues, adjusting plans post-demolition, etc.)
4) Move-in, decorating and finishing touches

How are design services charged?
With the exception of full-apartment gut renovations, design services are offered by the hour, at a rate of $225 per hour. To anticipate overall design fees, allot an average of 5 hours per week for the duration of the project. Some weeks will require an intense amount of attention, while others will require little or none. Fees are invoiced in roughly 10-20 hour installments, beginning with an initial 10-hour retainer.

How long will it take?
Smaller projects (a single bathroom, small kitchen, or quickie decorating facelift) will span 2-8 months from planning to finishing touches. Larger renovations take 2-12 months of planning and board/DOB review, followed by 4-6 months of active construction, often followed by additional weeks of decorating and finishing touches.

What does it add up to, soup-to-nuts?
Some clients need minimal guidance, and have garnered the perfect amount of design input for as little as $5,000. For smaller projects, anticipate roughly $2-4K in design fees per month, for a process that may take 4 – 8 months. Larger, more complicated projects may require an investment of $4-6K per month for 10 months or more.

What if I only need a little help?
Consider a stand-alone consultation or an occasional check-in. Some projects can work as an  “independent study” model: Clients oversee their own renovations, and call on me as it proceeds for expert guidance, a second opinion, product recommendations. The initial consultation is $350-$575. Ongoing projects require a minimum 5-hour retainer.