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Re: Fees

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Broaden your niche....
Joe Venuti
Johnson & Nielsen Associates
Palm Springs, CA
In a message dated 8/18/2009 11:34:50 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, RichardC(--nospam--at) writes:

I disagree.  This is what I was talking about before.  I dislike it because it is what I have resorted to.  My take on it is that:

- so many others are bidding super low, so it’s a must if you don’t want to loose your clients…

- some money is better than no money.

- if I attract enough new clients with my low prices then once things get busy again we’ll have that many more clients

- company’s that need steady engineering are looking to cut costs – I don’t want to be on that chopping block. 

the one client we continued to charge normal prices dropped us recently and hired their own in-house engineers b/c they figured out it will be cheaper for them… 

this puts my job at risk!  And I will go into foreclosure in fairly short order if that happens… so, my only solution: be cheap!


Besides that, I do mostly specialty work (steel connection calcs, artsy aluminum structures, fountains, etc.) that aren’t worth all that much to begin with…



From: Daryl Richardson [mailto:h.d.richardson(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:47 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Fees




        It's interesting that the numbers should be $3,500 and $550.  Back about 1983 (when times in Western Canada were about the same as I expect some of you people are now experiencing) I was asked for a proposal to do a library about 60 miles out of town for an architect and those were virtually the identical numbers.  My budget was for engineering design, drafting, shop drawing review, and five trips to the site.  Even $3,500 was too cheap!!


        It's a mistake to take projects for the $500 level of fees when even $3,500 is probably on the low side; $500 hardly even covers the insurance.  Once you do take such a job you are labeled a "bottom feeder" and the best work you can get is designing one storey warehouses and miscellaneous beams for residential for architects in non seismic areas.  You are better off to "tough it out" in my opinion.




H. Daryl Richardson

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:12 AM

Subject: Fees


We submitted a proposal to do a peer review for a project in Chicago.


Our fee was $3,500.00



The winning bidder?




Peer reviews in Chicago take about four days just to complete all the paperwork.




Things are really tough out there.




David L. Fisher SE PE

Senior Principal


Fisher and Partners

372 West Ontario

Suite 301

Chicago 60654


312.622.0409 (m)


312.573.1726 (f)