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Pricing CAD Drawings

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chulse
Bid the job "lump sum". Hit them with an hourly rate for revisions that go above and beyond what was initially called for.

 

Both you and the client should know what is being negotiated. Anything not spoken of up front can always come back and haunt you later.

 

This is how we usually work. Lump Sum to get an initial submission then T&M from there...

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kmapro
And to become an LLC, you would have to write Articles of Organization (requirments vary with each state) and then file it at the appropriate state office to establish the business. This can be done by either hiring a laywer or buying a book at barnes and noble with a CD of standard templates. The templates can be modified to be more applicable to the intended business while still leaving wiggle room to work with. In my state, the filing fee for an LLC business is somewhere around one hundred dollars. Not really that difficult. (but i'm sure you can tell I've researched the subject)

 

I have an LLC. Luckily for me, I was working as a residential designer for a builder when I got mine. My boss's sister was a real estate lawyer and her office was directly adjacent to ours. I was well liked by all the people at both offices and was able to get her to file my LLC paperwork.

 

I think I ended up paying around $180 (LLC and lawyer prep fees). you can do it yourself, as mentioned, but I wanted to make sure it was done right the first time.

 

Your LLC will be filed with the Secretary of State's office, so if you need more info, that is a good place to start looking.

 

I also recommend that you do not apply for a tax ID. You can file everything under your own social security number. I say this because I am sure that we all have done some work somewhere along the line that goes unreported, With a tax ID, you will have to go through special tax preperations at tax time and you will no longer be able to file a 1040EZ.

 

just my thoughts

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pennylove

Good advice, thanks

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NuttZ

I'm with pennylove...great advice kmapro :D

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RMR49

I am going to do a project with two 3d drawings of a truck and a toolbox design. How and what should I charge?

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JerryG

Even though the advice on this post is from 2007 I think it still applies.

3d is clearly tougher in many ways compared to a simple 2d drawing

so I would charge based on what the average hourly rate is in your area

for drafting services then add 20% because its 3D.

If its going to be printed on a 3d printer make sure it is all one solid object.\

 

Oh and WELCOME to CadTutor!

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Ski_Me
Is there insurance involved?

I'm a draftmans, who works for the Government, and I work with Engineers. They put their stamp on all of the drawings and declare it suitable for building after we go through it with a fine tooth comb. I have only two projects while I was in the private sector that I've done, It was good money, but the projects themselves weren't that plentyful.

Paying for engineering and paying for drawings is to different things. It's up to the owner to have the proper engineering done for their designs.

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thebimguy

Resurrecting this thread. Hi all, I am new to this forum and this is my first post.

I just recently decided to do my first drafting/modeling job. I am doing this on the side to earn a little extra money, (doing that Dave Ramsey plan lol) as I have a regular full-time job. I have never had a real drafting job but I know how to do 3D models and have done some sketches and plans before, but nothing dealing with all the detailing. I do look at plans every day as I work in construction. I want to know if I am doing this right. I am doing this in Revit as that is what they required. I estimated it would take about 60 hours to do for a 6500 SF building and quote at $60 per hour originally but ended up doing it for $3000 just to get the job and get the experience. I am about almost double the time right now and almost completed but the people that hire me said that they still had to review and mark up the set for compliance and I have to make the changes. They gave me a set of plan for a project they have done before as a baseline and I am following that, how would you guys treat those red marks? as part of the original bid or treat those as changes? I already have a list of changes I will track separately as I have been sending them progress pdf for them to look at and they have been making changes to the building. I already told them this will be extra and they say I will be compensated but I am a bit worried at the end I will not get these hours.

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Dana W

Changes are extra money for you. Your mistakes or unclear and incomplete drawing as marked up on the redlines are free.

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tzframpton
Resurrecting this thread. Hi all, I am new to this forum and this is my first post.

I just recently decided to do my first drafting/modeling job. I am doing this on the side to earn a little extra money, (doing that Dave Ramsey plan lol) as I have a regular full-time job. I have never had a real drafting job but I know how to do 3D models and have done some sketches and plans before, but nothing dealing with all the detailing. I do look at plans every day as I work in construction. I want to know if I am doing this right. I am doing this in Revit as that is what they required. I estimated it would take about 60 hours to do for a 6500 SF building and quote at $60 per hour originally but ended up doing it for $3000 just to get the job and get the experience. I am about almost double the time right now and almost completed but the people that hire me said that they still had to review and mark up the set for compliance and I have to make the changes. They gave me a set of plan for a project they have done before as a baseline and I am following that, how would you guys treat those red marks? as part of the original bid or treat those as changes? I already have a list of changes I will track separately as I have been sending them progress pdf for them to look at and they have been making changes to the building. I already told them this will be extra and they say I will be compensated but I am a bit worried at the end I will not get these hours.

You'll have to eat it, if you want to maintain, as Ramsey would put it, "honesty and integrity". What happened is this: You're inexperienced, you bid on a job, and you miscalculated. You provided a hard quote bid, and you missed the mark.

 

And QAQC (Quality Assurance, Quality Control) review process is always something that needs to be done. It's a mandatory thing. Nobody gets things right on the very first pass, and you always have to leave room for the client to look at it and bless it. Of course, one or two review processes is all that should be needed.

 

Also note, that your client shouldn't be paying you to learn. Sounds like you were learning on this project, so your literal work-by-the-hour ratio isn't at the same level as someone with a high level of experience both in designing a building and Revit modeling. But there are some upsides: you gained a client. That means more work, which means more experience, which means you will get better and you will be able to get faster which will in turn give you a higher rate on return.

 

The only thing the client should be paying for is anything outside of the original scope. A review process is not additional scope, but if they want more after reviewing then that would be additional scope. Once you and the client agreed on something, then anything in addition to that scope is considered additional scope and you would be justified in approaching the client for additional fee.

 

Hope this helps.

 

-TZ

 

*EDIT*

The other part you should consider is this: have you purchased Revit? The reason I ask is because lots of people do "side work" and charge their clients on the side by using their own fully time employer's software, which is considered unlawful and in many cases even illegal. If you have "borrowed" a Revit license from your employer, making money on the side (which is all profit for you at the expense of your full time employer's investment) then I wouldn't get too greedy on this since you are using someone else's money to make money, technically speaking. And, if you are using a license unlawfully/illegally well then this conversation is over.

 

But, Revit license are easy to come by now that the subscription model is in place so I do want to point out that I'm not incriminate you or assume you're doing something unlawfully. We do occasionally have the people who come here who admit they're using Autodesk software illegally or unlawfully, who are asking the same questions you do, so it's a common thing to some degree. And, quite frankly, I was guilty of it in the past so I am speaking from my own experience. I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for me using my own company's software at one time. The last company I worked for gave me permission though. Before that, I was using it unlawfully.

Edited by tzframpton

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thebimguy

I understand that I will have to suck it up and just deal with however many hours I went over. I am not trying to be dishonest about it. One thing I am unsure about is how do you define the scope? When we originally talked, they asked for about 15 architectural sheets, and I was given some drawings for a renovation project to follow, what I am doing is a ground up project. When I send progress sheets for them to look at they send it back with comments. One example is, I completed some elevation details for a certain area by following the project they gave me and I got comments back telling me that the details are incorrect, need some more cabinets in this area or flip the sink in this area, etc., when in the set I was given shows exactly how I originally draw it the first time and the areas are not exactly the same, they are two different project. When I have questions about something they referred back to me to the set they gave me. It is getting a bit frustrating and sometimes I would just want to give the money back (I was given a partial payment to start)

Another thing is they are asking to place a Building Analysis Code information, is that something I need to do? I straight up told them I needed them to give me that information and I can place it in the drawings, I know you have to have this but not sure how to do this, they just told me to copy and paste from the other project.

 

On the other note about using Revit licenses, I am not using a pirated license and I cannot confirm or deny that I am using my employer's computer and license. After I am done with this project (if I ever finish it), I am considering using some of the money to save for a computer but I know this will not be enough as they are expensive. This is something that bothers me from the beginning, if I used my employer's computer I have the risk of potentially being fired but if I ask and I am denied then I am out of side work. How do people ask their employer if they can use their software, I feel that as long as I am doing this after work there shouldn't be an issue but that is just my opinion.

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Cad64

if I used my employer's computer I have the risk of potentially being fired but if I ask and I am denied then I am out of side work. How do people ask their employer if they can use their software, I feel that as long as I am doing this after work there shouldn't be an issue but that is just my opinion.

 

If you want to do side work, you should get yourself set up with a computer at home and purchase licenses for the software you need to do the work. I think Tanner's situation was a very unique one where he was allowed to use company software, but I believe he was using it at home on his own computer, not in the office.

 

I can't imagine very many employers who would be willing to finance their employees freelance adventures after hours. They really can't stop you from doing it on your own time at home with your own computer and software, but I seriously doubt they would be willing to allow you to do the work in the office, since it's 100% profit for you and 0% for them. Not only are they paying for the equipment, software, supplies, etc., but they are also paying the electric bill to keep the lights on and run the computer, so it's actually costing them quite a bit for you to do this. It's also a bit of a sticky situation because if you're taking on work that your employer could be doing, you are now a competitor.

 

I would be very careful about approaching them at this point, since you have already been doing it behind their backs. They probably won't be too happy if they find out.

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thebimguy
If you want to do side work, you should get yourself set up with a computer at home and purchase licenses for the software you need to do the work. I think Tanner's situation was a very unique one where he was allowed to use company software, but I believe he was using it at home on his own computer, not in the office.

 

I can't imagine very many employers who would be willing to finance their employees freelance adventures after hours. They really can't stop you from doing it on your own time at home with your own computer and software, but I seriously doubt they would be willing to allow you to do the work in the office, since it's 100% profit for you and 0% for them. Not to mention the fact that they are paying the electric bill to keep the lights on and run the computer while you're making money on their equipment, so it's actually costing them money for you to do this. It's also a bit of a sticky situation because if you're taking on work that your employer could be doing, you are now a competitor.

 

I would be very careful about approaching them at this point, since you have already been doing it behind their backs. They probably won't be too happy if they find out.

 

I am actually using a laptop and doing this at home. I am not competing with my company as they only do construction, not drafting. But yeah, it would be different it this will be happening at the office. Like i said, I plan on buying a laptop or desktop later after this.

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tzframpton
I am actually using a laptop and doing this at home. I am not competing with my company as they only do construction, not drafting. But yeah, it would be different it this will be happening at the office. Like i said, I plan on buying a laptop or desktop later after this.
You may not be doing this in the office, but you're using their laptop, their software, etc. Competing is one facet, using their tools in another facet. Most companies wouldn't let employees use their work truck for personal use, or the company saw to build decks on the side, and so forth. But, I think we all understand the situation and we all can agree you're on unlawful ground here.

 

I understand that I will have to suck it up and just deal with however many hours I went over. I am not trying to be dishonest about it. One thing I am unsure about is how do you define the scope? When we originally talked, they asked for about 15 architectural sheets, and I was given some drawings for a renovation project to follow, what I am doing is a ground up project. When I send progress sheets for them to look at they send it back with comments. One example is, I completed some elevation details for a certain area by following the project they gave me and I got comments back telling me that the details are incorrect, need some more cabinets in this area or flip the sink in this area, etc., when in the set I was given shows exactly how I originally draw it the first time and the areas are not exactly the same, they are two different project. When I have questions about something they referred back to me to the set they gave me. It is getting a bit frustrating and sometimes I would just want to give the money back (I was given a partial payment to start)

Another thing is they are asking to place a Building Analysis Code information, is that something I need to do? I straight up told them I needed them to give me that information and I can place it in the drawings, I know you have to have this but not sure how to do this, they just told me to copy and paste from the other project.

With the use of your company's hardware and software aside, from what I can tell here (again) is that you gave a hard bid quote on something you were inexperienced on. How do you define a scope? Well, first off, you have to be experienced in properly estimating this type of work and since you are not then you will have a hard time understanding expectations. All of this comes from experience. The more experience you have in this, the better you will understand how to properly scope the work, with proper inclusions and exclusions.

 

It's hard to help you with the question of scope because every job is different, and you can't just jump in a forum and ask "how do I define scope?" My suggestion would be to seek someone local that you can get mentor-ship from. If you can't, you can still go about it solo, but next time be much more up front with your client. Let them know you're doing this as side work and ask them to help you out by really defining what their ultimate expectations are. I've done this plenty of times in the past when I was doing side work, and the clients were almost always willing to really help me out by going over many details that they expected to have on the finished product. My first side jobs were in the $100-$250 range, so you definitely hit a good sized job for your first. Just keep at it, and lean on the client for as much information as possible. Sell yourself cheap to gain their attention for now which gives you two things: extra money, and something money can't buy, which is experience. You'll get better at this in time.

 

-TZ

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tzframpton

Another thing... I think it's kind of cool that I posted on this thread almost ten years ago to the day when it was resurrected. Who knew ten years ago I'd be where I am today. Many thanks to the guys on this forum, that's for sure.

 

-TZ

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