Friday, August 06, 2010

Anti Trust Laws

Anti trust laws forbid architects to compare or discuss fees.
So the design fees are all over the spectrum. From patheticaly low to astronomical high. 
99 % of the clients are walking around shopping  for the cheapest architects.
Regardless of their skills, architecture services are reduced to commodity.
Clients have all the numbers and architects are in a fog, reducing or increasing fees on a whim without a clear understanding of profit and loss.
That is one reason architecture is not  a profitable enterprise.
We don't know the real cost of doing business anymore.
The clients are holding all the cards.


How much can you trust the information on any AS BUILT drawings or documents your clients handed to you for reference ? It could be 99 % or  0.9  % accurate. How about all the things that cannot be seen ? Things hiddened under the slab, ceiling or walls. Do you have a fee structure to deal with all those unknown issues ? Have you explained them to your clients ?
How much time do you need to verify without taking down wall , opening up floor slab or move 10 tons of  boxes?
Ok the bottom line is you need to know how to charge and deal with all the unknowns before you start the project . You need to let your clients agreed to all these potential charges before you sign the contract with the clients. Or you should just walk away.