Doing The Work Of Other Professions

Discussion (9)

  1. FarmBoy

    Because we cut our fees too willingly when a client says “that’s too much”. Or the idea of “we’ll do this one cheap to get in, and we’ll charge full price next time. Or the guy who says “if i do this myself from home, i can charge 75% of what my firm would charge.” And my favorite “all you do is draw pretty pictures all day, right?” Thank you, starchitects. Or the old of idea of “Paying your dues”.

    Need I go on?

  2. Al Corbu, the spanish branch

    like doing the buildings space programing for free………and as many aother tasks. Architects are irresponsible at some points

  3. Saga Norén

    In addition to my normal day-to-day architect responsibilities I am also considered (by my bosses) to be a Landscape Architect and an Electrical Engineer. On good days I am also expected to be a Town Planning Consultant with an encyclopedic knowledge of local and national planning policies.

  4. Wightzian

    I have worked in many firms. Cutting corners and trying to push deadlines usually results in more cost and time. I have also worked in firms that charge a lot, usually clients come back since the other cheap architects could not do the same scope and prototypes that we do. You get what you pay.

  5. EBL

    I am a civil engineer and enjoy your comics because of the many similarities and idiocies I experience at work. Hey, I thought civil engineers were at the bottom of the professional services totem pole! I’m pretty sure we’re looking up at you architects. :-\

  6. SMF

    EBL, having done many a work proposal where Civil is part of the scope, yor fees are much more “robust” that Architect fees. And we typically have to do CA for all the consultants and trades. only to have the client recognize the contractor for the final product. Pretty sure we are the red head step children of the design field.

  7. Random Architect

    Think about this: many of the old timers running their arch firms today started in the 70′s- early 80′s back when you needed a team of drafters working under a project architect to churn out construction drawings. Arch fees had to cover a whole team of production draftsmen. Starting in the mid-80′s to today, computers and cad have increased the productivity of a single architect such that one single person can do the work that required a team of people 30 years ago. What does this mean? More so than other professions (including engineers), architects have seen the floor drop out from what their services are now worth. Why would a client pay salaries of 5 people when a younger competitor offers to do it for 75% of that, and the next guy offers to do it for 50%, or less? Many of us younger architectural professionals today are unlucky that we are the generation where this consolidation is occurring. The lower fees we earn commensurate with the high level of education our profession requires will dis-incentivize the next generation such that fewer students will study architecture until supply decreases and the general value of architects begins to go up again. In the meantime we’re all underbidding each other to try and stay afloat.

  8. FarmBoy

    Random, I think you hit the nail on the head in the last line there. We are all underbidding each other to stay afloat. Not that I’m a fan of price fixing, but if i go to buy gas, it’s 1.99 here, 2.01 there etc. An licensed architect with 10 years of experience is in a given market should be work the same billing rate per hour, regardless of if they are at Firm A, Firm B, Garage 1 or Kitchen Table Associates. We do this to our selves. And never mind the Design/Build contractors who make clients think AE services should be free.

  9. Trout

    @EBL , I work as a MEP designer in a multi-discipline engineering firm. It is funny how you civil guys have no idea the pain my group goes through with these architects from time to time.