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Typically, in situations such as these I have included a base price for
each model depending on the bottom line figure for engineering each
model.  What tends to happen with each model is that several options are
designed to offer customization for different homeowners.  Because of
the urgency of constructing the models in order to sell the homes the
Architect and/or Owner will not have given much thought into what these
options will include.  A lot of times, I will include a flat fee per
option; $250 per option with each model having 5 different options such
as adding floor space over a clerestory or a fireplace nook and so on
will add up to $1250.  There are many times when the cost of doing many
options will result in more work and a higher price than the base model

As to the re-use fee.  It is standard industry practice to charge a set
amount for having to re-permit additional structures with the same
drawings.  This price is determined by the cost of your liability
insurance, the cost for reprinting, the time for any minor modifications
(such as adding or removing options), the cost of construction
assistance (if included), shop drawing review and finally the most
important is your profit.  If your permitting organization is one who
requires a "wet seal" (original) then it is easy for you to get the
re-use fee.  The Architect will require the structural documents to be
sealed in order to permit the building.  Where it gets tricky is when
some municipalities will allow a "master" permit which does not require
the builder to submit complete permit packages for each individual
house.  You will never get a re-use fee once the project has been master
permitted.  If they wish to retain your services for construction
assistance, I suggest that you charge time and material for all work
done on residences built under the master permit.  This will allow you
to recoup the lost fees for liability.

Of course another option is to calculate what the total liability for
the community will be and add it into the front end of your contract.  I
believe the master permitting process is proven to be a quicker process
for obtaining additional building permits.  Ultimately it is the
professional consultants who are hurt by this process.  The EOR is still
on the hook for the liability of the future projects without getting any
chance to review the permit submittal sets for discrepancies, errors, or

-----Original Message-----
From: DOLORES (DOLLY) TRIVIZ [mailto:dktriviz(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 1999 4:48 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)

I would like some input from engineers out there on how I should put
together a price quote for an architect doing residential semi-custom
The typical package would consist of providing engineering services for
or five house models (ranging in size upt to 5000sf each) which would be
built in one community, but each model may be repeated a number of
How do you account for the engineer's liability for every house built
one of these plans (a reuse fee??)  The architect would not have the
permission to use these plans for any other community.  How should these
provisions be specified in the contract, and how can I safeguard myself
against such unlicensed reuse??

Thanks for your response,
Dolly Triviz