Dissecting Design Fees

Dear Expert: What is included in a Design Fee and is it necessary?

A: Design fees are part of many design professions, including architecture and interior design. The design fee serves a couple of purposes; it is intended to give the designer time to work through the design process and in turn generate a thoughtful, functional and creative design. Having a designer involved in the project can be important, in that they often specialize in the creation of spaces and finding solutions that can make a project fit all your needs. Services the design fee should include are site visits including measuring the site, meetings between the designer and client and a design that is drawn to scale. Design fees can also begin to cover the expense of some standard permits for a project, such as fencing or patios. The design process is a necessary step to ensure that all concerns can be addressed before installation, when issues can be costly to fix. It also gives the client a great forum to discuss ideas, revisions and have their questions answered by the designer. Your landscaping design should be unique and individually design for your specific site. A design fee can ensure that you are getting a trained professional to create your landscape.

—Stacy Isaacson Smith, Landscape Designer
Yardscapes, www.yardscapes.com