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RE: Engineering compensation

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Paul,
I think Gerry was being somewhat cynical and sarcastic on the issue - pure
frustration. Another "cynical" way to look at it is that many of us should
underbid the bottom feeders - just to make sure the job is done correctly
and the quality of the work is appropriate. I had a client walk in two years
ago who was building his own home. The drawings he had were the worst I had
seen. He was going to rely upon a builder who I knew would do a terrible job
and the client was building is first home - a 1250 s.f. starter home on a
low income or lower middle income. He maxed himself out and wanted my advise
as to what he needed to do to insure that he his home would be built as well
as possible. He understood that if the details did not exist, the contractor
under prescriptive methods, could do almost anything he wanted and this
included cutting every corner he could.

I drew up all the details and revised his plans with good specification,
notes and cross referenced details. I charged him less than $500.00 for what
I would have charged $2,500.00 to any other client. I wanted to make sure he
was not a victim of poor performance and high repair costs in the event of
an earthquake. In return, his wife and child dropped off a large box of
fruit (dates, figs etc.) along with a letter thanking me for what I had done
for his family.

My goal was to make sure his home was safe and although I could have told
him I was busy or not interested, someone had to do it and only one thing
mattered - the welfare of his family.

I think that this is what Gerard was really acknowledging.

Regards,
Dennis

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Feather [mailto:pfeather(--nospam--at)san.rr.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 7:06 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: Re: Engineering compensation
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Gerard Madden" <GMadden(--nospam--at)mplusl.com>
> To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 5:34 PM
> Subject: RE: Engineering compensation
>
>
>
> I hear ya loud and clear on the fees issue. Sometimes I think it is better
> to do a lousy job and charge low fees because those guys always get the
> jobs - especially in low-rise commercial. Architects want it all for
> themselves.
>
> Take care,
> -Gerry
>
>
>
>
> This is something I just cannot accept.  It is never "better" to lower
> yourself to the level of general incompetence.  These are the
> same attitudes
> that produce the garbage drawings referred to in the plancheck thread.
> Architects who employ lousy engineering firms based on bottom dollar
> eventually get what they deserve, plancheck delays, construction delays,
> unhappy clients, litigation, and loss of future work.
>
> Engineers need to learn that we pick our clients as much as they
> pick us.  I
> have several architectural firms I simply will not work with because they
> either want everything for nothing, or produce such low quality
> work product
> I don't want to be associated with them.  I have not seen a decline in my
> gross billings as a result, in fact quite the opposite.  If you fill your
> schedule with low fee work you have lost the opportunity to pursue quality
> clients.
>
> I would rather spend my day at the golf course, or close my
> practice, before
> I would allow myself to feel pressured into producing sub-standard work.
>
> Paul Feather
>
>
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