Why I'm not the cheapest in town

I do what others can’t and I do it well. Sure there are actually  other people do what I do, and a few are better at it. So I’m not even close to the most expensive in town. But I’m not the cheapest either. Of course what I’m talking about here is not really about my fees- it’s about value.

One does not hire an artist to paint a portrait and simply reimburse him for his time, paints, canvas, and turpentine. You don’t hire a structural engineer and pay her for the software, charts, and rubber stamp she uses. You pay the artist for his unique vision and abilities. You pay the engineer for her education and experience. In addition to the deliverables, you pay for expertise.

A visualization is more than a pretty picture. Achieving a great image is an involved processes. Buy a cheap rendering and you may be buying a headache of poor communication and inflexibility among other things. Undertaking a visualization involves an experienced eye, and technical know-how. It’s not enough to know your software if you fail to properly align bricks with openings, for example. Likewise, knowing how to design and construct a building doesn’t give you the skills in Vray and Photoshop to produce a convincing image. There are levels and layers to a good visualization and if you’re willing to pay less, you are almost assuredly giving up something critical in return.

But fear of getting inferior work and spotty service is not good enough. Fear of their car breaking down months after driving off the lot was not enough to keep some folks from buy the Yugo back in the mid 80’s (the first example I could think of). In fact pride, more than fear, motivates the professional toward excellence. So let’s consider a more positive incentive for seeking value over mere cost.

Dealing with a professional who knows what he or she is doing saves you time. The image he will produce is, figuratively so an image of you. The quality of the work with your name on it goes beyond your reach to tell everyone who sees it that you are essentially of the same quality. Even behind the scenes a keen eye can save time and money.  I have saved builders thousands of dollars by catching design mistakes before they made it into the field.

The emotional and moral judgment you place on something directs how you spend your money. I don’t avoid cheap because I’m worried what people think of me; I just don’t feel like spending twice the money when I have to replace the inferior product I bought in the first place. Although it’s not a rule, time and experience has taught me this lesson. With a few exceptions, you get what you pay for.

So can you get it for less than $2000? Yes. Will it be as pleasant an experience and as good a product in the end? Maybe. Will you get the same results for $350? I’m going to argue, No. And while in reality the price range is probably more slender than this, it does illustrate that there is a range. I’m generally happier in the higher end of the range- with someone who demands more for their work because I tend to also demand more. I pay more for a good cup of coffee, more for better business cards, more for the guy doing the rendering of my design with my name on it.

Next: Do it yourself rendering