Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

Fees and Compensation

How do I determine my fees and compensation?

Glad you asked!

I can’t pluck numbers out the air. We need to get to know one another, and I need to fully understand what you want and where we will be building before I can even start working on a proposal. The following steps one and two (either Two A or Two B) are required before I can prepare a proposal for full architectural services.

ONE: Initial Meeting

The initial meeting is the first step in the process for all projects except accessory dwelling unit projects. During this meeting you get my undivided attention for up to 60 minutes. We will discuss your project in general terms, including likely schedule and construction costs. I will not try to sell you my services, but rather answer your questions and provide useful information.

For our initial meeting, I require a fixed fee of $347 for a weekday meeting. If you would like to meet on the weekend, I am available on Saturday morning’s only and the fixed fee is $497.  The fee is payable upon booking the meeting. You can book your first appointment using the scheduling form on the right.

I also offer Virtual Initial Meetings which are online meetings. They require that you have either a smart phone with a camera, or a laptop with a camera. Virtual initial meetings are $297, paid in advance.

TWO (A): ADU Review

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and you want to add an accessory dwelling to your property or already have an existing un-permitted in-law unit that you want to legalize, this is the first step in the process. The ADU Review is a combination of the initial meeting and the feasibility study. It is a flat fee of $797 which is payable upon booking the meeting. You can book the appointment using the scheduling form on the right.

TWO (B): Reality Check feasibility study

The Reality Check is the second step in the project process. It is a stand alone service during which we define the problem to be solved and establish the budget and the schedule for the project. We also research the Planning and Building Code issues that will affect your project. The preparation of the Needs + Options Review is a flat $1597. See the Reality Check page for more information.

Once we have completed the steps above, if you want to move forward, I will prepare a proposal for full architectural services. I find that by completing the process above, you have a better understanding of your goals and what is possible, and I have have a better understanding of both your needs and goals which allows me to prepare a more accurate proposal.

THREE: Full Service Proposal – 

For Full Service architectural services, I use a combination of compensation amounts:

  • time and expense based on my standard billing rates, above
  • fixed amounts for specific discrete, limited activities
  • per square foot amounts
  • stipulated flat fees based on an estimated construction cost. The estimate is based on the scope of work as described in the Schematic Design phase documents and is determined by a paid third party (estimator or contractor). The base compensation will be a percentage of the estimated construction cost. The percentage will be between 8% and 15% of the estimated construction cost + expenses. I will determine the percentage based on several factors, including but not limited to the size of the project, the complexity of the project, and the jurisdiction.

I think it is best to know what I am committing to before I commit myself. That is why I require that we proceed with a REALITY CHECK, or ADU REVIEW. These services will outline not only what you want to achieve, but what the challenges and limitations will be, as well as describing a way forward. After we complete the Reality Check or ADU Review, I will prepare a proposal for my services to complete the project.

The proposal will be a stipulated flat fee. I will offer you three options to choose from. My services will be bundled into a Basic Service Package, a Standard Service Package, and a Premier Service Package. The cost of each package will be based on the services provided as well as the size and complexity of the project as well as the location.

The services included in each of the Service Packages can be seen below.


Each of the service packages will be a flat fee proposal that includes the cost of travel, postage, and required printing. There are exceptions and limits, which are spelled out in my proposal.

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