Selection of Fee Basis

The fee basis selected depends primarily on the complexity and types of architectural and engineering services to be provided. The following criteria should also be considered:

  • Time schedule for furnishing services and possible changes that may affect the consultant's costs.
  • Studies, programs, and other professional input furnished by the Owner or Client.
  • Client's procedure and timing for review and approval of the Architect's recommendations/designs.
  • Costs of administration, including records to be maintained and preserved.
  • Probability of contingencies that are not included in the estimates of design costs.
  • Number of third parties or agencies required to be consulted or furnished plans, specifications, reports, and similar documents.

Architectural fees are affected by many variables and it is impractical to generalize any one fee basis as preferable for a specific project.

Hourly Rate Schedule

  • Project Architect:         $115.00 per hour
  • Project Manager:            $90.00 per hour
  • 3D Design:                      $80.00 per hour
  • Drafting Services:           $65.00 per hour
  • Administrative Services: $65.00 per hour
  • Mileage: IRS approved reimbursement rate

All other items will be passed to the Owner(s) at their direct cost to the Architect
(Examples: Additional BW Copies, Color Copies, Plan Sets, Travel Costs, Delivery Costs, Reproduction Costs, etc.)

Key Architectural Capabilities Include:

  • Site Analysis
  • Master Planning
  • Feasibility Studies &  Conceptual Design
  • Space Utilization Studies
  • Code Analysis
  • Interdisciplinary Coordination w/ Civil,  Structural, and Mechanical & Electrical
  • Schematic Development
  • Design Development

Hourly Rates for Individual Services

Hourly fees are well suited for preliminary designs, consultation services, testimony in court, or similar work involving miscellaneous personal service. The schedule below is hourly rates for various classifications of technical and non-technical employees.

Sub-consultant and reimbursable direct expenses are usually billed at invoice cost plus an agreed service charge for handling.

Percentage Basis

Percentage basis contracts specify that payment to the Architect for a certain scope of services will be determined by multiplying a specified percentage times the awarded, estimated, or final total construction cost of the project for which the services are furnished.

"Percentage of construction cost" is a method which has been used extensively in the past for establishing compensation for professional services. Compensation based on this method is not necessarily best suited to professional encouragement and reward, since it penalizes rather than rewards the Architect for reducing construction costs through economical design. Vagaries of local construction markets may affect construction costs and create inequities in charges for professional services either to the Client or to the Architect. However, it should be recognized that the "percentage of construction cost" method has been used for many years and it may be desired by Clients who have traditionally relied on it. 

Charges based on a percentage of construction cost are usually determined by one of the following methods: 

  • A mutually agreed-upon "Estimated Total Construction Cost" using unit prices established on the date of the contract for design, or unit prices expected to be current at the time of bidding.
  • The "Final Total Construction cost," so long as care is taken in the contract to protect the Client against extremely high construction bids and the Architect against loss resulting from extremely low construction bids.

Project designed or specified by the Architect, but excluding design costs, cost of financing, right-of-way or real estate cost, legal, administrative, or other similar expenses.

"Final Total Construction Cost" constitutes the cost to the Client of actual total construction in place of all elements of the Project design or specified by the Architect, but excluding design costs, cost of financing, right-of-way or real estate costs, legal, administrative, and other similar expenses.

In Percentage Basis contracts, compensation to the Architect for such services as resident agent, property surveys, soil borings and subsurface exploration, laboratory analyses, sampling, and testing, and other "extra services" is in addition to the basic compensation.

SDC, INC. is committed to providing exemplary services in all aspects of the design, documentation, project management and contract administration processes. SDC, Inc. offers a multitude of specialist skills and a diverse range of industry knowledge. SDC, Inc. provides all architectural design and drafting services holistically. We start each project with a thorough client scope meeting, for refinement and continue through the design and documentation process with continuous client consultation, ensuring expectations are met throughout the project. We ensure projects are produced exceeding client expectations, maximizing all possible re- turns, and fulfilling a complete professional service that amplifies our initial designs. Such support services include: SDC, Inc. design team has the staffing and knowledge to create the necessary construction documents in a timely manner. With our previous experiences together, we have confidence in all of our team members in their capabilities when it comes to producing a quality product.

Key Architectural Capabilities Include:


  • Interior Design Coordination
  • Construction Documents and Specifications
  • Specialized Equipment Coordination
  • Construction Observation and Administration
  • Construction Management
  • Handicapped Accessibility Compliance
  • Value Engineering
  • Contract Negotiations
  • As-Built Drawings

Professional Services Compensation

Technical Capabilities Include:

  • AutoCAD 2017
  • SketchUp Pro 2017
  • Microsoft Office
  • Revit 2017
  • Softplan 2018

324 St Joseph St. #207 Rapid City SD 57701 US

  Telephone:  +1.605.342.3388


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Professional Services

Lump Sum/Fixed

  A lump sum contract specifies that a predetermined scope of services will be furnished for a fixed fee. This amount remains fixed unless there is a change in the scope of services. A fixed lump sum fee agreement should include a stated time limit for the performance of the services. A provision should be included for additional compensation for time delays not caused by the Architect, and for changes requested by the Owner after the documents have been approved. It is essential that a detailed scope of the planned services be agreed upon under a fixed lump sum contract. Provisions should also be made for equitable adjustment in compensation should the original project be expanded or reduced in scope. In such cases, the amount of fee adjustment is often determined on a cost-plus basis.

  Lump sum compensation is usually arrived at by negotiations which include the following five items:

  • ​Estimated "Direct Salaries or Wages" to be paid to complete the services or the estimated "Direct Payroll Expense" to be incurred to complete the services based on the estimated number of drawings, staff hours, schedule requirements, etc.
  • ​Estimated "Payroll Burden and Fringe Cost" associated with the above "Direct Salaries or Wages
  • ​Estimated "general Overhead Costs."
  • ​Estimated "Reimbursable Expenses."
  • A reasonable profit.​​​

A cost-plus contract specifies that payments to the Architect will be determined on the basis of his or her costs for the services. This arrangement generally presupposes that the scope of the services and therefore the costs of those services cannot be reasonable estimated at the time of contract negotiations.

For budget purposes, a contract based on a cost-plus fee may appropriately have an established upper limit beyond which the Architect is not to be compensated unless the limit is renegotiated due to a change in scope such as additional services or a change in the duration of the Project. A cost-plus fee is normally determined by one of the following two methods: 

  • "Direct Salaries or Wages" paid times a "multiplier" rate (for payroll burden and fringe cost, general overhead cost, and profit) plus "reimbursable expenses," or "Direct Payroll Expenses" times a "multiplier" rate (for overhead cost and profit) plus "reimbursable expenses."
  •  "Direct Salaries or Wages" paid plus "payroll burden and fringe cost" plus "general overhead costs" plus "reimbursable expenses" plus a fixed fee, or "Direct Payroll Expenses" plus "general overhead costs" plus "reimbursable expenses" plus a fixed fee.

These cost-plus methods are frequently used for projects for which the Architect is required to begin providing services before the total scope of services can be accurately defined, when the scope of services is complex, or when determination of the extent or duration of services difficult or impossible to determine. Such an indeterminate project generally results from the requirement for speed, special studies, research or experimental work, preparation of estimates for alternate types of construction, and other similar requirements. The project, however, should carry a general description or statement of the scope of work contemplated, such as the number, size, and character of the improvements, the extent of utilities, and other items.