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Cheap Architectural Rendering studios, what they don’t tell?

This is a short guide about the danger of using cheap architectural renderings.

Architectural rendering can work for every project and client, but not for every budget. Cutting corners and scrimping on quality for a reduced price, can have unwanted consequences for your project.

Learn why cheap architectural rendering studios are not a great deal, as they don’t come cheap at the end and, more importantly, how cheap rendering can damage your reputation!

If you, as an Architect or Developer, are in search of a cheap architectural rendering provider, you should be looking to clarify a few answers before you pick up one of the many out there.

  • What do you need to achieve with having architectural rendering for your project?
  • Are you looking for an incredibly cheap service because of your budget
  • Are you aware of the potential hidden charges, mediocrity, and poor customer service coming with the “affordable” companies?
  • Have you got an idea of the number of details and quality you require for your needs?

At TALLBOX, we’ve taken the mission to provide as much as possible information and point of view on the topics about we care about and are part of our daily job. Most of them come from interaction with current and future partners and prospects.

Let’s take the typical everyday inquiry with title in the e-mail inbox: Architectural rendering needed for a project? Without text, direction or brief; only two sentences asking for costs and time and rough indication about what type of the project they’ve got.

Just by reading that title, we can roughly predict lots of things and, at the same time nothing shows us that this is a genuine inquiry. If the person or company inquiring has done their research and knows what they need exactly, things will be set at a different course.

Internet today makes things worse, but over provider information, which in most cases, 90% if incorrect and written with intent not to educate but to sell. 

Let’s get things straight:

Dedicated 3D rendering companies to quality and excellent customer service might not be able to compete with those who are on the market to sacrifice and disable the service for the sake of making a living. By itself, this is not a problem; everybody has the right to sell or work as they find better. 

What’s not right here is how badly architects, developers, and designers are informed about architectural rendering.

Before you continue reading it’s worth checking about 3D Architectural Rendering vs 2D Architectural Illustration with Examples; click Here.

Hidden costs of the cheap architectural rendering studio

he process of 3D rendering has many stages, precisely as it would be with the architectural project:

  • initial stage
  • planing and modeling
  • detailing
  • polishing
  • results

All cheap rendering companies have one thing in common; most providers structure their starting prices to be as low as possible to acquire as much as potential clients in the shortest time possible. Recouping of the discounted profit happens later during the next steps when three or many possible scenarios always happen:

  • the quality is not as advertised because of shortcuts
  • timeline is not achieved or “short.” 
  • additional charges will be applied for the next stages

All are resulting in a demand for extra payments.

Advice: Before you jump on a fantastic deal, it’s a good idea requesting full information about the process and expected results. Make sure the advertised level of quality and service is part of the deal.

Poor performance – Lack of understanding

Most of the end clients wound not be able to tell the difference between good and cheap rendering studios simply because they don’t know what to expect as a result. If your client provides the budget for rendering, one of the tasks to do is to educate them/yourself about what is that the project requires a level of quality and complexity.

Cookie-cutter catalogs

Cheap means a lot is either saved or overoptimized. Overoptimization in the world of architectural rendering means repetitions and reuse of materials. 95% of the companies recycle all of their customer’s projects into a new project by presenting the same objects, textures, and approaches. By making a decision to work with cheap rendering companies, you should be aware of the sacrifice.

Last-minute changes

Perhaps this is the biggest trick in the game of all. From our experience, last-minute changes happen to all projects. With some more experience practices, it might be only a minor change, but often the most significant problems occur to small practices or one-person army architects where they don’t have the workforce to handle all client demands prior to the deadline. 

With cheap architectural rendering, studios and last-minute changes will not work as expected, and there is a reason for that.

We have written information on How to negotiate architectural rendering projects (price guide), for the open a second page click here

Because of the way how they structure their business quantity over quality, they should continuously feed the pipeline with new projects to be able to sustain as a company.

Others will have to compensate

Imagine that you have not got the cheap 3d architectural renderings on time (which is expected, and you have predicted that). Still, because of the client’s late changes, none of the 2D drawings are ready, and at the same time, other specialists involved in the project are relying on the set of documents. Instantly this means they will need to put extra time to cover the missing details or risk to lose some of their fees.
These stories are not uncommon; delays as such often are followed by more problems or missed deadlines, which will affect the outcome and profit of your company negatively.

What options you’ve got while using cheap 3d architectural rendering services?

Not everything is lost, and despite being cheap, services as 3d architectural rendering can have a positive outcome if some of the following rules are followed.

  • prepare your brief well, don’t save anything on details, descriptions or information
  • do not expect from cheap architectural rendering studio to accomplish or complete your part of the work by guessing or providing value with additional services
  • embrace yourself with patience for mediocre results (you pay less, you get less)
  • ask them to provide you with workflow details 
  • talk to them over the phone, do not rely on e-mails only
  • check if they are not a 3rd party company which is outsourcing to another company your project, which lead to more turbulence and unpredicted results

How to spot all “black sheep” among cheap architectural rendering studios?

Not all providers will have the one idea to scam you. Most of them “suffer” from different problems as being in regions of poverty, freelancers starting, students, or 3rd party companies that aggregate teams of freelancers and use their skills to earn money by taking advantage over them.

Spotting “black sheep” is easy; you have to look for:

  • inconsistent quality in 3D architectural renderings
  • no prepayment options
  • overpromising
  • unreasonably short deadlines
  • unbelievably low fees

If you are in the hunt for cheap architectural rendering, ask your self: is it too good to be true?

FAQ on the topic of Cheap Architectural Rendering

How cheap could architectural rendering be?

There is no straight answer to this question. On a quick search online, you can discover that there are companies charging from £75 / $97 per rendering while another charge £150 / $195 and both are considered at the low end of the chain.

Can cheap architectural rendering have good quality or the image?

Quality of cheap architectural rendering can’t be explained in one sentence. The best answer will be that the resolution of an image is nothing to do with the details, colors and the quality of work, e.g cheap render can have 4K resolution and still look bad.

Why there are cheap 3D rendering companies?

Architectural rendering is like any other business and service. There are different companies with different priorities, located in different regions, skills, and understanding of the market.

Can I win architectural competitions with cheap renderings?

The answer will be short: No

The competition is fierce, and architecture practices participating in those competitions will be aiming to achieve the best possible quality of renderings to demonstrate their idea and win.

Can a cheap 3d rendering company provide quality renderings if I upgrade?

It is likely to be possible, but given the circumstances that they are ready to cut corners and sell cheap, they can’t be trusted to achieve a quality result as expected.

Curious to learn more about 3D Architectural Rendering vs 2D Architectural Illustration with Examples; click Here.

George Nicola

VIRTUAL STAGING EXPERT / After eight years+ working in high-end design and property business I realised that we are missing a critical part of the property business. We were not providing enough value to these old and empty properties. Not every buyer would have the opportunity to see the potential of vacant property or in a bad state. The idea of Virtual Furniture Staging the property gives the buyer and seller an incredible chance in seconds of taking the critical decision.
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