Just add water: architecture startups!

Dating & Commitments
July 29, 2013, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Startup

Over the last two days, I’ve been sitting here (over)thinking about how to structure the fee for a project.   There are so many components involved in design services, especially with high end residential.  All the basics that you learned early on: program, budget, schedule, review process etc can be itemized and estimated in time by their scope of work.  There are rule of thumb estimates on “X” hrs for each page of drawings required, basic outline of # of meetings/presentations, etc.  There’s numerous ways to try and calculate your design fee …what’s not accounted for are how crazy are the clients?  How literate are they with reading drawings (ie: do you literally have to point to what a door looks like in the plan and “walk” them through the basics)?  How well are they able to express/communicate with what they want/like/dislike?  Are they cohesive (if you’re dealing with a couple, it can sometimes feel like you’re a referee or even worse, a psychologist)?   All of this becomes almost as important as doing the work itself.

In some regards, the ideal scenario would be like a ‘dating’ period in schematic design that doesn’t hold you down to a fixed fee since you have no idea what those other variables will be until you’re already committed.




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