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Fwd: Re: Pricing Tracts or duplicate designs

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Dennis S. Wish PE wrote:
> I have the opportunity to bid a low income multi-unit residential
> complex. The design consists of five buildings of similar floor plan
> (slight modification to the layout, but probably not the structural
> framing plans) and two others of similar layout.
> I need some help in pricing the project. I don't want a dollar figure,
> but I want to know what to expect for the duplicate designs. What is
> my services worth as a percentage of the full design?
> Example:
> Unit's A:
> 10 Apartments @ 920 square feet each. Two story fairly well stacked
> (shearwalls). Type V construction with plywood floors with possible
> lightweight concrete topping.  Slab on grade.
> Level compacted construction site - soil: sand mix 1500 psi bearing
> allowed.
> Again, I'm not looking for a price, but want to know whether to charge
> 10%, 20% or ?% of fee's for each additional structure.
> Some thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
> Sincerely
> Dennis Wish PE

You should charge as much as you possibly can and still get the
project.  If you charge too much, the client might be tempted to go get
other prices from other engineers. If you charge too little, you won't
have enough money do to a quality job.  Try and feel the client out and
see if there is a number he is looking for.  We somethimes go in a
little high at first, and then have room to adjust down a little if
necessary.  This has backfired on us a few times, but not too many. 
Sometimes, if they think your fee is too high, they don't even bother
asking you to review your fee, they just go get more prices.  But
usually when we are asked for a fee, it is becuase they really want to
work with us.  If they balk at your first fee, ask them point blank,
"what fee is necessary for us to get the job."  We are generally can
work with the number they give us.  If not, we tell them why we feel
their fee is inadequate.  At that point, they have to decide.  In my
opinion, this is the only way we should be charging our fee, buy getting
as much as the client is willing to pay.  All other considerations are
minor.  Sometimes, if we are trying to establish a new relationship with
a client, we will intentionally go in with a low fee, but that is rare.

Good Luck!


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Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team

The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
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