The essence of this article is not to describe the cost aspect of the work process of an architectural studio, but to explain the complexity and multitasking that occur behind the scenes in creating your projects.
So, one of the most common questions, and it’s no wonder, has always been “how much does it cost to build a house”?! In addition to the obvious items about the cost of materials, decorative and technical elements, it is also important to understand the pricing of the design work itself and its dependencies. In addition to the average comparison between students/freelancers and craftsmen investing money in advertising and brand promotion. At the same time, each of these segments must be designed for its client, as it is students who need field experience, while others definitely need a famous “logo” to brag about to their friends!) But as you know, the truth is always somewhere in the middle… We are not implying our own personalities) as our prices are slightly above average and we also value our logo very much…)
The design process itself is as interesting as it is complex, both technically and organizationally, and the pricing can be broken down into the following main points:
Stylistic solution. The style chosen for your future project based on references (our introductory article WHERE TO START can help with this) largely shapes the scope of further work. As an example, in a classic interior, there are a lot of decorative elements, moldings, cornices, consoles, and other elements with complex names that need to be selected and verified for availability initially. Later, the design is developed and represented using 3D visualization, coordinated, and transferred to the technical plane using attachments and specifications in working documentation.
Engineering features. The peculiarities of the object itself, such as the configuration of premises, the location of engineering networks, and the materials used. Just as not every wall can accommodate a cabinet, the technical solutions we design also take into account these limitations. For example, a ducted ventilation system that requires the involvement of external designers, coordination, tie-ins, and many other adjustments to the working project to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing final result of installation with unobtrusive ducts and wiring.
Similar decisions relate to water purification systems, heating, smart home, sound scenarios, access control, video surveillance, and quite a long list of possible complications.
HR or Human Resources. Design is a process that involves not only the client, which should not be forgotten, but also at least five people in the conditions of a studio or workshop.
Lead architect/designer: development of conceptual planning solutions, coordination of general stylistic decisions, project management at all stages.
Project engineer: the main task is the development of all technical documentation, as well as conducting author’s supervision (see article “What is supervision?”) for the implementation of the project.
Project manager/purchaser: In the basic package, compiling specifications for equipment, decorative elements, etc. It allows you to create a project based on a cold calculation of your funds and a compromise of a wide range of suppliers.
3D visualizer: Or the one who “draws pictures”? A specialist in modeling a virtual environment. Creating photorealistic visualization – rendering.
Builder/site manager: At the initial stages, it provides advisory support for the object. Subsequently, it controls the entire construction process.
Transportation / shipping costs. Throughout the entire design process, we have to move around quite a bit in search of materials, furniture, decor, conduct site visits and approvals, for example, painting a wall directly on your property, no matter where it is located. All of this, of course, takes our time and energy and incurs transportation costs for our vehicles. Overhead costs associated with expensive equipment, maintaining an office, and so on are not worth mentioning as a separate item, but they are still present in the final price.
We really hope that now you have learned something new for yourself and have come one step closer to your dream!