- Ocala, Florida, USA
- Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
Here, Here!!!!!! You hit the nail on the head (bender on the pipe, monkey juice on the wire; whatever :lol
The trend has been for quite some time to reduce engineers and designer fees, as others have said, by shopping them around. Which means to charge less, the client gets less. Odd though, because I have found Owner's are willing to pay for example 5% higher on construction costs, but wants the engineer to keep fees to a minimum. 5% higher on construction is a lot more money than 5% of my fees.
So, I base my design estimates on how the client wants to pay - the higher the fee, the more detail they get. From what I call an "A" job to an "F" job. For an "F" job, I provide a one-line or riser, and could literally write "meet minimum requirements of NEC and AHJ". From there on up, everything costs more.
The "F" job will mean it is pretty much design build, the "A" job will be a lot of detail and thus fewest RFI's.
I feel there is a huge flaw in your logic. A job that has a properly spelled out floor plan. Not that difficult, shows receptacle placement, designates any special pieces of equipment, has proper light layout and levels. Even a narrative of owners desires. Then the riser and minimum NEC, will cause far fewer questions problems and change orders than a strict specification job that misses things. When the plans are somewhat open, but have the essentials, it isn't that hard to give the customer what they want. When you tell me specifics design and construction standards but there is not apparent reason behind them or it is obvious that the reasoning is because you just do it that way, like compression connectors or insulated throats, or industrial spec grade devices, or copper transformer windings, etc. That is when I am not going to make a decision on my own or make observations that may or may not have had a valid reason, since that is what you are being paid for.
I do however, fully agree and sympathize that you are in the same boat as we are that clients nowadays have this idea that things should cost less and forget that they get what they pay for.