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Everything posted by DRDesign

  1. Take a base template, set the foundation defaults to your liking, and save as a new template named for that particular foundation. Repeat as needed.
  2. Has anyone come up with a way to make a wall fill pattern, such as 8x16 CMU?
  3. I base my fee on an estimate of hours, but my proposal and contract are for a lump sum fee with a defined scope of work and defined list of construction documents. If the project veers outside of the scope, the client will be charged hourly. My contract spells it out. Open-ended hourly agreements tend to scare off clients. Your neighbor is right! And, really, do you want to be busy because you're known for being cheap? I have found that my fees have weeded out a lot of potential clients that I really didn't want. My happiest clients have typically been those who paid the most. I aim to close 80% of the clients I give proposals to. If I am around 80%, I know I'm pricing jobs right. At less than 70%, I'm charging too much, and above 90%, I'm not charging enough.
  4. Thank you. Don't sell yourself short. It's a bit of a balancing act. If you charge too much, you won't get business because clients can get the same service cheaper elsewhere, but if you charge too little, clients may feel you're incompetent. As for how fees are calculated, I realized a few years ago that charging by the square foot makes no sense to me. When I design a house, I must provide the same drawings and details for my construction documents, whether it's a 2,500SQFT house or a 4,900SQFT house. A renovation/addition may require more of my time than a new house of comparable size. I use a spreadsheet with a menu of tasks, to which I assign hours for each task, plus fees for outside services (printing allowance, surveying, civil engineering, structural engineering, landscape architect, etc). I may adjust these based on the "******* tax" factor. The spreadsheet determines my lump sum fee based on my hourly rate. By tracking my time, I can compare it to my spreadsheet and determine if I'm charging correctly for each type of job, if I'm using my time as efficiently as I planned, etc. Sometimes I incorrectly estimate my hours, but I'd have no way of knowing without measurable data.
  5. I make well over $100,000/yr doing design work, mostly residential, at $125/hr.
  6. I built my workstation for CAD, 3D rendering, and VR. I have an NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 card, 64GB DDR-3200 RAM, and a Ryzen 2700X processor on an X470 Taichi board. I have been very pleased with the graphic quality and performance.
  7. Because Hilton Head is a barrier island, our building official dictates that all new structures must have engineered foundations and wind design details. Between this and the engineered subfloor systems being provided by the lumber vendor, my liability is extremely limited. I further limit it with the following Disputes clause: "Should any dispute arise relative to the performance of this Agreement that the parties cannot resolve, the dispute shall be referred to the American Arbitration Association for resolution. The parties do hereby agree to waive their right to sue in court for disputes that must be submitted to arbitration. The arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding on both parties, and it is agreed that judgment on the decision may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. All administrative fees for arbitration, and any attorney fees that shall be incurred in the resolution of disputes, will be paid by the party not prevailing in the dispute. In the event that DR Design & Consulting does not prevail in the dispute, the parties agree that DR Design & Consulting shall not be liable for compensation to Clients in any amount greater than the Total of Fees herein plus all administrative fees for arbitration and Clients’ attorney fees." I use fixed fee design contracts based on a rate of $125/hr, and I charge hourly for work beyond the original scope.
  8. I'm new to the forums, but I am not new to Chief Architect. I'm interested in networking with SC architects who are Chief Architect users, preferably in or near the Hilton Head/Savannah area, to possibly collaborate on the following types of projects: Residential new homes in high end gated communities (3,500-4,000SQFT, $1M-3M property values) Commercial new construction and renovations of commercial properties (Groups A-2, A-3, and B ) new construction of mixed use buildings in historic districts (typically R-2/B) new residential projects under IBC (Group R-2)