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Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

(OP)
Hi All, we are being approached by a prefabrication company for engineering and detailing services. Our scope would include:
1. Engineering truss analysis
2. Connection detailing to main structure, connection detailing within trusses.
3. Sign off package includes calcs.

We have no idea what the prevailing fee structure is for these type of work so I am reaching out now. This would be typically for medium density housing of footprints ranging from 2,500square foot to as much as 25,000square foot.

My best guess is 10% of material cost or say $3,000 USD minimum charge? We are a small 4 person engineering outfit.

RE: Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

As you didn't specify the material, and as the design of wood trusses seems to be a commodity item, I would guess you are talking about light gauge steel. Confirming this might help to get more sensible advice.

RE: Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

When I was building houses a couple years ago we were paying about $6500 for the truss package on a 2500 sqft house from the lumber supplier. The truss design was included in this price....they probably gave the truss engineer around 10% of the $6,500 but I'm not sure. Also, they give them a lot of work so I'm sure volume will be a large factor for fees.

RE: Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

Do you have access to the proprietary software typically used to design the trusses? Mitek, Keymark, Alpine, etc? If not, you may struggle mightily to make a go of it. Depending on the region in the US and the complexity of the roof, a designer of these trusses might make as little at $20/hr and produce as many as 5-10 unique designs per hour. Or are you just sealing designs produced by the fabricator?

I like to debate structural engineering theory -- a lot. If I challenge you on something, know that I'm doing so because I respect your opinion enough to either change it or adopt it.

RE: Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

(OP)
hokie66: the trusses would be in light gauge steel.

KootK: I don't have access to proprietary software. I am thinking of using our Risa stick modeling software. However I am contemplating generating an Excel spreadsheet but as I chew on that, I don't think there will be an easy way to make a spreadsheet to check truss deflections... so im leaning back into Risa3D. We would be doing the designs ourselves.

RE: Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

RISA 3D will probably make short work of the truss member designs. It'll likely be the truss member connections that slow thinks down.

I like to debate structural engineering theory -- a lot. If I challenge you on something, know that I'm doing so because I respect your opinion enough to either change it or adopt it.

RE: Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

Most truss manufacturers have their own proprietary truss design software.

Dik

RE: Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

Backcheckrage:
You should probably go into this very carefully, and really evaluate what you are getting yourself or your company into. I suspect that the truss builder can’t make any money at this phase of their work, and they don’t want to gear up to bring that in-house. And, they can at least combine the engineering function costs, with markup on materials, manufacturing and labor for some profit margin. So, they would gladly push this low pay work off onto someone else, who will also get to assume all of the professional, liability, legal, problem solving, etc. etc, for no additional remuneration. What do you know about their history of performance, producing a quality product, quick attention to correcting field problems, etc. etc.? Or, will some of these problems fall to you also? Finally, you have to gear-up, with analysis software and efficiencies, spreadsheets and the like for cutting lists, connections, materials availability and the like, and vast product and manufacturing methods experience so you can bang these things out and make a buck too. I suspect that it is pretty tough to make a buck doing the engineering and assuming the professional liability (being the professional aspect insurer of last resort, and you will be dragged into any/every dispute) on a commodity product that people think they should be able to buy by the pound, at raw steel prices.

RE: Pricing advice for pre-fab truss sign-off?

For what it's worth-

Around these parts at least, this is very "plug and chug" type of work, usually done by "technicians" employed by the truss manufacturer. They generate their designs from packages like mytek, and farm it out to the lowest bidder for a rubber stamp.

I've heard accounts that engineers who stamp this stuff have come up with a pricing scheme of 5$ a stamped sheet. Coincidentally, I've seen disciplinary notices published by the local association on a couple of these engineers.

Not the kind of work I would ever be chasing. Im more of the mentality that when chasing specialty work, you should refine your skills and chase the work where a couple hours of your time could save a couple thousand bucks for your client. You charge big dollars, client saves big dollars, everybody wins.

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