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Re: Idyllwild?--charging for Initial Site Visits?

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Ralph,
I tell new customers I charge to show up at the door-nothing else is 
included and any advice, letter, etc, will be extra. In the city of 
Niagara Falls (any point within 15 mins)$100, nearby towns say 20-25 
min drive $150 and so on.  It is harder with companies as they need 
to get authorization so I make exceptions in their case if they are a 
reputable organization. I try to keep it reasonable so as to not 
drive potential customers away.
Gary


On 8 Sep 2005 at 10:41, Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 9/7/05 12:29:44 PM, dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net writes:
> > He would like to meet with the engineer on the site to go over the
> history > of the project and the scope of work. > I don't work in the
> Idyllwild area, but I'm curious how other engineers handle fees (or
> not) for an initial visit to a site to scope out a project.   (I'm
> talking about residential addition & remodelings, such as this cabin
> remodel sounds like.)   Do you charge or consider it marketing?   I
> realize that such a visit could involve just meeting the potential
> client and seeing that the situation is so you're able to submit a
> proposal for your services, but more often--almost invariably--it
> becomes a professional consultation, where I evaluate the existing
> structural conditions, make general recommendations for the direction
> the project should go, etc.   In other words I almost always provide a
> lot of useful structural guidance for the owner.   I dislike doing
> that for free, since it's often a half-day down the drain, and I
> dislike the idea that someone could call up a few engineers and get a
> *lot* of useful/valuable information without putting out a penny.   Of
> course many owners are unwilling to pay for such services.   (By the
> way IF I charge I *always* do it on a Fixed Fee basis, so there's no
> quibbling about minutes, and it's generally in the $200 - 500 range.  
> Remember this is the San Francisco Bay Area.   YMMV)   
> 
> When questioned about charging for such visits--"contractors do it for
> free!"--I ask if they're able to get several doctors to come to their
> house, examine them, and make a proposal for how they'd cure you--for
> free--and *then* you decide which one you'll hire as your MD.   Or I
> sometimes factiously ask if they take bids to find the cheapest brain
> surgeon for their wife.    :) 
> 
> Obviously this is all about what the market allows.   
> 
> Just curious what others do, 
> 
> Ralph
> 



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