"Currently, I am involved in three projects where the
engineering was done outside my area and now the engineer of record does not
want to respond to the contractors troubles or site investigation."
of service grounds for disciplinary action?
to me that "Plan Stamping" only exists when
engineering can be considered a product rather than a service. It also
seems to me that providing a stamped set of drawings and then not following up
with the required services is, in fact, "plan stamping" and that it should be
dealt with accordingly.
Best regards, Dennis,
H. Daryl Richardson
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2006 12:35
Subject: Fees - was Re: Masonry Storage
Facilities - fees!
Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:
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."
First, thank you for your reply - it helps. I don't see a
problem discussing a range because we are an international group and the fee's
will vary by geographical area as well as the demand for the work. I recall
attending a meeting of a professional organization where I was the invited
speaker. Prior to my speech, there was a set of reduced drawings passed around
and each engineer was asked to review them during dinner and provide an
approximate price that their office would charge for the project. The average
came in at around 1-1/2% of the construction cost. The point of the meeting
was for this organization to simply point out that our fees may be on the low
side and that to keep up with insurance, labor and other expenses we should be
aiming higher - closer to 2% of the construction cost. This was not intended
to sent a fee, but it did point out that most of us are within the same fee
range but may be under pricing their services.
When you go to a doctor
he charges a fee based (usually) upon what most insurance companies will
reimburse him for services performed. If he tries to charge you more then you
have the option of having his fees reviewed by the Insurance Review Board to
determine if his fee is within an appropriate range for services
Lawyers almost always charge the same hourly fee and the courts
will set the contingency fee to somewhere between 33% and 40% of the
Auto Mechanics quote their work based on a standard book of
fees for services rendered. I sat there while the mechanic went through the
book to choose each chore that needed to be performed and looked up the
appropriate number of hours the work should take and the hourly rate for labor
that should be charged.
What is wrong with suggesting a fee range. It
doesn't imply that we "must" charge this fee, but that we should not be afraid
to ask for what our services are worth. How can we determine the value of our
services unless we discuss them openly. I went nearly ten years without
raising my fee before I found out that I was on the bottom of my fee scale. I
was not getting more work, but I was getting less compensation. I now charge
somewhere in the middle which may be high for Los Angeles where the
competition is fierce, but is fair where the work is plentiful and the number
of competitors are low. The fact is that while my fee falls in the middle, I
probably provide more job specific drawings and certainly more on-site and
pre-construction involvement with the clients to insure fewer problems during
The issue is not so much how much we charge or if
everyone charges the same, but how well we bond with our clients and how much
faith they have in our ability and our willingness to work with them through
the project. Currently, I am involved in three projects where the engineering
was done outside my area and now the engineer of record does not want to
respond to the contractors troubles or site investigation. Since it has to be
done, the cities often recommend two or three of us to clients needing help
and they come to us not for the lowest fee, but for our ability to keep their
crew working and solving the problems that they have in the field.
this brings a different perspective to openly discussing
Dennis S. Wish, PE
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