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how to charge for tract home plansets

how to charge for tract home plansets

how to charge for tract home plansets

I have a client, a very good client, that is building 2 duplexes for a total of 4 units.  He has contracted with me on a time and material basis to do the architectural drawings and all the structural design.  

The 2 duplexes are exactly the same, thus he only needs one plan set.  I have talked to a couple of engineers who say that I need to charge him some sort of fee for using the plans for the second building.  After all, my liability is certainly increased if something goes wrong or if I make an error.  Is there an industry standard for how to determine this fee? Maybe a percentage of the original drawing fees?  I have never encountered this before nor has my client and I want to be fair to him but I don't want to cheat myself.  Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

RE: how to charge for tract home plansets

I don't have an easy answer, but was thinking...you should recover the additional hours that you will spend reproducing the construction documents for this new site:  new title block, soils info, foundation steps (if required)... Then add enough extra fee to make sure you recover the same amount of profit as if you designed it new.  This is what makes up for the additional risk.  It will still be less than what the original design fee was so your client gets to see a price break too.

I think I will use this formula myself instead of pulling numbers out of a hat.

RE: how to charge for tract home plansets

I kind of thought about that methodology but the duplex is right next door on the adjacent lot. Same soil, fndn, ect.. The city says they don't even need a 2nd plan set (they will be built at the same time).  Interestingly, The city is charging him plan review fees for 2 structures, but they will reduce the fee for the second home.

RE: how to charge for tract home plansets

Are you an AIA, if not why are you providing Architectural drawings.  In my state and most the states I work in that would be an automatic trip to meet with the Architectural and Engineering Board and the outcome would not be in your favor.  

But to answer your question, we charge the same fee for multiple structures or charge one large fee for all.  Clients usually complain but explain it this way to them.  You will spend over $8,000 dollars on stainless steel appliances for each unit but you won’t spend $1,500 for engineering for each.

It’s never failed for us and they always come back for the next project.

Be careful on the Architectural thing, Boards are using fines as a way to generate funds and one disgruntled contractor can make life miserable for you.

RE: how to charge for tract home plansets

Tell them that on the flip side you can spend a bit more time concentrating on quality and value for the 2 buildings.

You might be able to save them more than the additional fee.


RE: how to charge for tract home plansets

I will certainly check with my state board.  My understanding in Colorado is that an engineer can prepare architectural plans but we have an obligation to stamp them.  In many states I have worked in engineers have done architectural drawings along with construction documents, I have never heard of this being a problem.  Thanks for the heads up and i will check into it.  

RE: how to charge for tract home plansets

Like I was implying, you may give a good client a break on the labor savings, but you need to get paid for the additional risk.  Don't be that guy who rubber-stamps repeat sets for $100.  It hurts everyone else in the short run and will hurt you in the long run.

Along the lines of what csd72 said: If the duplexes are going to be built one at a time, some design flaws will inevitably surface, as well as some better ways of doing things.  Charge the same fee for both, and integrate improvements in the next set.  That's good for everybody....of course then your client will ask you to build it a third time for free!

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