How much will it cost?

More often than not, in the first minutes of conversation, clients ask, “how much will it cost?” before we even know what they want built into their project model. There is no fast and simple answer to this question. Each client and scale model project is unique.

There are a lot of fixed elements and tangible variables that go into building a scale model. As simply beautiful as the finished scale model appears, developing a fair, reasonable and accurate price estimate can get a bit tricky, and sometimes, pricey.

Fixed and Variable Scale Model Costs

Most model’s costs depend on a number variables: the type of model, scale of the model, base size, the amount of design detail, special effects and crating. Once we define the design of the model, the least inexpensive parts of building a model are the materials used to build it. Other fixed costs included in the equation are the management, facilities, supplies and equipment required to assemble them. The single most expensive variable cost in building a scale model is the time our expert model builders take to create and assemble all the parts.

Case Study: Mass model to full detail Guidelines

The amount of detail needed to show off your project to your clients will be the overriding factor affecting the price of your model. Simple mass models, showing fewer details on structures and in landscape, are often all you need. When the model is used to show height variations or building density, there is no need to put on all of the surface detail that would drive up the cost.

On the other hand, a model used for marketing and sales may need to illustrate and accentuate detail. Colors, textures, seasonal climate and lighting effects all influence a client’s decision whether to buy. The size and scale of your model affect the price, too. In a showroom setting allow about three feet of space for people to circulate around the model. If the model is traveling to various locations specialized crates are built to fit in order to safely move and present the model with ease.

Examples Rough Model Pricing: All these factors considered, small site development topo tables 3X3’ up to 4X6’ with the site, landscaping and mass models to show location and density may cost between $3K and $12K. Elaborate showroom or review process models for commercial properties, residential lofts, residential housing, mixed use or resorts range from $25k to $45k.*

*Note: these are rough estimates and guidelines.

The Basics for a Model Estimate

All we need from you are architectural site plans, elevations and renderings to give you a definitive bid or estimate. Any plans on hand? Our estimates are free!

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