Notes on Pricing

Prices have typically been standardised by assignment of goods and services to various categories or classes, based on level of effort which is dependent on time, complexity, importance, risk and ultimately a subjective judgement as to whether it feels right. Our objective is to try and provide technical design services at the right time, in the right place at the right time in so far as it concerns structures of a relatively routine nature. To assist owner-builders, small builders, and small manufacturers with their industrial, manufacturing and structural engineering requirements.

The available goods and services can be further classified as:

  1. Publications providing a standard design or prespecified solution: no end-user customisation.
  2. Publications providing a prescriptive solution: limited end-user customisation using design tables and charts.
  3. Software simplifying use of prescriptive solutions.
  4. Software assisting those who have suitable education or are in the process of getting such education.
  5. Services where we make the assessments and conduct the design.

Currently our main offering is by supply of services, but publications and software are in the pipeline and once we have the appropriate tools and infrastructure in place then release of such will become a matter of regular routine, and the number of items will grow fairly rapidly.


For software and upfront/online payments refer to the online store. This is a list of prices for services which will be provided and invoiced later, and is subject to change without notice. As indicated in the blog posts we are against selling time, instead we prefer to fix prices. With fixed prices building designers, plan drafters, builders and manufacturers can more readily factor our fees into their costs. We also have a preference for not itemising things, as we have better things to do than argue about whether something was or was not required on a specific project. The fees are averaged expectations of effort required, the averaging doesn’t fulfil its role of balancing things out, if start customising the fee to the project.

However recognising that in some situations the averaging may produce a price that is perceived as too high, and more importantly that historically the fees have typically been too low and not in our own best interests, we have refined some of our task/product offerings. A typical project will have a fee less than level 5 ($550).

Technical Services

The fees include the GST. {For more information, the products are now linked to web store items, from where can make an enquiry. All such products will be invoiced on delivery, and can be paid by internet banking (EFT)}


  1. All the above are dependent on receiving complete information.
  2. Such assessments are dependent on having spreadsheets and in-house standard designs to simplify the assessments.
  3. A typical project is likely to involve multiple spans see the example drawings of canopies , therefore multiple certificates would be required for the project, if shorter spans use smaller sections. For example if a 190×45 timber rafter is used for a long span and short span then only one certificate is required, if however use 140×45 rafter for the short span, then two certificates required as have two separate different structures which need to be checked. Furthermore if the two different structures are connected some how, then the interface between the two needs to be assessed.
  4. If a canopy is attached to another structure then the connections on one side are different than those on the other side, where as if it was free standing they would be the same. Therefore for an attached canopy combine the fees for freestanding canopy and attachment of canopy to house.
  5. Sheds have more structural members and connections than a canopy
  6. Unusual connections will incur additional fees.
  7. Larger structures require the same effort as smaller structures if they have the same structural form. Different structural forms have different levels of complexity. As structures get larger the structural form is likely to change to a more complex form. Large span sheds have increasing complexity due to use of door openings larger than frame spacing, rather than being a series of similar 2D frames, it becomes a 3D structure. Also gable end walls have increased potential for large openings. For the doubly pitched building profile there is an unlimited number of different structural forms that can be used to frame up the building. The assumption is that small sheds have a series of 2D frames, and that roller doors are in the gable end wall only.
  8. Standard Designs: to reduce design and documentation costs for DIY projects, in the future we will make
    standard designs available for smaller structures: typically within the dimensional constraints of the timber framing code AS1684 and wind classification of AS4055. These will be available for download from the online shop.
  9. For regular clients, such as builders/manufacturers that can guarantee more than 50 projects a year, discounts may apply.
  10. If we get to see architects or other conceptual drawings we can provide a more customised fee for the project. Contact us. If the material isn’t steel, cold-formed steel, timber or aluminium then a starting fee of $2200 applies. If the structure isn’t a building then a starting fee of $2200 applies. The starting fee is to cover the cost of Australian standards, commentaries to those standards and associated handbooks and other such publications and design aids which may be required, and becoming familiar with such information. Some publications may take more than a month to acquire, and more than a week to read. It is generally preferable, that manufacturers have their own copies of national standards if they are going to rely on external consultants for design.
  11. Fees are typically for building structures with a rectangular plan and a single span with a prismatic section. For L-shaped,T-Shaped, U-shaped and structures which are not prismatic additional fees apply. At the very minimum the minimum consulting fee will be added to the basic fee for the structure type.

Notes 2:

  1. The level of effort and categories are all derived from preferred number systems (Renard Numbers). For projects the maximum base fee (excluding GST) is set at $5000, and for publications the maximum base fee is set at $200, these ranges are then divided into 10 intervals, with the results then rounded. The increments in price are smaller at the lower end of the range than the upper end: it thus favours repetitive type lower cost projects.

Productised Service Solutions

{Specific technical services: eg. technical solutions for common activities}

Publications and Software

{digital products: ebooks, eWorkbooks, and application software}


The hours given in the above table are approximate and a guide only. The average hourly rate is variable as it depends on the required effort and complexity of the project, which in turn depends on the distribution of required labour. For example a project with 80% drafting and 20% engineering calculations would have a different average hourly rate than a project with 80% engineering calculations and 20% drafting: assuming that an engineer’s hourly rate is higher than a drafters hourly rate. Duration of a project is only a partial contribution to the price at a given effort level: there are multiple factors to be taken into consideration, and there is an almost unlimited number of combinations of these factors which will produce a given effort level price. Note that the times are estimated work effort, not time frames, a project is likely to be delivered 4 weeks after acceptance and given go ahead.

If we are supplied with all the relevant information and don’t have to spend time chasing it up, then we can deliver some certificates of structural adequacy within 1 week of being given go ahead. Some extremely simple things we may be able to deliver within 48 hours.