Exterior 3D Rendering Costs for Buildings & Company Service Rates for Houses

3d exterior rendering services

What are exterior 3D rendering costs for buildings and company service rates for houses? Architectural rendering showcases the design ideas and highlights the best features of a house in pictures. Exterior perspective is the most popular type of home visualization as it provides contextual information about where the building is located, its size, the architectural style, and anything else that may positively affect the property’s curb appeal.

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Exterior visualization is almost similar to landscape rendering. The former ensures that the main building is the focal point of the scenery; the latter focuses on the surrounding greenery, hardscapes, and adjacent buildings while still including at least a partial view of the main house. Most exterior renderings are done in a photorealistic style, with lifelike details as if they were the works of professional photographers.

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In the United States, depending on the level of detail, a single exterior rendering of a house can cost from $200 to $1,000 or more. It is improbable that a 3D rendering firm or freelancer will offer standard pricing because each project is always different from the next. A render artist cannot produce an accurate quote without seeing the project brief beforehand.

Pricing Method

There are only two reasonable pricing strategies in the industry:

Per-image pricing:

The firm charges a fixed price per image. Render artists typically ask the client to provide the project details, including the number of images required. Based on that information, they can make a rough estimate of the total cost. Some artists offer discounts for bulk orders.

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Per-project pricing:

If the client has a large project involving multiple exterior rendering designs of a range of properties, it might be a good idea to opt for a per-project pricing strategy. The actual cost per image is lower with this pricing method, but there can be a minimum number of orders for a project to qualify.

While it is true that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to architectural visualization, a high price doesn’t always guarantee a quality result. Many render artists boast an extensive portfolio on their websites, but a long list of images doesn’t mean anything unless you can verify that it is their work.

What affects the price?

A variety of factors can affect the price of an exterior rendering, including:

Scope of work

The level of detail and overall quality dictate the scope of work. The process of exterior rendering requires at least three professionals in the team: the project manager, the render artist, and the post-processing artist. If you’re working with a freelancer instead of a rendering firm, one person may cover those roles. Either way, the most significant portion of the total price covers the labor cost. The rendering process follows a simple sequence: creating the 3D model design of the exterior, applying textures and colors, setting up the lighting and viewing angle, and post-processing. Every step adds more layers of detail, and a photorealistic visualization involves much more work than a cartoon-like drawing.

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Rendering time

The time it takes to create the render depends on file size and level of realism. For example, the amount and direction of light (and shadows) are crucial in determining how realistic the render is. The various elements in the scene, such as water, vegetation, clouds, and the horizon, may also require specific post-processing. Every single additional object in the frame calls for extra time. The standard resolution for an exterior 3D rendering is 2K, although some render artists can give 4K resolution too. A higher-resolution render supplies more vivid detail but takes longer to process.


Many firms are willing to complete your project more quickly for an additional fee. Rendering a standard resolution exterior visualization requires a high-powered computer; if you need the job done faster, the firm has the option to process the image on a render farm, also for a fee. A render farm is a cluster of high-performance computers explicitly designed to process computer-generated images. It is a premium service for anybody needing faster rendering time. The cost to “borrow” the computing power necessary to speed up the rendering process is billed to the client. 

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The post-processing job is one of the most significant differences between cheap and quality exterior rendering. Even if two rendered images of the same property are processed using the same software and settings, they don’t always look identical because of the post-processing treatments. Post-processing is done in a photo manipulation program, such as Photoshop or Gimp, to fine-tune the brightness, white balance, contrast, saturation, and related parameters.

A skillful artist can complete the process quickly. The main idea is to blend the colors and textures as naturally as possible into the surrounding environment, creating a photograph-like rendering. It helps smooth rough edges and polishes the details to make the render even more lifelike.

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Some notes

A price range of $200 to $1000 leaves a massive gap in the middle, but only because there are countless render firms and freelancers offering services, each with a unique approach. Regardless of the prices quoted, consider the following factors when making the final decision.

  • Provide a clear description of the project. It does not matter if you have to write down a lengthy project brief as long as it contains all the relevant information about the job. Take the time and effort to discuss the work with potential firms so that you can elaborate even more about the project and answer their questions.
  • A professional render artist will not shy away from asking a lot of questions as well. It is better to have a long discussion before the project than a back-and-forth Q&A session for revision. Responsive communication and prompt responses are signs of a good company willing to go the extra mile to deliver the desired results.
  • Be careful of any render artist who tries to sell a decent quality image for impossibly low prices. Cross-question the artist about their previous record too.

The difference between a $500 exterior render and a $1200 image may not be easily visible to the naked eye. What lies behind the image, including communication practices, completion time, and quality control, is as essential as a result and deserves to be appreciated. 

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How Cad Crowd can help

Suppose you are interested in 3D rendering services for your next 3D architectural project. In that case, we will connect you with a freelancing professional we know and trust to assist you in making your design come to life with 3D rendering. To find out more about pricing, contact us with your design goals, and we will provide you with a free quote!