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Does your designer charge a fee?

Last reply was ago
Joanna P
by Joanna P

I recently received a quotation after the initial meet-up with a designer, the prices breakdown seems to have a design fee which was quite hefty. The quotation is around 50K, and the design fee takes up around 7K. Due to privacy purposes, I won't share the quotation's screenshots, but I am very keen to find out if it is a common practice for designers to charge this "design fee". I asked around some of my friends who have done renovation and they all said they didn't notice this component in their quotation. Is the 'design fee' an excuse to mark-up the quotation? I will also be enquiring a few other designers to find out more. Thanks for any info provided.


When we renovate our home there was no quote item for so-call 'design fee'. However, I would suggest that you should consider the entire quotation as a whole instead. I would think that even for firms who do not have the quote item for 'design fee', they can also add-in the cost of it into the other items in the quotation 🤔

It might be a better comparison if you were to compare the provides items between multiple quotations against the final cost of the quotation.

by Rethebecca

During our reno period we gotten around 8 quotes from different IDs. Around half of them charges a fee, and half of them doesn't. There seems to be no fixed way of doing it, those that charges a fee some charged a fixed fee, while a few charges by a percentage of the project. Personally I won't be too bothered by the "design fee" as I feel that the overall budget and whether the designer can communicate with me and understand my requirements is more important.

by Gusty

Usually these days the "design fee" will not be explicitly charged. They either omit it in the quote or just put in as zero, but common sense la, ID also have to make money. Margins includes from other items already.

by Alexlee

Requested some quotations for my upcoming f&b recently. Out of the 5 firms I have contacted 4 of them charges a fee. They ranges between a flat rate to a percentage of the project. Fee explained by them includes management of the project, design fees, renderings etc. A couple of the firms mentioned I am able to use my own contractors if I prefer too. Personally I would prefer the ID whom I engage to be transparent of their design and management fees. Gives me a better gauge and idea of the rest of the components of the proj.

by Roadrider

For me will only go for designer/ID that explicitly charge a few. I mean who does not wants more transparent pricing in their quotation? Common sense dictates that if the ID doesn't charge a fee this fee is confirmed being marked up in the rest of the items in the quotation. Would you want a quote that you cannot accurately judge the cost of the items and works involved?

by Bigcow

These days the quotes seemed to be more of the no-fee. Since most IDs are competing for "best prices" to offer to the homeowner. From what I been seeing, only those atas ID, real designers kind who really know how to design have an item line that states "design fee" in their quote. Like architect like that.

Esther Lye
by Esther Lye

I prefer ID that charges a fee. Keeps thing clear and transparent. I would also prefer them to list any additional charges (e.g. cleaning, labor, GST etc) as separate line items. Just personal preference to know how much I am paying for for each individual item.

Does your designer charge a fee?

Updated on 27 April 2021