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RE: Retaining wall fees

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> Jason,
> I do agree with your summary as this is how I generally design. I have one
> exception, the software I use - RetainPro is IMO an excellent tool and the
> design that I submit is site specific to the project based upon whatever
> restrictions are submitted to me by the client from a geotechnical (soils)
> report or by the civil engineer who prepared the grading plans but who did
> not want to provide the calculations for the walls.

I did not mean to criticize your specific design methodology, rather use
your case as a general example where relatively low fees are more than
adequate.  Although, re-reading my message, it could be interpreted as
criticism, so I apologize.

Also, I don't discount useful software in any way.  If your firm does a lot
of retaining wall design then something like RetainPro or CRSI's "Wall"
program can save lots of time and money, both in design and detailing.

Here's another example where higher fees are required:  The last CIP
retaining wall I worked on was for a city road project.  The design itself
was fairly simple - only 2 different reinforcing configurations.   But the
plan layout was more complex.  Also, the client wanted full plan and
elevation views including all dimensions, wall steps, curve data, top of
wall and footing elevations, offsets from road centerline, references to
utilities, control joints, concrete and backfill quantities, complete bar
list (including bending diagrams), and complete specifications (1/2" thick).
The contract required that everything have multiple checks and back-checks
by different people.  This required more fee than a few hundred dollars, but
it was agreed upon at the start exactly what was required and what the fee
would be.

Personally, I'd rather do it your way.  Let the contractor figure out how
many cubic yards of concrete he needs to buy.

Jason Kilgore
Leigh & O'Kane, LLC
Kansas City, Missouri

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