Like all marketing and sales tools, 3D renders and architectural visualization in general come at a cost. It’s a cost you might be tempted to skip, particularly on a tight budget, without understanding the money-saving benefits.
3D renders keep the architect, builder and client on the same page. Everyone involved is speaking the same language because they’re looking at a home or building as a finished product, not just a concept. 3D renders bring efficiency to the building process, and they’re likely to pay for themselves by reducing or preventing mistakes and misunderstandings.
Cutting Costs with 3D Renders
Time is money in the design and construction business. The longer you spend planning, building or trying to sell a project, the lower the profit margin will be. Specifically, here’s how 3D renders can speed up a project and conserve cash:
- Reduce design time - 3D renders allow clients to see exactly what they’re getting, in photo quality, before they sign off on a design. When what they’re seeing is literal, not just conceptual, they’re far more likely to understand and accept the design. The number of revisions is greatly reduced, and when revisions are necessary, they’re not as big of a deal. Computer images are much easier to revise than hand-drawn illustrations.
- Improve communication - 2D drawings and floor plans are great for communicating ideas between architects and builders, but they don’t always speak to the buyer. Clients can have a hard time picturing what the designs will look like in real life. With 3D renders, the client can see exactly how the structure will look, inside and out. The client is in a better position to ask the right questions and explain the changes he or she would like to see.
- Prevent change orders - Tearing something down and having to redo it is frustrating, to say the least. It throws the project budget and the schedule off track. 3D renders, particularly interactive products such as virtual tours, make it far less likely that a client will have expected double sinks where there’s one sink or decide once the crown molding has been installed that it doesn’t work. If you can prevent just one change order, the 3D render has likely paid for itself.
- Speed up the approval process - Local planning, zoning and conservation boards need a clear picture of your project to buy in. They want to know how the home, building or development fits within the lot, whether proper setbacks have been met, how it looks in the context of its surroundings and whether natural resources have been preserved, among many other things. 3D renderings make all of this easier to see. A rendering doesn’t guarantee approval, of course - local laws and ordinances dictate that - but it can speed up the process.
- Boost sales - If you’re sitting on a bunch of empty lots, you’re not making money. 3D renderings get potential homebuyers excited about the possibilities, boosting sales. Or, when you’re in a competitive situation for a commercial project, 3D renderings can provide the boost needed to make your project stand out in a sea of 2D drawings.
Prices for 3D renderings vary based on the complexity. Not surprisingly, static images that show a single view are going to be less expensive than interactive virtual tours. On average, you might pay $1,000 or so for a basic, black-and-white 3D rendering for a custom home; $2,000 to $4,000 for a full-color rendering of a large commercial project; or $3,000 to $12,000 for an interactive virtual tour that allows viewers to “walk” through a commercial project - tiny prices compared to total project costs.