Lets assume you want to add a master bedroom suite to you home.
You have an idea of where you want it and how large to make it. How
well will the circulation & structure integrate to the existing building and
how much will the work cost? You ask some Contractors how much
will it cost and they may give "guesstimates" but probably very little in
writing. Suppose you have an Architect draw up plans of your dream
addition only to find the cost is way over your budget?
Our solution: Client & Architect develop a Pricing Set and have
Contractor(s) review and give a written estimate with breakdowns in the
major categories of construction.
The purpose of a pricing set is to establish a project scope graphically
and in sufficient detail to allow for a meaningful estimate of project cost
without spending a lot of time and expense to develop complete plans.
Below are outlines of the two most common fee structures, flat &
percentage of project cost.
Many firms prefer a percentage of construction cost assuming to know
the relationship between the service hours required and the cost to build.
The advantage here is a complete fee structure can be proposed before
"pencil hits paper". The problem for the Client-Architect relationship is
our interest diverge. The better we are at reducing the project cost (for a
given scope of work) the lower the professional fee. In other words if
we knock ourselves out to come up with a less expensive way to do
something we get paid less.
Flat fees have the advantage of letting the Client know the Architect's fee
up front however the extent of the project work (scope) and services
needs to be delineated accurately in order to set a fee fair to both Client
and Architect. Where a Pricing Set as described above is used it includes
an estimated fee for complete services subject to changes in the project
scope requested by the Client. Upon completion of the pricing phase a
contract and fee can be submitted to the Client.