Existing Conditions Drawings (As-Builts) cost?


I recently was contacted by a client to do a survey of his house in Colorado.  3 story, +/-3,000 s.f. stick framed house, set on a sloping site (not a box on flat ground).  Cathedral ceilings, split level main floor, just a lot of ins and outs.  I quoted him $1200 to produce the following:

3D CAD model of the entire house, including the site - he wanted to do landscaping, site stairs, and eventually add a two car garage (the site will be rough, unless we order a real survey).

2D drawings at 1/4" scale based on the 3D model:
Basement floor plan
First floor plan
Second floor plan
Site plan
North Elevation
South Elevation
West Elevation
East Elevation
Fee covers measuring, photographing, and documenting to arrive at the above list.  We would bill hourly, not to exceed $1,200.

He wanted to do an entire remodel of the house to make it modern/industrial, including lots of structural changes.  We were not going to be able to design anything without plenty of information. 

Apparently the price didn't sit well with him...much less our design fees

Is it that out of line?  

I know a full survey of the site costs about $1200 (or more) in our area and I bet the time involved is about the same.

Oct 8, 13 4:43 pm

Honestly, your fee sounds really low. Are you writing it off as marketing with the hope that it'll pay off later down the road in design fees?

Oct 8, 13 4:56 pm
If they can't pay for it then you are better off without the client.
Oct 8, 13 6:13 pm


Oct 8, 13 6:32 pm

It's best to have a lic. surveyor perform survey and staking of property.  This will take guesswork out of setbacks & RoW's and give you ref.pts.

As for fee. We couldn't tell you. You should know prevailing rate in your locality. Call around.

Oct 8, 13 7:19 pm

I recently was contacted by a client

That's not a client. That's not even a potential client. That's a blood-sucking vampire.

Correct terminology is important.

Oct 8, 13 7:42 pm

Your fee was fine, perhaps even low.  The client appears, at best, ignorant or misguided about the cost of design services.  You are probably better off not working with this person.

Oct 8, 13 8:11 pm

was this a custom house? perhaps the existing drawings are floating around somewhere?

Oct 9, 13 12:36 pm

As-builts are extremely time consuming.  That amount is way way way too low.  A set like that would cost as much as doing CD's from a design of that complexity, since the time spent on site measuring, etc. would equal the time necessary to flesh out notes and details.  Plus, every little complication in the field during renovation will be blamed on you for supposedly inaccurate, incomplete or misleading drawings.

There are some programs that use laser technology whereby you can sit the laptop down in different places and it will read the walls, etc and plot them directly into a digital file.

Oct 9, 13 2:55 pm

That $1,200 fee works out to $.40 per square foot.  Even if you already had all the field work and measuring done, you can't draw it up for that amount unless you want to make minimum wage.  That set sounds pretty close to a residential industry design development set.  Should be $2.00 per s.f. Clients seldom comprehend how time consuming this shit is.  If he is also bitching about your design fees, it sounds like one of those jobs/clients you'd be better off without.

Oct 9, 13 3:11 pm

Block this user

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

  • ×Search in: