An interior designer can charge design fees using several methods. Some, SBID do not approve or recommend. Explore recommended best practice options which SBID encourage ALL interior designers to adopt.
This option defines the fixed fee for a specific and limited schedule of works. Generally, this includes the proposed layout, sourcing of materials to create the layout (e.g the scheme or scope) and a specification schedule of the materials and products for the client to purchase and implement. This option provides a clear and definitive service with an agreed fixed fee. SBID recommends a time-cap for both parties to agree for the delivery of this service (the completion date).
*SBID Recommended Option
Interior designers have access to trade-only supplies and products unavailable to the public for a variety of reasons; the specification is very technical and requires specific trained knowledge for the location in which it’s to be installed; the performance specification for product use is a legal requirement for different environments or locations. If supply of goods is selected as an additional option, it is recommended for commercial environments at trade-plus; this is a fee retained by the designer for the administration services (recommended at 15%).* For residential projects, a discount on retail prices of 15% is recommended.
The cost to a designer in providing this service includes admin to order, check goods, arrange returns and manage damages or errors, as well as sourcing and visiting trade exhibitions, meeting with product agents, sample storage, etc..
*SBID do not recommend the fee of 15% to be applied to any single transaction that will incur a client charge that exceeds the discount provided i.e. it should NOT cost the customer more to receive the discount than to purchase at full retail prices. The fee should be applied to the invoice value net of VAT or as agreed within the Letter of Appointment/contract.
This includes all the elements of design and procurement. This will include liaising with the client’s contractors throughout the project, as well as regular consultation with the contractor throughout the project; providing advice on product installation. An additional fee for this service is higher than that of the design fee. Only a highly skilled and experienced interior designer will provide this service as an in-depth knowledge of services such as plumbing, electrical and extraction is required. Plans for tile format, layouts and other product installation will be included in this fee.
Often bespoke items are manufactured in ‘Design + Supply’ only commissions. Sometimes these can fail if contractor amendments occur during procurement. It is not recommended that any changes are processed after Design Freeze* as this may impact on bespoke fitted orders in progress.
*Design Freeze is as it describes; a stop on the layout, design and product specification – no further changes should be implemented within the scheme as this will impact on other items. Changes made after Design Freeze are not included in the fixed fees charged.
Most designers save a client money. It will rarely cost more to commission a professionally qualified Accredited designer for a home than it would to ‘do it yourself’. Discounts passed to clients often outweigh the Design Fees*. A commercial project investment would rarely commence without a recognised and compliant designer(s) appointed. The wrong choice and decisions from designers unrecognised by the industry accrediting body may incur additional costs, delay and sometimes increase legal and financial risk. You can see a selection of the scale and quality of projects created by some SBID Design Professionals, here.
Many designers offer their services free but clearly their fees are hidden. SBID advocate transparency so expect to pay a design fee to employ the services of an SBID Accredited Design Professional. You will have reduced the risk of error by instructing a qualified designer. Becoming an SBID Accredited Designer requires a minimum of three years training (the length of a UK degree course), as well as three and a half years’ work experience.
*Designers who do NOT charge a Design Fee but retain the trade discount is NOT recommended by SBID as the client may receive products where best discounts are available rather than the most appropriate product recommendations for the project.
Entry Level Designer
A Mid-weight Designer
A Senior Designer
£19,000 – £23,000
£25,000 – £40,000
£50,000 – £70,000
*The salaries quoted are the medium taken from twelve months of generic advertisements. The fees quoted are neither an SBID endorsement nor a recommendation.
Like any industry, a celebrated Interior Designer will charge a premium rate which their reputation, work and expertise commands.
Accreditation helps you or your Practice demonstrate a level of expertise to clients, separating qualified professionals from social influencers and hobbyists.
An interior designer’s role is to sell qualified advice for an interior space to provide ultimate safety, wellbeing and performance for its users intended purpose.
We pioneered Accreditation as the highest level of competence defined by education, ongoing training (CPD) and experience. In doing so we protect the greater public.
Find out more about our flexible membership structure.
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