Episode 11: How to Accurately Estimate Hours for A Design Project

What’s the #1 mistake interior designers make when estimating hours for a project? Trying to estimate the entire thing up front. It’s not easy to know exactly how long a project will take, but there are tips and strategies you can use to get more confident with estimating your hours. Grab your coffee and come join the conversation.

Episode 11 Show Notes

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s important to estimate your hours whether you do hourly or flat fee so that clients know what to expect
  • The number one mistake designers do is estimating entire projects upfront. Instead break it down into two phases – design and implementation 
  • A great way to track your hours is through detailed spreadsheets 
  • Consider estimating on two factors: what are the unique factors of the project and what are past projects I’ve done that are similar in nature
  • Understanding your client’s personality and their decision-making style upfront is crucial because they have a large impact on how long a project will take 
  • For reference, you can create a chart of your typical hours that it takes for designing each different type of room
  • The more experience you have, the more accurate your estimated hours will be and the more confident you will be quoting your clients 
  • Setting a timer that you can physically see limits distractions and inflating your sourcing time – 25 to 30 minutes is a reasonable window!
  • Show up on time and be accountable for all your estimates

Resources Shared:


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