Have you ever had a big home project and considered whether you should hire a professional company or try to do it yourself? I have many personal experiences making the wrong decision in that situation, only to make my life more difficult in the end.
Can I lay concrete for my patio myself? Well, no, but I feel like I could learn quickly. Should I? Definitely not. This decision mirrors the business decision to outsource some of your work to various other companies or individuals – particularly those projects that require very particular skills.
It is easy to assume that your company can take care of almost any project, but there are frequently times when you encounter a task that no one has dealt with before or has the skills to handle. You are left with a couple of options – just like in our DIY scenario above.
You can do either one of two things: become capable of doing the project in-house by teaching someone the necessary tools or hiring someone who has them. Or you can outsource the project by hiring someone external to the company. But who should you hire in that situation? Do you want to bring in a design firm or find a freelancer unassociated with a larger firm?
The decision of whether to bring in a design firm or to find a talented CAD freelancer for a 3D visualization project will impact several factors in your project, so it is crucial to make an informed decision. There are positives and negatives to each choice, so the more informed you are about your project requirements and the things each designer can bring to the table, the better off you will be. Let’s examine five factors to consider when deciding between a 3D modeling freelancer and a design firm for a 3D visualization project.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing between a 3D Visualization Freelancer and a Design Firm
1. Flexibility and Availability
One of the most significant differences between a freelancer and a design firm is the flexibility and availability they offer. Hiring a freelancer provides quite a bit of both of these aspects.
First and foremost, their availability is much higher than a design firm for several reasons. The pool of freelancers in the market today is vast and growing. Because of this, you will be able to seek out talent that is readily available and gain access to it quickly.
You can peruse through a catalog of any number of designers (Cad Crowd has thousands of CAD services professionals, for instance) to select precisely that for which you’re looking. You can find a designer who has immediate availability so you can start your project today.
Additionally, this database of product design services offers the availability of a large number of technical skills. Not only do you have numerous individuals readily available, but you also have a wealth of skillsets and technological tools available from which to choose. If you know you want someone who is competent in a specific design program, you can find them at the ready for you to work with.
The availability of a design firm is limited. Working with a design firm typically means coordinating with their numerous other projects and clients.
Because they source multiple different clients at a time, they tend to control their demand a bit more rigidly and can dictate when they work on projects, instead of giving you, the customer, more control of when they begin and deliver your project.
Also, once you select a design firm, you are limited to what technical tools they offer. They may have a breadth of resources at their disposal, but they are just as likely to focus on one area. If you realize later that you want the project completed in a different program, or have the design added in another format, they won’t be willing to hire someone else to make that happen.
A freelancer gives you the capacity to utilize additional help if needed, for small pieces of the project, so you can add on whatever other technical tools you need.
In addition to the initial availability, most design firms will stick to rigid hours. There is little to no work done on the project outside of business hours, and because of this, they can’t or won’t address any emergencies until the next business day.
CAD freelancers set their hours and are open and available to work around the clock. This availability only benefits your company and helps to meet the deadlines you have.
2. Technical Capacity
In addition to availability, you will want to consider what technical ability and tools come with your designer. This may be something you have considered before the project begins, so you know exactly what you need.
In fact, Cad Crowd has articles on how to start projects and what considerations are needed, including the technology that will be most useful for the project. With that in mind, you can go and find a design firm or freelancer to complete the project in that software.
Now, who has the most technical ability? A design firm offers some benefits here, and a freelancer offers others. With both avenues, they likely have a strict set of tools and skills into which you can tap to get your project completed, but they have a different breadth.
A design firm offers more breadth than an individual freelancer due to the fact that they will have multiple employees and will likely use several different platforms for their work consistently.
There is more flexibility between systems when you use a design firm since they can switch between different programs and software packages that are used internally.
However, the flip side of that is that these design firms are limited to what they use in house. If there is a program that is beyond their purview, they will not be able to offer you solutions using it – even if it is something that you specifically requested or desired.
A 3D rendering freelancer, being a sole individual, will be more limited in their skillset. It is a tall task to ask a person to know all the available software packages and design programs for your 3D visualization project. However, when you are performing your search, you can handpick the freelancer with the skills you seek.
If you are looking for a combination of several obscure systems, you can find a designer with that specific skill set. Beyond that, if you come to a point in the project when you realize you may need a skillset that your freelancer lacks, you have a high degree of to hire an additional freelancer to make up the difference.
This factor may be the biggest one for many people, especially smaller firms trying to figure out how to best spend their money. Everyone’s eyes light up when the topic of saving money is raised, and this is an excellent opportunity to do just that.
One of the most significant advantages of using a freelance designer is, obviously, the money. Because they are pared down and don’t require office space, additional employees, and other overhead, they can charge significantly less than an established design firm for the same work.
A traditional design firm has, as mentioned, a lot of overhead for which to compensate. Many of the benefits that were laid out above become hindrances when talking financially. What if you don’t need a company that knows ArchiCAD, SolidWorks, and AutoDesk Suite programs?
If you know that you’ll be working exclusively in ArchiCAD for this project, a design firm still charges the same because they have to pay the employees that know the other programs, and they have to maintain their subscriptions to those software packages. This causes unnecessary financial burden when you know that you aren’t going to use the rest of that firm’s offerings.
A freelance ArchiCAD designer, however, will charge you for the work of an individual. They are offering you their services as a sole proprietorship, so you are only paying for the skills that they have, which is something you hand-selected before entering a working partnership with them. Essentially, with a freelancer, you choose what you pay, and often, you set a specific budget for the project as a whole, preventing you from worrying about additional fees.
On top of all of that, you’re also getting a reduced rate for speed and flexibility. Because most freelancers work on a per-project basis, they will try and finish projects quickly, because that ensures them more money. They will also work longer and more flexible hours to get these tasks done, which means your project will likely be done faster than with a traditional design firm.
4. Contracts and Legal Considerations
On the flip side of the numerous financial benefits offered by a freelance architectural 3D modeler, a design firm has a significant advantage in terms of liability and legal contracts. You want to believe that everyone you work with is an upstanding citizen and will abide by contracts, ensuring that everything is above board and you are absolved of liability.
However, this is not always the case. One of the paramount considerations when working with external contractors and firms is to ensure they are properly vetted and will provide honest work that will not leave your company liable for any damages.
A traditional design firm has this sort of liability built-in. They are existing, accredited businesses that have to stand by legal contracts and laws. When they hire their employees, everyone is sent through background checks and evaluations to make sure they are capable of doing the work they are being asked and are genuinely certified and accredited like they say they are.
In addition to this, most design firms will have standardized forms and contracts that are legally binding and reduce liability on all parties for the designs created, absolving you of most of the risk for your project. All in all, from a legal standpoint, it is safer to go with an established design firm, and that makes complete sense. In fact, that is one of the main reasons these design firms retain such a solid foothold in the current marketplace.
With a freelancer, the onus is on you when you hire them to do your due diligence and ensure that their qualifications and certifications check out. You may also take on a degree of liability in terms of the quality of their work, which is something you certainly want to avoid.
Finally, there are potential legal complications with intellectual property, as you will need to clearly define who owns the ideas used in the design, ensuring that you don’t lose property that is truly your company’s. The difficult issue is that this burden is on you with the freelancer. The vast majority of these freelancers will be above board, but it is up to you typically to weed them out.
The final consideration is quality. This is another area that gives design firms an advantage over freelancers, if only because of the ease of verification of quality. The quality of a design firm is easily visible because they have expansive portfolios and recommendations from other firms with which they have worked.
Because there are fewer design firms, your company typically heard about them from another company or friend who has used them, and therefore their reputation has spread all on its own. It is easy to check on the references, because design firms are used by other large companies, and you get in contact with them easily.
A freelancer, however, is at a disadvantage here. They are responsible for self-promoting and ensuring that their name is heard to generate business. Because of this, there is a potential of aggrandizement of their accomplishments or embellishment of the portfolio. You, as the business owner, need to ensure that the project is completed with the highest level of quality available, so you must verify that the freelancer’s quality is up to snuff.
Once again, in this situation, with a freelancer, the burden of proof is on you, the hiring party, instead of on the company or the references. That makes your job more difficult, which is the opposite task that you wish to accomplish.
Certainly, the references for a freelancer may be as readily available as those for a large design firm, and they may have been recommended by a friend or colleague, but there is less reliability for an individual like this, and so, once again, you must do your due diligence.
Additionally, the vast number of freelancers out there makes it difficult to find the one with the highest quality for the price you’re paying. You have to sift through and find the best solution, which sounds tedious, and will only make your job harder.
These five things are the primary considerations when it comes to hiring a freelance designer or a design firm for your 3D visualization project. There are other things you can consider, but it boils down to these things in general. For the most part, there are essential factors around quality and legality that counterbalance the benefits of price and flexibility.
Cad Crowd Can Help You with These Issues
Fortunately, Cad Crowd solves those issues. Because of exactly these potential issues, Cad Crowd formed its database of freelancers with an eye out for the customer.
Every designer is certified and must undergo background checks to be accepted onto the site. Their references are verified, and they are updated with each project that is completed through Cad Crowd, giving you a living database that adapts to ensure the highest quality individuals are doing your work.
Additionally, non-compete agreements and intellectual property contracts are mandatory, meaning your work is safe and legally protected when hiring a freelancer through Cad Crowd, removing the largest obstacles in your way.
Cad Crowd offers verified and trusted professionals to complete projects for your company. They are professionally vetted and ready to hire on-demand so that there will be no delay when starting your next project. They offer everything from 3D visualization to architectural design and drafting services and much more, meaning you can accomplish any type of CAD project your company needs.
Take the stress out of your hands by selecting a designer through Cad Crowd. The benefits are obvious, and you won’t have to stitch together some do it yourself solution that won’t look half as good as what a professional can offer you. Learn how it works.