How do you price out the job for a client? By the square foot, hour, project, complexity, something else?
A. i never charge by the sq foot or hour > anymore, i did when i first started doing projects first out
of architectural school mainly because i didn't know how long a project would take.
after many projects and lot's of years, i had files on all different kinds of projects
and had a good idea how long it took me to draw a particular project and all the meetings
with clients, contractors, building dept, planning dept, and community design meetings.
btw, these first projects were on "the BOARD" (drafting board)
after i got into cad and learned it and felt comfortable with it,
i started charging a "FLAT FEE" and clients all loved doing it this way because they
knew what the final design fee with documents would cost.
i guess in certain parts of the country a lot of fees are determined by the sq. foot.
i've never done this way.
one problem with an hourly fee is 2 very good designers may draw at very different speeds.
they both might give you a top notch design but one might take 10 times as long for
the same hourly rate, i'm kidding about the 10 times as long but you get the idea.
a lot also has to do with how others in your area charge for design and con docs.
Do you break the project fee(s) into phases ie., 1. preliminary design 2. working drawings?
i break the total fee into 4 parts and get the same amount for each part.
1. preliminary / conceptual design
note: i get 25% before i draw one line on the paper.
and another 25% about 1/2 thru the total design phase
and another 25% at the end of the design phase
and right before i start on the construction documents.
this way i get 75% before i start construction documents.
this is really what their paying me for > the design
if they want to hire someone who can do the construction documents
for less money. than so be it. at least i got 75%
sure, they could say i'm not paying you the 3rd - 25% and i could
say "i'm not giving you or your draftsman, the construction documents"
i have that clear in the contract.
i also state "CLEARLY" in the contract what i do and what i don't do.
this is really important.
i usually email the client progress prints so they can print them up.
btw, i've never been screwed by a client "Except" for one who
owed me $ 400 at end of project. i said to spend it and be happy.
btw, my flat fee also is in line with a 3-5 % fee of the total construction cost.
btw, i also includes the complexity of the project and the slope of the lot.
architects around here generally charge 10% and sometimes more.
we have to hire structural engineers, sometimes a civil engineer
and usually a soils engineer.