Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

RE: Fee Information Sharing

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
I absolutely agree! There is another factor too, the shortage of engineers
in the market relative to the demand. That should push up prices as well.
Steve Strapac

-----Original Message-----
From: chuckuc [mailto:chuckuc(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 1999 7:22 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Fee Information Sharing

I've done a small survey of residential engineering design fees here in
Marin Co.
and would like to compare notes. These are large two or three story homes
($400,000 to $1,000,000+)on sloped sites with pier and grade beam
Engineering time is billed in the $100 to $150 per hour range.   Structural
design fees run around $1.50 to $1.75 per square foot (the 97 UBC seismic
to have added about an extra $.25 to $.50). Structural drawings add another
to $.35.  Trussed roofs knock off about $500.

     Most engineers don't seem to be very comfortable about discussing fees
(either in large companies or private practice).  I was fascinated by the
about an engineering firm that suggested that the local Building Department
enforce the current code provisions. IMHO we should be encouraging local
CBO's to
fully enforce code provisions. In my forensic work I've seen a pretty wide
of quality in analyses, but only on rare occasions has it sunk to the level
negligence.  ( I also suspect our standards and level of scrutiny are much
than for other  professionals.) Everyone is better off when the Buiding
do a thorough job of plan check and inspection, we ought to do what we can
assist the process.

    Comparing our fee/liability situation with attorneys it seems like we
underpricing our services.  Attorneys bill T&M, make no promises about the
outcome of their work, bill for research, and often do very poor work--but
try to
find a good one who will work for $100 per hour.  They aren't smarter or
trained than engineers, and they seem to be a glut on the market, but they
make a
lot more money with less liability.  Is it because they are better
promoters?  It
would seem that now that everybody is busy, and with the new code
provisions, we
should be raising our billing rates.  If people don't want to pay engineers
design their homes, they can live in simple rectangular boxes that conform
Conventional framing requirements.  Instead of complaining about how poorly
carpenters are building, why not push for better inspections?

    I haven't opened this thread as an invitation to whine about how abused
are.  If other professions are better compensated, that's our fault not
Lately, society seems to be more aware of the importance of  building's
structural integrity.  It seems like now is a good time for a substantial
increase in rates.  Comments?
Chuck Utzman, P.E.