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tjl 03-06-2019 12:58 PM

Here's something different-Charging for Designs
A never ending topic and my input:

A little background is in order here: I graduated from college in 1975 in Agronomy Conservation, 2 yr degree. Ever since then I have been employee and employer, the later for 36+ years and performed maintenance, hardscape, softscape and water feature installations and was there when concrete pavers where first introduced to the market place (as you can tell, I am no spring chicken).

In all those years the question of whether to charge for designs or not has ALWAYS been asked. In short, we in the industry have been the ones that have not respected our worth and have been afraid of losing any opportunity to land a job, I get it! But if you have the confidence of producing a quality installation and a solid design, then CHARGE for it!

What are the percentages of not getting the job 50/50, 33%? If you have nothing to do, then those are good odds, go for it. But if the customer is getting (3) designs, who is the winner here? not the customer, not the contractor, no one. I personally think that convincing the customer to either get an architect or let them pay you to design it for the fee and then they can shop it out, is better for all. So what happens in that case, you get paid for your work, check, you have a better shot at getting the entire job, check, and the customer gets a much better thought out plan, check!

How is it landscape architects and building architects charge? When you build a new home you WILL pay for plans and they will not be cheap. How is that different for a landscape design?

I look forward to all of your responses and thanks for listening.

agla 03-06-2019 01:42 PM

1. The prospective client has to value design
2. the person doing the design has to be capable of producing something of value to THAT prospective client.

One thing that is certain is that a prospective client or customer is not going to pay two different designers for the same project at the same time. If you sell a design it isolates you as the main person or entity that the client is dealing with on the project.
Another is that you presumably have a good deal of interaction and should gain the prospects confidence by the time the design is complete - then the build is yours to keep or lose.

If design is not of high value for whatever reason and you have no other way to fill your schedule, it is not a sin to do a low value design as an investment in marketing. Thai is only if you value the time and effort less than the opportunity that it can yield.

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