Price List


Not every project is suitable for certification. Certification requires structural drawings which adequately specify the structure and materials to be used, so that we can carry out calculations to check the suitability of the proposed structure for its intended purpose. The structure needs to be of a relatively simple form, so that the process of assessment and the results of calculations can be summarised in a 1 to 5 page certificate.

The calculations also need to be relatively simple.  For example the calculations can be punched directly into a pocket calculator without need to write anything down, and the results written directly into the certificate. The person  reviewing and approving the certificate can verify the numbers in like manner. Computers allow more complex calculations to be automated, however that does not mean that the results can be simplified and summarised in a compact and meaningful manner. Therefore there is a point at which it is more practical to document the calculation process, or provide more detailed documentation of the results.

Our typical certificate comprises of two to three tables:

  1. Resistances of the structural components (eg. Φ.Ms, Φ.Mb,Φ.V, Φ.Nt, Φ.Nc )
  2. Maximum design action-effect for each of gravity loading and wind loading. For simple structures typically only provide maximum bending moment (M), other action-effects can be determined by inspection and checked against the resistances.
  3. Connection table if direction of loading is critical, or local effects on members is more concern that capacity of fasteners.  (eg. timber, cold-formed steel, aluminium)

The basic pricing blocks for certificates, inclusive of GST are:

  1. $220 for each rectangle on plan having  a common structural form within the rectangle (comprises of no more than 2 plane frames at rights angles to one another. That is transverse framing and longitudinal framing, to resist two directions of lateral loading)
  2. $110 for each interface between rectangle, where only the connection between the two is important, or a single plane frame. {eg. 1) line where carport attached to house. 2) Gable end frame different to typical frame}
  3. $550 for each 3 dimensional structural form. (eg. pyramid  roof, or octagonal, hexagonal floor plans.)


  1. Freestanding flat carport: 1 rectangle therefore $220
  2. Flat carport attached to house 1 side: $220+$110 = $330
  3. Flat carport attached to house 2 sides: $220+2*$110=$440
  4. Freestanding gable canopy: $220
  5. Freestanding canopy with end frames different to internal frames: $220+$110=$330
  6. Freestanding Hipped Canopy: 3 rectangles (hip+internal+hip), if the hips are the same then 2*$220=$440
  7. Freestanding Gable Canopy with L-Shaped Plan: 3 rectangles (leg 1 + junction + leg 2)  3*$220=$660 or if the two legs are the same then 2*$220=$440


  1. If you cannot provide suitable structural drawings, then structural design services would be more suitable than a certificate
  2. If fee is $880 or greater no certificate provided, calculations will be documented and issued.
  3. For flat canopy minimum wind directions to consider are theta=0,180,90.
  4. For symmetrical gable canopy minimum wind directions to consider are theta=0,90
  5. When columns removed from freestanding to attach to house, it loses symmetry and minimum wind directions to check are theta=0,180,90
  6. Simple Beams are easier to check than plane frames.


ItemDescription {Refer to notes at bottom of page}Price
(includes GST)
 0Category 0 {gratis}$0.00
 1Category 1$5.50
 2Category 2 (same price as Category 1)$5.50
 3Category 3$11.00
 4Category 4$16.50
 5Category 5$22.00
 6Category 6$33.00
 7Category 7$55.00
 8Category 8$88.00
 9Category 9$137.50
 10Category 10$220.00


Level 1

ItemDescription {Refer to notes at bottom of page}Price (includes GST)
1Drawing Review and check for structural content$110
2Wind classification to AS4055 – 1 to 2 storey building.$110

Level 2

1something not yet determined$165

Level 3

1Certificate of Structural Adequacy – freestanding monoslope canopy- timber– single span (and additional constraints)$220
2 Certificate of Structural Adequacy – freestanding monoslope canopy- cold-formed steel – Single span (and additional constraints)$220
3Certificate of Structural Adequacy – freestanding gable canopy-timber – single span (and additional constraints)$220
4Certificate of Structural Adequacy – freestanding gable canopy- cold-formed steel – single Span (and additional constraints)$220
5Certificate of Structural adequacy – attachment of canopy to house$220
6Certificate of Structural Adequacy – balustrade installation$220

Level 4

1Miscellaneous Drawings for Planning Approval$330

Level 5

1Certificate of Structural Adequacy – gable shed – cold-formed steel – single span less than 12m, (and additional constraints)$550
2Structural Assessment report, for small miscellaneous residential structures not covered elsewhere.$550
3Drawings and report for planning approval: residential$550
4Building Design Drawings for Development Approval: small miscellaneous structures not covered elsewhere. (excludes structural drawings and assessment)$550
5Balustrade: Structural Drawings and Calculations$550
6Decking: Structural Drawings and Calculations$550
7Steps/Stairs: Structural Drawings and Calculations$550

Some structures are more structure than anything else (eg. decks, carports, sheds) therefore the structural information can be added to the building design drawings. Or we can produce the extra building design drawings to add to our structural design drawings. Building design drawings include: site plan, and building plan and elevations typically showing cladding. In skin and skeleton, or frame and fabric construction, structural drawings typically show the frame without the fabric: thus need extra drawings to show what the clad building will look like. If we don’t produce structural drawings for builders and owner-builders, we still typically produce drawings of connection details. Amongst other things these details explain our calculations, additionally they describe details, which are typically not provided to us. It becomes duplication of effort, if we describe connections in drawings for others to include on their drawings. The same can be said as structures get more complicated, it is better for us to produce separate structural drawings than to have our information placed on other drawings.

Level 6

1Structural Design Freestanding Canopy – cold-formed steel – span less than 12m : structural drawings and calculations$880
2Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – less than 3m : structural drawings and calculations$880
3Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – span greater than 3m and less than 6m : structural drawings and calculations $880
4Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – span greater than 6m and less than 9m: structural drawings and calculations $880

NB: All items referred to has sheds above, are strictly sheds: they have four clad walls. Doors fit within the frame spacing. Canopies have all faces open.

If looking for partially enclosed building, such as agricultural shelters, then look at level 7 products and above. Likewise if want to install doors with width greater than spacing of frames, then look at level 7 products and above. Roof is typically a gable roof, if looking for skillion roof with span greater than 6m then look at level 7 products. For a given span, skillion roofs sag more than gable roofs, so require more control over deflection and stiffer sections are required or roof to have triangulated roof trusses. {Note to shed sales people: a single steel section is not a truss (gutter truss excepted), and a frame is not a portal frame unless it has moment connections. And no, you cannot rip columns out and just stick a carry beam in, portal frame sheds are not the same as pinned and braced stick frame house construction.}

Level 7

1 Structural Design shed –steel – span less than 9m with features excluded from level 7: structural drawings and calculations $1375
2Certificate of Structural Adequacy –other$1375 minimum
3Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – greater than 9m and less than 12m : structural drawings and calculations$1375
4Structural Design (structural drawings and calculations ) of Steel framed shed – span less than 9m. With additional Planning and Building Design Drawings $1375
5Industrial Platforms $1375

Level 8

1Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – greater than 12m and less than 15m : structural drawings and calculations$2200
2Structural Design shed – steel – greater than 12m and less than 15m : structural drawings and calculations $2200

Level 9

1Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – greater than 15m and less than 18m : structural drawings and calculations$3465
2Structural Design shed – steel – greater than 15m and less than 18m : structural drawings and calculations $3465

Level 10

1Structural Design shed – cold-formed steel – span greater than 18m : structural drawings and calculations$5500
2Structural Design shed – steel – span greater than 18m : structural drawings and calculations $5500
3Workshop details of cold-formed steel shed. (Lower fees may apply if I already have part details and just need to add the component count to the drawing.) $5500
4 Structural Design and documentation of Single storey building structure compatible with architectural/building design drawings $5500
5Structural Design and documentation of a structure which is not otherwise considered a building:$5500 (minimum)
6Structural Design of pre- engineered/pre-specified building system (eg. canopies, sheds, balustrades, industrial racking)$5500 (starting: minimum viable
7Custom software development for structural design of building system applications. {NB: Before software is developed the building system end-product should have been properly designed and documented.}$5500 (starting: minimum viable product)
8Integration of our structures engine with other software.$5500(minimum)


ItemDescription {Refer to notes at bottom of page}Price (includes GST)
0Minimum consulting fee$110
1Effort Level 1 ( Typically 1 hour cf approx 5 hours at federal minimum)$110
2Effort Level 2 (Typically 2 hours, cf approx 10 hours  at federal minimum)$165
3Effort Level 3 (Typically 3 hours , cf approx 15 hours at federal minimum)$220
4Effort Level 4 (Typically 5 hours, cf approx 20 hours at federal minimum)$330
5Effort Level 5 (Typically 7 hours, cf approx 30 hours at federal minimum)$550
6Effort Level 6 (Typically 10 hours, cf approx 50 hours at federal minimum)$880
7Effort Level 7 (Typically 15 hours, cf approx 80 hours at federal minimum)$1375
8Effort Level 8 (Typically 25 hours,cf approx 125 hours at federal minimum)$2200
9Effort Level 9 (Typically 35 hours,cf approx 195 hours at federal minimum)$3465
10Effort Level 10 (Typically 50 hours,cf approx 310 hours at federal minimum)$5500

NB: As noted elsewhere we don’t sell time.  The fees are derived from an upper fee limit of $5000 and then divided into 10 levels using a geometric series and rounded. The approximate hours based on Australian federal minimum rate, is provided as reference for labour cost ignoring operating cost of business.  Assuming a business has near equivalent operating costs to a person, than minimum charge out rate is twice the federal minimum rate (eg. $35.40): the upper limits of hours are thus only viable if someone else provides all the required resources. So once the actual hours for the job exceed half the maximum hours quoted above, the project becomes nonviable.

The estimated typical hours are based on hourly rates which varies from $55/hour to $110/hour (inc. GST): the variation is to account for complexity and risk, and the type of work involved. The hours overlap because two projects of equal duration will have differences in complexity, risk and type of work involved.  For example two projects of equal duration will have different fees if one project has more drafting time, whilst the other has more calculation (“engineering”) time: assuming drafting costs less than “engineering”. Based on distribution of time, an average rate can be determined for the project. Two projects of equal duration and only involving calculation, will have different fees based on complexity and risk. With respect to risk, we assume most of our projects are relatively low risk, with the projects being established technologies for which there is an established body of scientific knowledge which can be used to ensure fitness-for-function. So complexity is the major determinant of difference: for example a flat roof carport is less complex than a gable roof carport. A free standing carport is less complex than an attached carport: for the attached carport also need to assess the house structure. The house structure is not accessible and largely unknown, and so the risk is higher.

Projects are pursued for fixed fee, and hours are irrelevant {well relevant, if time is too long, then won’t pursue similar projects again for similar fee.}.

Activity fees: By the Hour

Hourly Pay Rates
Hourly Pay Rates
ItemDescription Price
(includes GST)
 1Exploratory (1)$5.00
 2Federal Minimum [as 2/6/2019]$18.93
 3Exploratory (2)$22.00
 5Design (1)$55.00
 6Design (2)$110.00

Judgements range from minimum of 0.5 hours, or are 5% to 20% of the total hours for a project. Judgements typically go hand in hand with exploratory work. Exploratory(1) typically involves tracking down information and reading. Exploratory(2) involves conceptual sketches and calculations and/or becoming familiar with information found during exploratory(1) activity. and reading documentation for a project. Drafting is production of formal technical drawings, but excludes design-drafting. Design (1) is routine design which I do on a regular basis, it includes design-drafting and calculations based on the physical sciences (eg. structural mechanics). Design(2) is for routine design which I do less frequently. Routine design is: the design of established technologies using an established body of technical science , it may involve routine testing (eg. testing of materials).

Non-routine design involves developing mathematical models which have not been validated by experiments and therefore will require building and testing of prototypes or regular monitoring of one-off construction. Ultimately with the passage of time the mathematical models will be validated and pass into the established body of technical science, and the design of technology based on, will become routine. I don’t have access to workshop laboratories so I avoid non-routine design.

All the productized prices are currently based on estimated combinations of drafting and design(1). Experiments thus far have shown that the total combination, taking all the different activity fees into consideration typically generates average hourly rates between $40/hour and $80/hour.

Notes on Pricing


  1. [03/04/2016]: Original.
  2. [15/05/2016]: Changed from a list to a table.
  3. [20/05/2016]: Added some links to web store, rounded prices down to suit.
  4. [21/05/2016]: Created more product items, and linked remainder of items to webstore.
  5. [07/08/2016]: Added condition concerning shape of plan, and minimum extra fee charged.
  6. [14/08/2016]: Added links to pricing by level of effort required.
  7. [28/08/2016]: Sorted Products by level of effort and adjusted prices to suit.
  8. [17/09/2016]: Revised titles of products related to effort levels and updated links to suit.
  9. [18/09/2016]: Added Price List for Publications.
  10. [07/04/2017]: Added guideline hours
  11. [13/05/2017]: Removed notes to another page.
  12. [29/10/2017]: Modified hourly guidelines
  13. [06/01/2019]: Converted to gutenberg block editor
  14. [03/03/2019]: Increased number of ranges for sheds
  15. [02/06/2019]: Added some extra services