Interior Design Fee Structure Template

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Table of contents

What Is An Interior Design Fee Structure Template?

If you plan to establish your interior design business, you might wonder how much money you should charge for your different services. Should you ask for the same fees for every task or charge a fee based on the project? Should you take lump sum fees at the beginning or end of the project? The fee structure template will help you understand the suitable charges for your work. It makes the calculation smooth and seamless, which is best for designers with poor calculating skills. 

With a template, you will have the price of everything in one place, saving you from reviewing all documents every time. The fee structure will also streamline your workflow, as you will know what the budget for the project is and how much the amount of money is assigned for every phase of the task. 

Wondering where you can find an interior design fee structure template? Bonsai features a variety of templates for professionals who need guidance and help to structure their business and make themselves look professional in front of clients. We also offer templates to designers so that they can offer a complete fee structure to their customers that help both of them to stay on the same page. Before you get our template, let’s learn the different fee models to make an informed decision. 

How do you charge a client for interior design services?

Interior designers usually charge around 10 to 45 percent of the project’s total cost.   However, the total cost includes the cost of any purchases made on your behalf, the construction cost, and the estimated costs of the time spent on the job. 

Since a designer needs to consider several factors in calculating the fees, it’s a challenging task for them and the clients, as they struggle to understand your way of estimating cost. You can use an interior design fee structure template to bill your client. Wondering how? Our guide to interior design fee structure gives you multiple options to bill your clients for services and to get the most value from your expertise. 

Considering Different Interior Design Service Pricing Models Can Help You Maximize Your Earning Potential

Interior designers, especially newbies in the interior designing industry, always get confused about how to estimate the cost of their work. They mostly look to their competitors to decide to price or simply give quotes to clients, whatever they believe will be right for the project. Not only it causes the risk of getting lower fees, but also often pushes back clients due to the higher cost of work. 

Understanding the type of interior design service pricing model is critical to get paid appropriately based on your skills and hard work. Choosing a suitable pricing model will help you avoid charging less, which might lead to losses. It also prevents you from overpricing your services that your audience can’t afford. 

Note that every model is greatly useful and efficient. However, all of them consider different factors to charge fees. You need to choose the one based on your way of working, the project you got, and your preferences. 

Additionally, you can choose a different model for different projects which go well with the type of services you are offering. Here are some ways to improve your earning potential and attract more clients with different models. 

Retainer Fee Structure

A retainer fee is the money paid upfront to you before the project starts. It’s a perfect option for long-term projects as your client can’t refuse to continue a project in between as they have already paid you.  

Generally, you need to calculate the retainer fee by multiplying their hourly rate by the number of hours you think a project will require. Decide your hourly rate based on your skills, experience, and knowledge. You can check the hourly rate of competitors to get an idea. If you are a beginner, your rates will be less than the experts in the industry, so people choose you over them. 

Price per Square Foot

This is one of the most common techniques interior designers use to decide the project's total cost. In this method, you need a specific rate for a square foot of the work. This way, whatever the project area size is, you will charge the fees by multiplying your per square rate by the total square foot of the space. 

While many experts use it, the per square rate sometimes does not benefit designers. This is because, in many cases, you need to put in extra effort and energy compared to other projects of the same size, but you will get paid the same amount. However, it’s best for large-scale commercial or residential properties.  

Hourly Rate Fee 

This is a great model for smaller projects where you have a good idea of the scope of the work. You can also use it for a project with an unclear schedule or final date to get paid for the time and energy you invest in the work.

However, interior design professionals often underestimate how long the tasks will take. Therefore, they mostly undercharge clients for exponentially amazing work when charging by the hour.

Cost Plus Pricing 

Also known as markup pricing, cost plus pricing is the practice where a fixed percentage will be added on top of the price of the products used and work done for the project. This model works best when you need to purchase furniture, decor, and other items for the space to revamp or improve the area. 

With this, you can get a good amount of fees – enough for the effort and energy you have put into the process. Based on your abilities and demand, the percentage can be 10% to 45%. 

Fixed Fee

A fixed price not only allows you and your clients to agree on the quality of the project to be delivered but also allows you to estimate how much you can earn at the end of the project. 

Designers who offer the same services, have a specific technique, and use particular products to perform a certain type of project can use this model. Clients also prefer this model as they don’t budget shocks at the end of the project. 

Milestone-Based Pricing/ Phased Pricing

This model includes regular payments for accomplished milestones. Clients and professionals set benchmarks together. As a rule, the client needs to pay a fixed amount when the project phase is completed. The payment is calculated by the amount of work and the time spent on development. 

This way, you pay for every phase of the task, eliminating the risk of clients refusing to pay fees at the end of the work. The unique way of pricing makes it perfect for tasks with multiple tiers. But trusted relations between you and your customer are preferable and critical in case disputes arise. 

Why Use An Interior Design Retainer?

The interior design retainer model has several benefits for both professionals and clients. You guarantee your clients that you will be available for the set hours each month for the specific services. Besides that, it helps designers to set out the billing matters, the scope of services to be performed, and the authority to act. 

In the retainer fee model, every project step will be decided from the beginning. What products you will use, what services you will offer, who will perform the task (you or your employees), and how long it will take- you and your customer will know everything. This will reduce the risks of miscommunication and any disputes in the process.  

Retainer models are also best because you will incorporate the cost of everything in it. If you use this model, you need to create a plan for every step and then take a quote for the things used in the project. There will be no assumptions which save you from paying money from your pocket if anything costs you more than you have suggested to the client. 

How Much Should I Ask For?

If you plan to choose milestones or an upfront fee structure model, you might wonder how much money you should ask. Most designers charge between $50 to $500 depending on their skill sets and experience. To decide the milestone and upfront cost, you need to consider the task's start date or end date. You also need to consider the amount of work you need to do to complete a particular task in the project. 

Don’t forget to add the money you need to invest in making the project aesthetically pleasing and functional. Hence, it’s best to incorporate every possible cost during the work and your hourly rates to get to the right total charges. 

If you are still struggling to determine your fees, you can check the typical price statistics in your area. Check the competitors’ sites and see how much they are changing for particular work. Also, check how much people prefer to pay for your type of services to keep your work affordable to your target audience. Use all these factors to determine an appropriate fee for different projects. 

Create Your Own Interior Fee Structure with Bonsai Templates

Now you know what the most preferred fee structure models are that interior designer uses; it will be easier for you to opt for the suitable structure for your business. 

But how will you create an invoice? How will you communicate it to your client? How will you determine the total cost of your services? Since you already have a lot on your plate, creating a fee structure might burden you extra. We will help you streamline all your pricing and invoicing processes. 

You’ll have a clear idea and understanding of how much you should charge for your different services if you charge the same fees for different tasks. Or if not, then how much should you charge for each project? 

To make the process seamless and simpler for you, at Bonsai, we offer you interior fee structure templates. These templates are designed for interior designers struggling to maximize their earnings. The templates cover all the important aspects of the service charges so that you only need to fill in the spaces and get the total fees. So, don’t wait and earn much money by selling your skills to people.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about this template.

Why do I need an interior design fee structure template?

Having an interior design fee structure template helps you maximize your long-term earning potential saving you time and making you most efficient.

What are the benefits of a fee schedule for interior designers?

Using a fee structure pricing sheet or template allows you to practice pricing transparency with the client and makes you appear more professional.