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Re: Masonry Storage Facilities - fees!

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Dead simple buildings where I do the whole structure for commercial purposes tend to go through my office in the $1.25 / sf range if I'm the designer of record. I don't do too many total packages, as I'll only undertake simple buildings (single use, M, B, A-3, usually within the unmodified area limits).  PEMBs tend to be about half to two-thirds that, since I'm not involved with any structure above the slab level.  I'll do a cover with code check, fire protection plan (evac, essentially), foundation, framing/roof, and 4 elevations. No MEP, no schedules, materials, or finishes - just a box. 

Remember, though, that I'm in a low-force environment - 90MPH wind, Seismic design cat C, 25-30psf snow load. Nothing special.

As for discussing fees, I don't see why not, though I wouldn't even suggest a range. If we make our fees public, and then end up charging nearly the same amount for similar work, so be it. If we were to all tacitly agree on an exact number, with only a few bottom feeders undercutting by a bit, then we'd be real estate agents ;-). Since I price most of my jobs by the hour, I find pricing interesting if for no other reason than I can see how I am performing (in dollar terms) in relation to my peers. If I'm way above, I'm probably charging too much per hour or working too slowly (or wasting too much time on seaint). If I'm below, then I know I'm being efficient, and I might get a raise next year (yeah, I know..doubtful).

Jordan

Dennis S. Wish, PE wrote:
I am seeking a range of fees that are appropriate to charge for a one story or two story masonry storage facilities. I have a potential client that wants to build one of these facilities in the desert. Soil is no problem in this area (no flood zone or expansive clays) and this would be constructed with a wood diaphragm with the purpose of selling it. It is a development only.
I have been asked to provide engineering services but have not seen the design yet. I assume it is an open garage type spaces that are accessed through a security gate for leasing. I would assume the interior partitions are masonry to provide sufficient fire protection. The roof is, I assume, wood trusses, composition roofing and possibly some kind of finish at the roof similar to a light weight concrete to prevent or make access difficult. While it may only be a wood diaphragm with composition roofing as I suspect, I am seeking an idea of the fees others have charged for such a project.
Please e-mail me privately if you feel uncomfortable discussing fees on the list. My feeling is that the discussion of fees is completely honest and ethical or else all other services would not be competing in services so closely ranged in fees. Lawyers and Doctors have a range of fees that are all similar to their competition - they must have discussed this. Auto mechanics work from a book of fees for services performed in order to standardize the fee's charge in the field and this seems ethical. Architects have established a given percentage of the construction costs to compete with and this too must have been discussed. After reading the discussion of the time back in the 70's or early 80's when SEAOC (I don't recall if this was one chapter or included the entire state chapter) was taken to court for fee disclosure it was because the organization attempted to fix fees with penalties for those who choose to compete at other than the recommended fee rate. Fixing fees is not legal, but setting a range of acceptable fees to compete with is not illegal or wrong. In fact, understanding competitive fee structures helps each of us understand how the outsiders in our industry are chipping away and attempting to force lower fees without discussing their reduction of services or benefits.
If you see fit, please e-mail me with the fee structure that you have worked out for the type of design described above. I am entirely interested in finding out what range to set my fees for this type of work.

Thanks
Dennis
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