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MJ, Executive
Category: Job
Satisfied Customers: 744
Experience:  Firm's Hiring Director/Studio Manager, former Career Prep Center Teacher
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how do you charge for travel time I will be traveling 2 hours

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how do you charge for travel time? I will be traveling 2 hours each way (4 hrs) with approx. 1 hour of shopping time tomorrow. My client will be driving (known her since 1996) This is the 5th house I'll be working on.
I live in Winter Park, Fl (Orlando) area
Hello and thank you for your question.

As an architect and interior designer, I run into this dilemna all the time.
Basically there are four ways to go:
1. bill your regular hourly rate for the travel time.
2. bill the travel time at 1/2 of your regular rate (or in other words bill only half the travel time)
3. build travel time into your base fee and do not bill the client separately for it
4. a combination of these, where you do not bill for travel within a certain radius

There are pros and cons to any of these, but ideally how you deal with travel time should be covered in your initial proposal or contract. If you have not broached this issue previously with your client in any way, then I would suggest that in this particular case you consider not billing for the travel time.

Usually I use a combination of #2 and #4 above, in a situation where I'm billing the client by the hour for design services. I do not bill for any travel within 30 miles of my office, and I bill half of the travel time for anything beyond this.
But, if it is a project on which I'm not billing hourly (i.e. it's a set fee or a percentage of the construction contract) then I include travel in the fee and do not bill travel time - though I would bill mileage if I am driving.

Some clients may see billing for travel as "nickle and diming" them - particular if they haven't worked much with people in the design professions before. Designers do often bill for travel, but consultants in other fields don't usually unless they can work while they travel (i.e. if they can get work done on the plance or train or whatever.)

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Thank you.
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