At AMR Design, our pricing structure includes billing our time at an hourly rate. Some firms choose to markup their product excessively to cover their time instead of billing for it separately.
Regarding how we spend our time when it comes to quoting, the process of creating a quote takes much longer than people would expect. There is a lot of back and forth with our vendors and tradespeople, as well as decisions that need to be made and changed on a near constant basis.This, along with all of our administration tasks, are all tasks that the homeowner would have to spend their time doing if they were coordinating the project on their own. However, by choosing to work with an Interior Design firm who has an established relationship with reputable trades, we are able to provide our clients with better pricing than what is offered to the public (retail markup is often about 300% and we have even seen upwards of 700% markup!!)
Take the case of a custom chair ...
Once design decisions have been made regarding the furniture frame, there are multiple decisions to be made:
- Select Main Fabric (and additional fabrics if using multiple)
- Select Piping and Box Stitching
- Determine Sizing
- Determine Seat Cushion Foam Type
- Determine Foam Density
Once we have determined all these decisions, we need to contact our fabric rep to get pricing for the fabrics. We also contact our seamstress and upholsterer. We provide them with the fabric’s repeats so they can give us accurate yardages. This step requires some conversation back and forth to make sure we are on the same page and that they fully understand what the client expects. We then need to relay this information to the furniture supplier to ensure the details chosen will work for the furniture selected.
For any accent cushions, we also need to get a price on the insert and decide with the seamstress what size the insert should be relative to the final cushion size to give the desired fullness. Again, we must get quotes on the fabric, including piping, box stitching and finishing details.
Once we have all of the quantities and pricing, we create a quote for you in our system, instead of just sending out a number. We do this because through our system we can keep a copy of the detailed quote and convert it into a purchase order should you wish to proceed. This ensures that the price, photos, and description of work are in writing so if you decide to hold off on an order and proceed later, we have all of the information on file (this has happened numerous times and when it has, we are grateful we have put in the time and effort to follow our process). We also review the design and pricing details as a team for accuracy.
As far as any additional costs, there is still administration work to be done after you approve an order. For example, after placing the order, we track all of the items so we can provide a delivery estimate for our trades, as well as inspect the product for damage to deal with it before delivery to your home.
This allows them to set aside time for your project in their schedule and complete the work as efficiently as possible. We also charge for the time to deliver any items to and from our trades.
We hope this short and sweet blog post clears up why Interior Designers may charge for quoting! If you have a question you want us to answer, email email@example.com