Services & Fees

Every project is unique but fees are normally based on a "per square foot" system with variable work quoted by the hour. Variable work includes what we call the Preliminary Design Time, or "Prelim Time", of a project and other work not specifically laid out ahead of time, such as extra work or field visits. Prelim Time is that first part of a project where we work back and forth with the client to arrive at the look and feel, that is... the "Design", of their project. The amount of time involved in this process varies a great deal by project and depends a lot on the client. For this reason it must be hourly. Assuming, however, that there will be at least some Prelim time involved the area fee structure includes one (1) free hour of Prelim time for every one hundred (100) square feet of affected project area (that part of the structure involved in the work). Some types of projects, however, involve work scattered throughout the project site and cannot be quantified by the area method and sometimes the hourly method isn't practical. In these cases a fixed fee may be quoted subject to change of scope adjustments, if any. In the end it is my goal to give the client a realistic estimate of total expected plan costs in advance. Below are some guidelines (Effective 1/July/2016)...
  • Standard area rate for common projects.............. $3.25~$3.75/ square foot
  • Discounted rate for larger, simpler projects......... $1.75~$2.25/ square foot
  • Standard hourly rate for that which it applies........ $80/ hour
  • 3D CAD modeling work is hourly with a ballpark quote in advance.
  • California Title-24 energy calculations (complete prescriptive or performance) vary by project size and nature but generally run between $150~$350.
  • Non-Residential (commercial) California Title-24 energy calculations are provided by associated preparers and quoted separately.
  • Structural engineering, when required, is provided by associated California licensed engineers and quoted separately.
  • Services that cannot be quantified by area or by the hour are estimated by a fixed fee quote.
  • All city, county and building department plan check, permit or other fees are not included.
  • Project size, scope and complexities vary from one to the other so in all cases individual quotes are given one project at a time.
For reference, design and drafting fees tend to work out in the end to about 3~4% of overall project construction costs.


  • New Construction Plans, Residential and Commercial.
  • Addition Plans, Residential and Commercial.
  • Alteration/Remodeling Plans, Residential and Commercial.
  • Guest Houses, Pool Houses.
  • Garage Conversions, Carports.
  • Patio Covers, Gazebos, Accessory Structures.
  • Site Plans,  Residential and Commercial.
  • Fire/Water/Disaster (insurance) restoration plans.
  • As-Built drawings (Code Compliance)
  • California Title-24 Energy Calculations (Residential).

Sample Agreements

      Standard Design Services         Standard Drafting Services