Design Fees

G_Dubs

LawnSite Member
Just switched to a new LA, and I'm not sure if he's too pricey for my local customers. He is located about 2 hours from me, but is an "in-law" of sorts, and does awesome site and landscape design.

We just made our first site visit last week and the master plan proposal is around 2400 for conceptual master plan
(line drawing), and another 1000 for detailed construction plans. He also has the option of 3d modeling, and additional site visits as well as a current property inventory report of all trees shrubs, perennials, etc.

This is a lakeside house in a vacation destination town, that was just completely gutted, remodeled, inside and out, adn the codes are pretty strict, so what do you designers think?

He gets about 90/hr for design work.
 

Dr.NewEarth

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Vancouver Canada
Design work is very very time consuming. There are so many measurements that have to be taken on site, client interviewing, research and considerable knowledge goes into each project. I charge $70.00 per hour and that is the lower end in Vancouver.
I am a Landscape Designer, but not a Landscape Architect.

Your Landscape Architects Design fees are the real deal.
 

AGLA

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Cape Cod
We have to balance our fees with our ability to get work in a competitive market. I find it to be much easier to sell design at a flat rate with a clear description of how many meetings and revisions are included. Part of staying competitive is balancing out how much design product is necessary and not to try to provide more than what is necessary in order to control initial cost and salability.

Most important in your situation is that it is not the designer/LA getting the contact and bringing it to you. You are what is drawing in the lead. That has a lot of value especially in this slower than usual market. With that value comes risk of losing that hard to gain commodity. Although I like to be an advocate for my profession, I would be hesitent to hand that valuable a commodity over to a designer and risk losing the connection due to design fees.
While the pricing is in keeping with other landscape architects fees, the client did not go looking for a landscape architect, but instead went to a design/build. Those fees are not typical of most design/build companies, but if you are an elite one and can attract clients who value design there is no problem.
The next question is whether the LA is viable on his own to get work or is he dependent upon you for a big portion of his work. If the latter is true, then you are essentially carrying him not only by giving him work, but you are carrying the marketing overhead and lending your hard to build reputation to him so that he can charge rates that he may not be able to get on his own. He has all to gain and nothing to lose. You have a reputation that you built, clients coming to you, and turning the responsibility of keeping those clients and reputation on to someone new at full rates seems to have high risk and reward only to the LA.
You should determine what level of design service is marketable to your clientel rather than what is taught at the universities. Your designer should be told what he can and can not charge your clients. Then your designer can decide whether he wants to work for you or not. In this market, you are in the drivers seat and you need to control your costs and do the best you can at turning every lead into a sale.
 

FinerCutslawnCare

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Des Moines, Iowa
We have to balance our fees with our ability to get work in a competitive market. I find it to be much easier to sell design at a flat rate with a clear description of how many meetings and revisions are included. Part of staying competitive is balancing out how much design product is necessary and not to try to provide more than what is necessary in order to control initial cost and salability.

Most important in your situation is that it is not the designer/LA getting the contact and bringing it to you. You are what is drawing in the lead. That has a lot of value especially in this slower than usual market. With that value comes risk of losing that hard to gain commodity. Although I like to be an advocate for my profession, I would be hesitent to hand that valuable a commodity over to a designer and risk losing the connection due to design fees.
While the pricing is in keeping with other landscape architects fees, the client did not go looking for a landscape architect, but instead went to a design/build. Those fees are not typical of most design/build companies, but if you are an elite one and can attract clients who value design there is no problem.
The next question is whether the LA is viable on his own to get work or is he dependent upon you for a big portion of his work. If the latter is true, then you are essentially carrying him not only by giving him work, but you are carrying the marketing overhead and lending your hard to build reputation to him so that he can charge rates that he may not be able to get on his own. He has all to gain and nothing to lose. You have a reputation that you built, clients coming to you, and turning the responsibility of keeping those clients and reputation on to someone new at full rates seems to have high risk and reward only to the LA.
You should determine what level of design service is marketable to your clientel rather than what is taught at the universities. Your designer should be told what he can and can not charge your clients. Then your designer can decide whether he wants to work for you or not. In this market, you are in the drivers seat and you need to control your costs and do the best you can at turning every lead into a sale.

Good Post!:clapping:
 

Gilmore.Landscaping

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Ontario
Design work is very very time consuming. There are so many measurements that have to be taken on site, client interviewing, research and considerable knowledge goes into each project. I charge $70.00 per hour and that is the lower end in Vancouver.
I am a Landscape Designer, but not a Landscape Architect.

Your Landscape Architects Design fees are the real deal.
Agree...same around here.
 

alexschultz1

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
north of atlanta
LAs can be worth the investment in order to save you from making expensive mistakes however an experienced designer with years of practice should have no problem designing a plan. What gets you is the fact that you are on a lake and you can be sure to have the dnr and code enforcement right up your arse. Would there be a way to get him to sign an agreement saying that everything in his design follows local code? For $3500 I would expect a plan that has already been passed through the hoa and includes a fully detailed estimate down to the last drainage pipe.
 

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