Freelance Drafting - How To Price

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-23-2011, 12:57 PM   #1
Registered User
 
me82788's Avatar
 
Trade: draftsmen
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10

Freelance Drafting - How To Price


I have an associates in arch. tech., and have three years experience. I was laid off from a construction company in 2009, but continued to work contract for the same architect. I was only getting 10$/hr while working there, then went to 15$/hr when I went to contract. Im still making 15$/hr and i feel this is still pretty low. I draw mainly construction drawings, some preliminary, and when they client wants it I do skp models. I do little to no design work, or load calculations, as i work cloesly with the architect and he mainly takes care of these things. Also, I am the only draftsman, and he only hand drafts. I live in eastern NC.
How do I figure out what to charge?

Last edited by angus242; 06-23-2011 at 01:01 PM. Reason: edited pricing question
me82788 is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   
 

Old 06-23-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
I no spell good
 
angus242's Avatar
 
Trade: No Longer Zoned
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20,163
Rewards Points: 226

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


"How much to"questions are not allowed here. I have edited your post and removed the exact pricing questions. It's funny you posted this as we have an ongoing discussion happening. Read this thread:
http://www.contractortalk.com/f11/wh...r-talk-100555/
Now read this thread:
http://www.contractortalk.com/f16/pr...success-27899/

__________________
Angus
angus242 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to angus242 For This Useful Post:
me82788 (06-23-2011)
Old 06-23-2011, 02:51 PM   #3
Registered User
 
me82788's Avatar
 
Trade: draftsmen
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


i see from reading those posts the reasoning behind them not being allowed, but it still leaves me emptyhanded. I understand the basic principles of figuring out what i should charge -

what i want to make annually * 1.25 (for taxes blah blah b/c of contract work) / 2080 work hours in a year = what i should charge an hour.

but i have no clue what the running salary for a draftsmen is to put into my equation. i guess i could go to like salary.com or something and find an estimate?
me82788 is offline  
Old 06-23-2011, 02:58 PM   #4
I no spell good
 
angus242's Avatar
 
Trade: No Longer Zoned
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20,163
Rewards Points: 226

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


Plug $15/per hour into your calculations to see if that works. If so, can you live with that? If not, try incrementing until you get what number makes it profitable for you.

Try not to focus on a per hour number when you figure your costs. Sounds like worrying solely about that number is hanging you up.
__________________
Angus
angus242 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to angus242 For This Useful Post:
Willie T (06-24-2011)
Old 06-23-2011, 05:56 PM   #5
Pro
 
J F's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: North of Atlanta
Posts: 9,058
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


Keep learning, keep drawing...rinse, repeat.
J F is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to J F For This Useful Post:
ScipioAfricanus (06-23-2011)
Old 06-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
Capra aegagrus

 
Tinstaafl's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeler
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 16,586
Rewards Points: 3,970

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


The department of Labor & Industry has all kinds of numbers on employee wages for various occupations, broken down by geographical area.

A general rule of thumb for an employer is that an employee should produce billable work worth about three times what he is being paid. That allows the employer to make money over and above the cost of workman's comp and the various benefits he provides.

If you're truly a fully self-directed independent contractor and not just a 1099 dodge, the difference between your fee and what the architect charges for your work is pretty much all profit for him. That's oversimplified, but the gist is there. Just don't forget though, that in a sense you are a parasite. Suck too much blood from the host, and you'll be looking for a new home.
Tinstaafl is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Tinstaafl For This Useful Post:
concretemasonry (06-23-2011)
Old 06-27-2011, 11:55 PM   #7
Pro
 
RobertCDF's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom deck builder
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 7,964
Rewards Points: 3,681

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


I've easily made $100-$250 an hour on drafting.
RobertCDF is offline  
Old 06-28-2011, 11:08 AM   #8
Member
 
ziemer's Avatar
 
Trade: General & Design
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St. Cloud, FL
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


Consider charging by the job rather than by the hour...the better CAD drafter you are the more you'll make an hour.

If you're taking a new job from sketch to cd's you're doing essentially all of the work for him. The less marking up and corrections he needs to make the more efficient the job is, hence more profitable.

Maintain a good library of details, blocks and general notes. Make yourself more efficient. Of course if you can command payment per job rather than per hour you will make much more.
ziemer is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to ziemer For This Useful Post:
Rio (06-28-2011)
Old 06-28-2011, 12:21 PM   #9
PRO
 
BrandConst's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,934
Rewards Points: 1,000

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


Quote:
Originally Posted by me82788 View Post
i see from reading those posts the reasoning behind them not being allowed, but it still leaves me emptyhanded. I understand the basic principles of figuring out what i should charge -

what i want to make annually * 1.25 (for taxes blah blah b/c of contract work) / 2080 work hours in a year = what i should charge an hour.

but i have no clue what the running salary for a draftsmen is to put into my equation. i guess i could go to like salary.com or something and find an estimate?
I know your experience is mostly in an architectural setting and overpricing yourself is going to get you know where. If you want to make money doing CAD get yourself an RID stamp, its easier than becoming an architect and they get a great hourly rate.
BrandConst is offline  
Old 06-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #10
Registered User
 
me82788's Avatar
 
Trade: draftsmen
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


whats RID?
me82788 is offline  
Old 06-28-2011, 03:05 PM   #11
PRO
 
BrandConst's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,934
Rewards Points: 1,000

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


Registered Interior Designer...not sure what the call them up there. They do just about the same thing as architects but have some limitations, none of which I can think of off the top of my head. I work with a couple down here.
BrandConst is offline  
Old 06-28-2011, 03:08 PM   #12
PRO
 
BrandConst's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,934
Rewards Points: 1,000

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


I mostly work with them on interior build outs, they produce all the CD's and attach the MEP's just like an architect does. And YES...the suck just as much as architects, there dimensions are never right and always vague.
BrandConst is offline  
Old 06-28-2011, 03:21 PM   #13
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 13,659
Rewards Points: 4,478

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


You are going to have to become adept at design work.
Also you need to know how a building is put together & with what materials. This will likely involve some field experience. You do not want the reputation of no one wanting to build what you draw because you suffer from a rectal cranial inversion.

IMO, you will need some sort of CAD program to be successful. Constant changes, electronic submittals & client review are getting to be the norm.

The Draftsman/Designers I know all charge by the sq foot for residential & most commercial.

PM Scipio Africanus (Andy), he's up on all the CAD stuff.
griz is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
ScipioAfricanus (06-28-2011)
Old 06-28-2011, 07:43 PM   #14
Member
 
ziemer's Avatar
 
Trade: General & Design
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St. Cloud, FL
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandConst View Post
I mostly work with them on interior build outs, they produce all the CD's and attach the MEP's just like an architect does. And YES...the suck just as much as architects, there dimensions are never right and always vague.
That's cuz interior designers have no business doing construction documents.

The more you can experience a construction site and understand what the lines in CAD actually represent in the field the better off you'll be. I have always prided myself in that I feel I'm a real world practical kinda designer...it may not always be the prettiest out there, but you'll damn sure be able to build it.
ziemer is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ziemer For This Useful Post:
ScipioAfricanus (06-28-2011), Willie T (07-16-2011)
Old 06-29-2011, 06:59 PM   #15
New Guy
 
alexjones's Avatar
 
Trade: New York
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Rewards Points: 10

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


Thanx guys!
alexjones is offline  
Old 02-02-2012, 08:16 AM   #16
Registered User
 
Cadguy606's Avatar
 
Trade: Low Voltage
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


Generally Free-lance cad work is priced out by the project. I have some friends who charge by the page size and number of pages.
It obviously depends on the service you are providing, but don't be shy about asking your potential customers directly. I have found that they are usually willing to share with you what thier expectations are and what price points they are accustomed to paying.
Cadguy606 is offline  
Old 02-14-2012, 02:28 PM   #17
Where do I begin?
 
genesiscont's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor/ Remodeler
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Washington
Posts: 27
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


I do a sheet for $150-$200
genesiscont is offline  
Old 08-19-2014, 02:44 PM   #18
Registered User
 
CAD DRAFTING's Avatar
 
Trade: DRAFTING
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: LOS ANGELES CA
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 6

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


I see that a few people have referenced charging by the project or sheet. I also regularly see that people mention making more money by charging this way.

I am a contract drafter and have been charging by the hour for small projects. I need to transition to charging a fee per project... Can anyone provide additional details on how they (or friends) price this? The more info the better, PM if needed.

The hard part is that these are new projects with a new client, custom homes for an architect, so it is hard for me to estimate at this point how much time the projects will likely take me (otherwise i could just multiple my hourly rate by the estimated hours

Can anyone provide info on how they are charging in what areas maybe? I will be in California.

Any information is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by CAD DRAFTING; 08-19-2014 at 02:51 PM. Reason: avoid asking for direct price info :)
CAD DRAFTING is offline  
Old 08-19-2014, 06:44 PM   #19
Pro
 
sunkist's Avatar
 
Trade: builder fl cbc
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: bradenton fl
Posts: 841
Rewards Points: 916

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


gosh you guys, tree fiddy at least per drawing!
sunkist is offline  
Old 08-24-2014, 02:15 PM   #20
Pro
 
fjn's Avatar
 
Trade: mason
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,035
Rewards Points: 2,334

Re: Freelance Drafting - How To Price


Just to throw it out there. A number of years ago,I had a conversation with a semi retired architect that lives in my area regarding fees. He has been around a long time (he is 86),he said when he was at it full time,the work was priced at one weeks wage for an architect per page. It may seem exorbitant by today's standard however,things were somewhat different then. For instant,all work was done with a T square and pencil,also he was trained in classical architecture. If one can imagine drawing the capitals of the orders in that fashion one can appreciate the level of detail.

If one were to view some of the earliest work that became part of the White Pine Monographs in the early part of the past century a full appreciation of the time involved would be sensed. The drawings were works of art in addition to depicting how the building goes together.


Today,the drawings are strictly utilitarian,the art has left the architecture,IMHO. One can certainly argue the need for the cad system however,with that came a disconnect between the designer and the design. The best analogy I can come up with (which admittedly is not very good) is like a computer producing a oil painting instead of an artist with his brush.

fjn is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?