We have a very well established reputation for doing high end design and construction work, and seemed to have established a pretty good approval rate for our design and consulting fees. But a recent project has me questioning how we approach the issue of compensation. We provide a free initial consultation (1 hour) with the client to get a feel for where they want us to go with the project, toss around a couple ideas, feel them out for commitment to our company...the usual. After that all our design and consulting time is billed at the agreed upon rate. I always stress to the client that I am creating a turnkey package that they can shop to other contractors, if they so choose. I do not provide anymore than a rough ballpark figure as to what I anticipate the total project to cost. I always leave the actual project proposal outside the realm of the design and consulting phase. The project proposal is free, but the design and consulting is not. We bill time for measuring and shooting elevations, running down samples for the customer, basically all the leg work the customer needs to take the plan to another contractor and receive a comparable bid. My question is this, should I be charging for all that leg work given the fact we are guaranteed nothing more than the design and consulting? The reasoning I am using is that the customer is hiring us to design their landscape down to the smallest detail and those details are part of the design time. Thoughts?