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Re: Design fee guidelines

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I do believe working for architects lowers structural fee.  Frequently,
architects will work for glory than as a business and thus sharing their low
fees with us necessitate choosing a structural consultant based on lowest fee,
not competence.

Whenever I can, I encourage my architect clients to omit structural fees in
the contract with their client.  This way, the architect doesn't pay our fees
and frees them from choosing a structural consultant solely on lowest fee.
Frequently, an architect will recommend to the client to sign me up even
though my fee wasn't the lowest. 

For new custom homes, 1.0 - 1.5% of total estimated construction cost or $1.5
-- 1.75/s.f.    seems reasonable based on amount of hours we normally spend.
But lately, we been losing projects at this rate. 

Recently, I bid couple of commercial projects (not repetitive type like tilt-
ups) based on 1% of total construction cost (excluding site prep. work) and
lost both times to large and established firms.  The architect told me the
fees he received and they were in the 3/4% range.

Brad Smith