At Growthmedia.co, we get a chance to work with some of the world's best architects and industrial designers from around the globe.
Through out the years, we had the opportunity to dig into many conversations with our clients about their pains and frustrations with design projects and we found that one of the most confusing aspects has been understanding how revisions work.
To be clear, most aren't confused about what a revision is, but rather what constitutes a revision within the design process itself – what do designers consider a revision and what is more than a revision?
The answer is [of course]it depends.
There is no guideline or industry standard in the design world that governs what defines a project revision, what's more than a revision, and how much revisions should cost. However, we can tell you about our revision policy and how we go about them.
So let's start with our definition.
What’s a revision?
Revisions are defined as any adjustment(s) made to your design, say a rendering, after the release of your first finished draft. In the context of revisions, this would be the first complete 3D rendering issued.
For the sake of simplicity, I'll stay consistent with using 3D renderings as an example to help explain the process – though the same principles are considered when we create other designs.
A common example of a request for changes of a interior rendering may be to replace a piece of furniture, change the color of the walls, and add decorations.
However a request to change the entire agreed upon style of furniture for the room (from modern style to a classic style), or a change of room type (a bedroom to an en-suite or an studio space) would not be considered a revision but rather a separate work order because the amount of time required to make all of these changes would be similar to that of starting a new project.
Because changes would take more than 40% of the time originally spent to create the original, the changes would incur additional costs.
How do I know when a change will be within the scope of a revision?
In short, we will tell you before the changes are made if the requested changes will exceed the scope defined above.
Each revision is treated individually based on the volume of changes requested.
We try to be as generous as possible with revisions and adjustments so that you are always happy with the results and you are getting the maximum value on your 3D renderings.
But in general, each change request is unique to the project and has to be evaluated individually.
Here are some examples of revisions:
As designers, we completely understand that revisions are necessary. Despite how hard our team works to make sure everything is perfect on the initial delivery, there are always little elements of the 3D rendering that could use some tweaks.
These revisions are completely understandable and within the scope of standard revisions because they don't change the original design or use of the space that was agreed upon during Discovery, the revision time meets the 40% requirement, and the changes do not require any work that goes beyond the scope of initial project.
That last criteria includes tasks such as additional modeling of the room beyond what was provided during discovery, modeling and renderings bespoke furniture pieces, or increasing the image quality (72 dpi to 300 dpi).
What is the best way to convey revisions?
The best way to convey revisions is visually. Arrows, boxes, and notes written on the margins is a much better way to convey specific changes rather than typed notes in an email or through instant messenger.
In the examples above, the client has itemized all the elements that need to be adjusted using arrows and a step by step list of changes. This greatly helps our design team identify what exactly needs to be changed and where these adjustments need to be made. By issuing revisions in this way, it greatly reduces that chances that designers may miss a revision or misinterpret what you wanted changed. This is the best way to let us know what revisions you need.
How much are revisions?
This varies greatly depending on the agency and the task. We've compared notes with dozens of design firms and found that some do this for a flat fee, others by an hourly rate. Most of the firms we talked to preferred the hourly rate rather than the fixed price because (real talk) they will always be profitable matter what the request is.
On average, we found the hourly rate for revisions is just shy $105 per hour ($104.82), with the highest rate at $225/hour and the lowest at $40/hr.
This is what we found our clients were so frustrated over. Different firms have different rates and work at different paces so you can never fully know how expensive your changes will be and more so how expensive your designs are going to be once the final product is delivered.
Some firms with lower prices may charge 14 hours to deliver the necessary changes, while a firm with a high hourly may only take a charge for a couple of hours, but then again, maybe they will also take 14 hours. It's hard to know.
Luckily, almost every firm claims that they will let you know ahead of time of the cost of future revisions before they start, but then again, that does little comforting when you consider that your project is somewhat held hostage by the design firm – it's not like you can take the raw files and give it to another design firm. Well, you can, but design agencies usually charge a pretty steep fee for this because it eliminates any future revenue possibility.
So before you start your project, be clear on the revision policy of the agency you are working with so you don't end up being held hostage to runaway fees in order to get your designs.
What is your policy on revision pricing?
You already know how we define, evaluate, and our preferred method for conveying your revisions, and I should start off by mentioning that we completely understand that you and your designers are creative people and naturally, some adjustments are likely come up. This is why we always include 2 FREE rounds of revisions with every project .
In the event that the revisions requested are in addition to the 2 FREE revisions for your rendering, we use a flat fee model to price additional revisions, which is $150 for 1 revision or $250 for 2. If you have a revision that goes beyond the scope of a standard revision, say you wanted to change the room type of your 3D rendering, then we simply quote an hourly rate which is, $75 hour.
Our philosophy is to always advance value to or clients. To be clear, we are a for profit agency, we love making money – what company doesn't? But we look at revisions as a means to finish a product, not as a means to generate profit. As professionals, we take pride in being able to finish our projects the first time through, but because of the relative nature of design, it doesn't always work out that way. But we do not believe that pricing for revisions should be any more than it needs to be in order to finish the job.
This is our number one reason for charging less than 68% of the other firms we talked to, and 92% of the firms we would consider to be our “competitors” from a quality perspective.
We want to always be pushing for quality and value. By focusing on this, we have been able to grow immensely since we have opened.
If you are on the fence about starting a new project or just have questions about where to start, send us a quick email at our contacts page.