How to Calculate Interior Design Expenses and Budget

How to Calculate Preliminary Interior Design Expenses and Budget

Calculating the home interior design expenses and budget can be puzzling and often challenging for most of the homeowners. It’s challenging, because you may not be aware of all the nitty-gritty of the interior designing process, and associated expenses. However, establishing a budget for your home interior design or renovation project is super important. In fact, this is the first and the most important step in getting your design or renovation project completed without breaking your bank account. With a rightly calculated interior design expenses and budget, you can plan and complete your project much realistically and efficiently.

If you are planning to design, decorate or renovate your existing home, and you are unsure about how to calculate interior design budget and expenses, then I have got you covered. Today in this post, I am sharing everything you need to know about calculating the design costs and expenses for your home or an office interior design project.

How to make a realistic preliminary home interior design budget

By preparing an initial budget for the interior design project, you can get your priorities as well as project expectations right. It’ll help you choose the best possible raw materials and options. And also help manage all the design execution expenses much efficiently.

As you already know, there are so many options of raw materials from wooden flooring options to tiles and marbles to plywood and laminates, hardware fitting to wallpapers and paints. All of these crucial raw materials are available at various price points. And if you start the project without budgeting for all the expenses, you may end up spending more, delaying the project and in worse case you may not get the kind of finishes you might have got with proper budgeting and expense planning.  However, with proper interior design project budgeting and planning, you can make best use of your money and get the best possible finishes.

Now that you know the importance of interior budget, follow these tips and steps to calculate your home interior design budget and project related expenses correctly.

Every home is different and so are the interior design costs and expenses

Even though you may have the basic idea of what you want, what you do not want, and the kind of finish you want for your home, you may not know how to calculate the expenses and budget. And, there is nothing wrong with it. Even the professional interior designers start with a basic budget. They can figure it out based on their experience and customer profile. And once they have an initial budget, they further go into detail, finalize the scope of work and tweak the budget to make it work for their clients.

We often meet new and aspiring homeowners. Many times, they come to us with proper research and more or less know what they want at the end. Sometimes, they even share a tentative budget. But in most cases, they ask us about the costs and expenses.

But as you know, the interior design costs and expenses can only be calculated when we know

  • The size of the house
  • Scope of work
  • Specification of materials to be used
  • Profile of the family as it helps understand the taste and functional needs

When it comes to home interior designing, there is no one fit all formula to calculate the costs and expenses. As I said, every interior design project is different and so can be the interior design costs and expenses. Interior design budget and costs primarily depend on the size of the space/rooms, brands and quality of materials, types of designs, craftsmanship of the technicians working on the project to name a few factors.

So how do you go about preparing the budget for your project?

Well, as the project is not yet started, you can estimate the expenses in one of the following ways:

  • Based on the value of your house
  • Per sq ft rate of interior designers

Let’s check both of these formulas in detail

Calculate interior design expenses as per value of the house

Did you know that the value of your house can guide you well in estimating how much to spend in designing and furnishing your home? It may sound a little weird, but it can give you a starting budget to work on and refine further as you get more clarity on the scope of work and specification.

This method of budgeting for a home interior design project is widely used by professionals, especially for newly purchased homes. The reason this approach is popular among homeowners and professionals is because it helps calculate preliminary interior design budget.

And when you have this starting budget on the table, you can easily work with your interior designer and plan all the expenses.

As a basic calculation, you can consider anything between 12-15% of the value as the starting budget for interior designing and furnishing. You can further increase your by 2-3% of your house value in case you are looking for a premium and luxury finish.

For instance, if you estimate the value of your house at Rs. 70 lacs then you should have a budget of anywhere between Rs. 8.5 to 10.5 lacs for interior designing and furnishing. You can start planning your interior design project with this starting budget in mind and then as you refine the scope of work and choose the material specifications, you can further tweak and adjust your project budget.

Calculating interior design costs at per sq ft rates

Although per square feet cost for interior designing services may vary for different projects, it’s one of the best ways to calculate initial project budget. We at Houseyog, often use this approach of calculating the initial interior design cost and expenses. Based on this initial budget, we relook at everything. That is, we sit and discuss with the client and rainstorm various ideas, materials and finishes. Then, we finalize the scope of work and ensure that the client gets the best materials and finish without stretching the budget.

As a basic rule of thumb, you can calculate per square feet interior design cost using the carpet area of the flat. For instance, if you have a 3 flat of 1000 sq ft carpet area, and you are looking for good quality standard fittings, materials and finish then the cost may be anywhere between Rs. 1200 to 1500 per square feet. So, the interior design cost for a 1000 sq ft carpet area flat can be anywhere between Rs 12-15 lakh. Considering there are 3 bedrooms, a kitchen and a living and dining area.

With this initial budget, you can plan for good quality carpentry job. Carpentry involves in kitchen, bedrooms and all other areas. Like a modular kitchen, box bed, head board, Cupboards, TV cabinets, study table, sofa, dining table, chair etc. And false ceiling, lighting, paintings and wallpaper on accent walls in a 3 BHK flat.

Further refine and adjust the budget

Now that you have a starting budget for your home interior design project, you can further refine it as per your affordability. For instance, if you have the funds ready and you think you can go a little higher than 1500/ sq ft, then you can go for more superior and luxurious products like quartz tops on the dining table, stone/tile cladding on the walls and so on.

However, if Rs. 1200 seems like too expensive, then you can bring per square feet cost further down by adjusting the work area and changing some of the material specifications. For instance, instead of premium quality plywood across the flat, you can use ISI marked standard commercial plywood in some of the areas. Like a TV unit, center table etc and per square feet design cost will naturally come down.

You can also bring the per sq feet rate down by using standard fittings in less frequently used areas. However, we do not recommend compromising on the hardware fittings. As the fittings must be hardy and durable, especially for extensively used areas like kitchen, cupboards etc.

Budgeting for other furnishing expenses

Even though you have considered the major costs and expenses there will be many other furnishing expenses. For instance, carpentry, false ceiling, ceiling lights, paints and wallpaper etc is already considered, What about designer blinds, corian top dining table, bespoke armchairs etc?

We call it the contingency fund. The contingency fund can be used cover any unplanned expenses that may come during the interior designing process. Many times, you change the budget while selecting the materials, and hence this fund.

For instance:

  • Dining armchairs
  • Floor light and chandeliers
  • Main door security cameras and automation system
  • Decorative elements e.g. vases, figurine, portraits, paintings etc
  • Minor civil and plumbing jobs or alterations
  • Curtains and blinds etc in bedrooms, balcony and other applicable areas
  • Rugs and carpets for the living/dining space and may be bedrooms

As these items are highly subjected to individual customers preferences, it’s better to keep them separate. Consider anywhere between 1-2% of the total preliminary budget to cover these expenses.

Above and on top, you have to consider the other optional expenses. For instance, new appliances and utilities like Air conditioner, Fans, Kitchen chimney, cooking hobs, microwave etc.

Over to you

Estimating the costs and expenses for a home interior designing project can be overwhelming. Guess work usually does not work. After all, you don’t really want to get into a situation where you allocate too little money. Especially when you could have allocated a little more and got the better quality finish and materials. At the same time, you would not like to over budget the project. Because then you may end up spending more than needed to design and furnish your home.

There is no limit to expenses, and you can spend as much as you have in designing and decorating your home. Thankfully, there are ways to calculate preliminary interior design expenses and make a realistic budget for your projects as discussed above.

If you are gearing up for a home interior design project, you can use one of these techniques to make a preliminary budget for your project. And then when you meet your interior designer, you can further work and refine the budget and make it work for you.

What other method do you think one should consider making an initial interior design project budget? Share your tips and ideas by commenting below.

And as always if you have any question on budgeting then do comment and I will try and help!!

Happy home decorating!!

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By Editorial Team

The editorial team at Houseyog is a team of experts led by Jay Narayan Prasad with over a decade of experience in designing beautiful homes and spaces. We have been designing modern, space-optimized, functional and aesthetic buildings and homes for over a decade. And, Houseyog has become the fastest-growing platform for all things architecture and design.