How much should I charge?


Can anyone help me figure this out?  I got a referral to do a ADU drawing and permit.  The project is in LA area and it is a attached ADU unit that is already built but the owner wants to get a permit for it.  The original architect who worked on this project has health issues so he cannot finish working on this project.  However, this project has already went thought first round of plan check and has most of the required forms etc.  

Should I take this project and if so, how much should I charge?  I am an licensed architect with about 10 years of experience.

Jun 17, 24 10:59 am

I feel like you maybe shouldn't have a license if you're not sure whether to take this on or not. 

Jun 17, 24 12:44 pm  · 
Non Sequitur

health reasons?  bulshit.... they are running away because the owner likely went all cowboy and did whatever they wanted.  It's just that they got caught and are looking for a poor sucker to bend the rules in their favour.  You need to run away.

Also, does not bode well for a license if you're not able to see the obvious here.

Jun 17, 24 2:20 pm  · 
 ·  1
Wood Guy

It sSounds like a lot of unknowns and potential for aggravation, or worse. If I were to take it on, it would be hourly, with a large, non-refundable deposit to cover the potential for nonpayment. But I'd steer away unless there is some other benefit for you. 

Jun 17, 24 2:26 pm  · 
3  · 

Well the basic one would be “what do you want to make an hour” then times by at least 3 to cover overhead, insurance, software, etc…

But also, you should talk to your attorney first before taking this on. If it came through my door, red flags would be popping.

Jun 18, 24 12:31 am  · 
2  · 

I'm not 100% sure if I'm following but is this someone that illegally built a structure, the neighbors complained and the city has told them it needs to be proven (and adapted if necessary) as conforming?

At least in my area, when this happens the residents are fined by the day until the situation is rectified. They can also be prevented from selling the home until this is cleared up.

Typically drawings need to be done to show this meets zoning/codes etc...and you may need to propose changes to be made to bring it up to code. I've seen this a lot with illegal basement suites.

I've worked with a designer that's taken on these kinds of projects. They clients are motivated to move fast (and should be charged accordingly). They are also typically investors, not the brightest people, often arrogant but they are stuck unless you help them. 

I don't like to be much of a vulture, but if you're stepping into this, remember that they need you, and your fee has to reflect this predicament they have knowingly put themselves into. 

Jun 19, 24 5:19 pm  · 
1  · 

To be fair, the OP's client's "already built" condition may be about an older,existing structure on their lot that they want to make into a legal ADU. It's not necessarily a new unit they constructed illegally and now want to permit after the fact.

Jun 19, 24 5:44 pm  · 

Ah, good point. It could have been something used as a studio, garage, etc...and is just an honest conversion.

Jun 19, 24 5:56 pm  · 

in my neck of the woods getting permit sausage made cost between $2k-$5k depending on the complexity of the project. In the PNW we need to deal with quite a few environmental issues so this gets reflected in the extra $. As built drawings should be pretty easy for you since a previous architect did the drawings. Just double check the measurements in the field. I’d probably charge around $1k for measuring and drawings since you’re doing contracting work. (2 hours measuring, 8 hours drawing @ $100/hr)

Jun 19, 24 11:33 pm  · 

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?


This is your first comment on Archinect. Your comment will be visible once approved.

  • ×Search in: