smart spending

5 tips for hiring an interior designer

Understand the billing method
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Female interior designer with client

According to the Design Success University website, interior designers frequently charge an hourly fee, plus a markup for handling the purchase of furnishings and materials. Some provide access to a discount on retail purchases. A few designers simply bill by the hour with no purchasing services offered. There also are designers who charge a flat project fee.

Be aware that if the interior designer does the purchasing on your behalf, you will be expected to pay 100 percent of the costs upfront. Many designers also require the payment of a retainer, ranging from $500 to $25,000, when you sign the contract, according to the Design Success University website.

Make certain the designer you hire is selling the services you want to buy. For instance, if you are thinking about a do-it-yourself room makeover, some designers will offer consultation for an hourly fee to provide a few ideas or some planning assistance. But many won't take on these types of clients.

"They're going to do a complete project ... from conception all the way through to execution," Doby says.




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