Welcome to ASTORIA BUILDING DESIGN – Provider of Sustainable Building Design & Landscape Design services in United States ( U.S. ). We may also provide building design services in Canada and at our discretion other countries such as the United Kingdom ( U.K. ), and in several provinces and territories of Australia. We may also provide international Architectural services for clients seeking architectural design services for projects intended to be built in the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark (including Greenland).
Our services in building design is centrally focused on use of sustainable design practices in connection with the design of new buildings and design services associated with non-historic & historic existing buildings, as well as with the landscape. Learn more about sustainable building design go to our page on Sustainable Design Services.
- OUR SERVICES:
- Building Design Services (Depending on the State, Province, or Territory, building design services are services involving the design of buildings or the design of additions or alterations of buildings that are not required to be designed by or under the supervision of a licensed architect. These project types depends on specific states, Provinces, and territories.) To learn more about our building design services, go here. An Architect is not required, why hire an a building designer versus doing it yourself? Although a licensed is not required for a person to offer and building design services, however, most building designers have education and experience in designing buildings and often they specialize in the design of residential, agricultural, and light/small commercial buildings. DIY is risky and even can be lethally dangerous if you are not trained professionally or have professional experience. Building designers will serve you throughout the design process and work with you through various regulatory processes such as zoning, building codes, and other regulations and work to develop a solution. Building designers are professionals with educational training and experience especially in residential buildings but may also have experience with other types of buildings. At Astoria Building Design, LLC., we have building design experience spanning over a decade starting as a sole-proprietorship and becoming an LLC. in 2018. The Managing principal is the building designer and landscape designer who will work with you from initial consultation through out the design processes of our design (building, interior, and landscape) services and also if project requires, also provide historic preservation consultant related services. Optionally, we may also provide services throughout construction phase of a project such as construction observation and may serve as client’s authorized representative. At this time, we do not provide “construction services” which requires construction contractor license.
- LANDSCAPE DESIGN SERVICES: Our landscape design services maybe either separate or integrated together with our building design services. To learn more about our landscape design services, go here.
Astoria Building Design, LLC is based in Astoria, Oregon providing these above services as well as the following services:
- Historic Preservation Consultation services
- Interior Design & Tenant Improvement Services
As noted, services may be separate or integrated together. Most new construction design services by us will involve integration of landscape design services for a complete design plan. Services may also be done in phases depending on the requirements of the project after consultation with client about project requirements, budget, and determination of what can be done.
WHAT DOES YOUR SERVICES COST?
There is no one size fits all answer. In short, it depends on the project requirements and scope of services involved. Our standard fees are of two types of fees. Other fee pricing formats and payment plans are available but would likely be in same ballpark for the same or substantively similar project requirements and scope of work. Of our two standard fee types: One is the Cost Plus Fee frequently with a Guarantee Maximum Price fee that has a base starting fee amount and will increase to the guaranteed maximum price for all work within the agreed contractual scope. The other is our Billed Hourly Rate fee which we will typically use for additional services (services outside the scope of services) and construction stage services. Our consultants are billed separately and may be billed monthly or otherwise independently of our fees accordingly. Client would be expected to pay them directly for expedience. One way or another, you’ll be paying them as their cost would be additional to our services.
Our Billed Hourly Rate is typically going to fall around $80 to $160 per sq.ft. but this may vary. The calculations on this is more involved in determination from cost of operating as a business, direct labor rate, etc. We may negotiate our prices to within reason for ourselves as a business. The total cost of service package will depend on project scope. Services typically begins with our Initial Consultation Service. Prospective clients will be expected to read, understand the terms (if necessary with their respective legal counsel) of the agreement and sign the contractual agreement (“Agreement for Initial Consultation for Services”). Per that contract, Initial Consultation is typically billed at a Billed Hourly Rate. Normal rates are from $80 to $160 an hour.
Our design services uses both the billed hourly rate using the Cost-Plus-Fee with Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) fee method with a starting base price with our caveats provisions in place for services beyond the scope of work outlined in contract which will be charged as additional services at our billed hourly rate.
Regarding our Cost-Plus-Fee with Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) with starting base fee amount:
Our Cost-Plus-Fee with Guaranteed Maximum Price (referred to as GMP below) fee with starting base fee amount is based on an estimated *range* of hours times our Billed Hourly Rate plus costs. We set a starting base fee amount as a guaranteed minimum amount but also setting a guaranteed maximum for the agreed scope of work. Work beyond or outside the scope of work agreed to in contract is billed additionally at our Billed Hourly Rate. Associated direct project costs aside from labor are invoiced such as the cost of the plans to print them, etc. Sometimes, it may be calculated into the fee but additional costs may be added.
For an example, with the GMP w/ starting base fee amount, on a given scope of work, we may estimate that the project’s scope may vary between 500 to 650 or so hours. So we have may make a floating fee starting at $160 times 500 hours with a GMP at the $160 x 650 hours. We may include a limited float beyond 650 hours like 700 hours then add any billed costs and that is our GMP. The GMP in this case may be at $160 x 700 hours plus billed costs. The fee is calculated when we determine the scope of work for the contract at the on set of our services. Technically, the calculations for fees will typically be more involved in assessing potential costs. The numbers above in this paragraph is an example for design services not construction services.
NOTE: Cost-plus-Fee with GMP & starting base fee amount is for the design stage services from Pre-Design through Construction Documents/Submittal Document phase. Construction Stage services are billed by the hour or a daily fee based on 8 hour days flat rate daily fees for site visits, construction observation, change-orders/RFC/RFIs during construction stage, etc. This is not to be confused with Construction Contracting Services which at this time is not provided by us. Change Orders are billed at Billed Hourly Rate. The GMP is not necessarily the maximum price of our services to the client. It is simply to set a cap at a certain price for work under a given set of agreed scope of work. However, if the scope of work changes, the work due to client changing the scope of services, then we may charge additional amount for the additional work as “additional services” because the original fees amount is based on an initial understanding under the contract term when we begin so we have provisions in our contract to override the GMP when the client decides to make drastic changes in their ideas especially late in the design phase so we aren’t stuck working hundreds of hours for free because a client makes major scope of work changes. We are a business, after all. Working free don’t pay the bills.
Some parts of our services are going to regularly be priced hourly or by some price amount per unit of time such as some price amount per day. This depends on the project and per day is mostly for projects that are not local and require travel to perform.
NOTE: We are not just some drafting service and we are not the ‘cheapest’ but the adage…. you get what you paid for.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Pricing is potentially negotiable within reason. These above are intended to provide some guide or sense that we are looking for serious clients that are willing to pay a respectable amount for professional services and under pricing generally hurts ourselves and the profession as a whole as well as increases danger to public. Billed Hourly rate is calculated based on billed hours as not all hours are “billable” hours but the rate is usually a multiple amount above the direct labor hourly rate to cover the indirect labor costs, operational overhead, and in general provide for a profit as a percentage of that rate for the business profit that is required for any business to be financially sustainable. There are those that are in the race to the bottom but we’re not into the race as that’s more of a going out of business race because that is what ultimately happens when underpricing otherwise, the client gets the disservice of prices being jacked up in the end and costing more. How often have we heard of low ball bidders for construction contracts woefully below what it costs and then end up misleading the client and then the end up costing the client possibly more than it should have cost in the first place.
Before we meet for initial consultation, we may provide some questionnaire to field some initial information about your project. In any case, we will try to inquire more about the project so we can get an idea about what your goals or dreams are for your project. It may also be used to determine if your services are within the scope of work we are allowed to perform. NOTE: Our primary policy of meetings (including but not limited to initial consultation meetings) are that meetings are recorded but are NOT published. They are used to help in facilitating clarity of project requirements and for preparation of written contracts that will require signatures. The written and signed contracts or even written contracts to amend the terms of the existing contract are what will guide the design and contractual obligations. Unrecorded conversations will not be treated as legally binding. If it is something that must be done, we should put it in writing, signed and dated.
Initial consultation will be based on a Billed Hourly rate amount but we may at our discretion waive that initial consultation fee. We charge this fee to discourage ‘window shoppers’ and those who are not serious especially those who don’t have a clear budget or any financial resources secured & set aside. We don’t want to be losing money by spending hours every day fielding prospective clients that do not have any budget.
NOTE ABOUT OUR SERVICES AND THE USE OF RECORDING:
As shall be noted, due to the nature of our services, we record in-person and over the internet voice or video conference meetings. Additionally, we use written contracts to formalize our agreements and usually will require signatures.
Additionally, we take the privacy importantly and do not disclose the entrusted private information attained through those conversations to the public without either permission from the client or through court order or subpoena. While we are not lawyers or doctors with special legal protections, we still do our best to preserve the trust of our clients.
Agreeing to use our services including initial consultation and / or by contacting us, you are consenting to use of recording.
Additionally, we retain ALL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS to the designs we prepare for our clients. We are independent contractors (not construction contractors but self-employed/stand-alone business). We are NOT employees to clients. Therefore, we are not a “work for hire”. We are owners of our designs. Clients own trademarks and other intellectual properties are that of our clients.
ADDITIONAL NOTE ABOUT COMBINATION OF SERVICES AND MULTIPLE PROJECTS WE WORK ON:
When a project involves use of multiple services, it will usually take more time to deliver with such scope of work. In which case, such work will usually require 6 months or more even on modest projects. Building Design plus historic preservation consultation services will usually require at least 6 months and often more for additional work beyond designing including research. This is because we don’t have the human resources to do combinations of all the above concurrently without it potentially impacting the timeline especially while having more than one project being worked on. Frequently, we need to have two concurrent projects which often have staggered start points and payment due times may be offset for payments for each stage. Adding staff or consultants would require fees to be up on the higher end and to accelerate those projects the fees can be potentially higher than the standard fee rate and quotes.
WEAPONS AT MEETINGS POLICY AND STANDARD FOR CONTRACTUAL CLAUSE:
Given recent issues of gun violence and such in national news and the more frequency of such case, this policy is part of our manner of conducting business with clients, consultants, and other all other parties.
- Weapons and objects that can be readily used to inflict harm or inflict lethal force shall be holstered, sheathed, or otherwise store away safely so that it would not be used to intimidate, threaten, harm, or kill, at any meeting in-person or even on remote-call meetings (eg. Zoom meeting).
- Threatening behavior and threats of harm is not to be tolerated and can be a basis for meetings to be immediately terminated and parties to the meeting to leave.
- Violation of this policy establishes duress and meetings may be terminated as well as contractual services may be terminated by any and/or parties.
- We do recognize and respect the right to own, keep, and bear arms (weapons) but we also recognize that such right requires responsible care. Therefore, all parties shall respect others even when there is disagreements or disputes and that use of weapons of any kind is not appropriate to resolve disputes and intimidation through such not to be used. Mature, responsible, respectful adult conduct and behavior is to be expected.
In some fashion, this policy is part of our contractual requirements and to be expected with all parties. While we have not yet had a case of this nature, it is something that we have recently heard of that has happened to others and that if it can happen to others, it can happen to us.
Office | Phone Hours:
M-F: 10am-4pm (occassionally until 6pm)
Sat: 10am – 4pm (By Appointment)