Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#33408 - 02/05/16 09:04 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: TIMBEAL]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 479
Loc: Vermont
Hi Tim,

I'll do my best on this...and perhaps it will make more sense to you after reading this post...If not let me know, as I am always trying to better define this for folks...client and Timberwrights alike...Thanks for you input in advance... smile

Quote:
I can't see pricing a frame by the square foot of the building or board foot of timber, both being very different things.


Remember...this is for the "client" as a metric of understanding. How we arrive there is based on many specific elements...most importantly perhaps...experience cutting many different kinds of frames, in many modalities and across many markets, as well as, examining different markets and metrics of pricing...

Quote:
All my work is priced on the individual frame, they are all different.


Agreed...They are all different...and have countless variations. This does not change commonalities or abilities to dial in pricing. As complicated as a timber frames (or sky scrapers) can be...it isn't as complicated as say "plastic surgery" or other disciplines...these all carry (and have) set averages into "pricing metrics."

Again (this is not aimed and anyone individual...I do want to stress that) this is what separates "experience professionals" from those with limited exposure and/or time performing an activity in a range of markets and disciplines.

Quote:
The base of my calculation is the joinery. Other consideration are bent spacing and how complicated the joinery decisions will be.


EXCELLENT...!!!...As it has been for a very long time (millenia??)

This is (for many of the woodworking arts) the primary focus for arriving and a pricing metric..The joint cut!!

I have observed a number of both historic and contemporaneity examples of this both here and overseas. There seems to be an average of between 5 and 10 levels of complexity for each joint type (which is made of usually 2 executions.) For example a simple 90 degree cut on the end of an exposed rafter tail would be a "level one" execution and have a price to go with it. A 4 way intersection in some of the more complicated Asian joinery, or Valley rafter mortise and tenon joint would be a "level 10" and have a higher $$$ amount assigned to it.

From here we can extrapolate either a "board foot" or "square foot or metre" pricing modality. Both of which has significant historic examples of being applied to profession like traditional house, timber, wood, and ship Wrights of all fashion and in many different cultures...With the "Shipwright" also employing the "volume of the ship" as an indicator of cost to their clients...

Quote:
Will you be lodging joist and purlins or using pockets? Compound joinery or not? What is the finish of the timbers expectation, planed, sanded, oil, raw with no finish at all, dirt included. Bent spacing on a building can double the price alone, with no other factors.


Some of these are "add on" costs...

For example, planning/sanding and Oiling/Staining typically has a linear foot cost preside finished. This currently ranges (US/Canada) between $1.75 to $6.00 depending on treatment, and/or materials applied.

Bent spacing can indeed affect price...Yet that does not negate "averages" or the application of a "metric" if a craft (aka "skill set application") of any type is well understood by the practicing artisan or professional.

Quote:
How do you consider all these factor when using a square foot number?


Work backwards from the "know elements." Wood species, complexity of joint, material cost (if included), tooling, etc.

I stress again, whenever this debate tends to come up, it is often with folks with 15 years of experience or less. That isn't a "bad thing" or a criticism of any kind...just and observation. I would share, in days of old, typically a "Master Apprentice" would still be working with and under a "Master-Wright" at the 15 year mark in their career. They typically would not leave a "guild shop" or their relationship with a group of Master Craft people (I am speaking across many art/craft forms from timber framing to Blacksmiths) until the 30 year or more mark...Some never leave and only take over after the Master Wright has passed. I have met "apprentice" in Japan that are in their 40's and some even older...

Today we have lost much in these "student/teacher" relationships that span generations within many arts and crafts. The deeper knowledge these "teaching systems" had provided in the past are vastly different in the modern economic models today...with that much happening today...a great deal of complexity and skill sets are lost (or not taught) before a "timber framer" is expected (or chooses) to then go out and market and sell their product.

Regards,

j
_________________________
http://about.me/tosatomo

Top
#33413 - 02/05/16 10:20 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1873
Loc: Maine
I have never worked in an "apprentice" system, btw.

I still see no way a frame could be priced on square footage. Adding the cost of the frame to the whole package can be equated to square footage, lets not put the cart before the horse. figure the whole project then put a square foot price to it.

Top
#33415 - 02/06/16 07:44 AM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: TIMBEAL]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 479
Loc: Vermont
Quote:
I still see no way a frame could be priced on square footage.


I can respect that, and nothing wrong with not understanding something yet...

It doesn't change the fact that it can and was done historically in several of the modalities I have shared From House Wright to Barn Wright and beyond. Volume and area pricing metrics (or other "by the job") methods of relay "cost" to a potential consumer is nothing new and a standard practice among many.

Quote:
Adding the cost of the frame to the whole package can be equated to square footage, lets not put the cart before the horse. figure the whole project then put a square foot price to it.


No carts before any horses here... wink

but there is a error in definitional understanding in this dialogue of trying to compare "apples to oranges," I do believe. That could be what is confusing?

When a potential client asks me about "how much do you think my...timber frame....will cost?"...(That is an apple) I can, with just basic information, give them a "ball park" price on average for others, and an "exact one" for what myself and colleagues would cut it for...

The second half of the above comment..."figure the whole project"...in the architectural world is called your "turn key" price and that is another metric entirely!! (That is an orange) Its metric for domestic architecture start at (averages again) $90/ft2 for "prefab homes" and rises to over $450/ft2 for custom built homes and is not as simple a number to arrive at without a bit more information from the consumer seeking such assistance...
Quote:

I have never worked in an "apprentice" system, btw.


That is a common theme today...and why there is many "holes" in the overall knowledge base of many of our guild crafts in general. Many have had to "teach themselves" at least 50% or more of what they know about a craft...In this case timber framing...

We haven't been afforded the opportunity of learning directly from a collective "deep well" of knowledge holders, or supported such practices once "big industry" stepped in to control the details...I should add thought the TFG has done (and is doing) a remarkable job of trying to coalesce this type of knowledge for timber framing as reflected in a venue like this forum as just one example...


Edited by Jay White Cloud (02/06/16 07:50 AM)
_________________________
http://about.me/tosatomo

Top
#33416 - 02/06/16 08:33 AM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1873
Loc: Maine
Jay, Your work takes you on a different path than mine and perhaps others. Our different paths head in a general direction or have a similar view, but they are different. These differences don't make one wrong or better, they are simply different. By all means you and the folks you work for have their system of pricing, I'm sure it is on a level of work I don't perform in.

This is how I see a square foot price coming into the equation.

" The second half of the above comment..."figure the whole project"...in the architectural world is called your "turn key" price and that is another metric entirely!! (That is an orange) Its metric for domestic architecture start at (averages again) $90/ft2 for "prefab homes" and rises to over $450/ft2 for custom built homes and is not as simple a number to arrive at without a bit more information from the consumer seeking such assistance..."

I would listen if you could explain how you price a frame alone and equate it into square foot pricing. And why you would do that? I have no problem learning new trick.

Top
#33419 - 02/06/16 02:06 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
Mike Shenton Offline
Member

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 28
Loc: Fleetwood, NC
I routinely price my frames by the sq. ft. and don't see why it's a hard thing to do. You can only cram so many timbers in a given space. I would have no problem quoting his 24x32 saltbox using planed white pine at about $17,000.00 assuming there is a loft.
I'm not trying to get the job since my schedule is already full for the year, just trying to make the point.

www.mktimberworks.com


Edited by Mike Shenton (02/06/16 02:06 PM)
_________________________
Michael Shenton

Top
#33428 - 02/07/16 08:29 AM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1873
Loc: Maine
If you are listing frames pre designed, pricing by the square foot is logical. To design a fresh frame by sitting down and first running the square foot number, well, I'm still not sure how that process works. The first thing is determining the construct of the frame, square foot pricing of the building is derived from and based on the design of the frame.

You can cram a lot of timber into a 768 square foot footprint. I had one design company suggest 4' spacing of bents, once. Or you could have 3 bents. So, 9 bents compared to 3, no difference there.

Top
#33429 - 02/07/16 04:50 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: TIMBEAL]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 479
Loc: Vermont
Hi Mike,

Thanks for adding your voice to this conversation...

I came between $16128 (if I brokered it out to one of my younger Timberwright acquaintances) to $34560 (if I laid it out and cut it) for the salt box in question within the first 3 minutes of reading about it...Good to see you landed in the exact same area for your assessment for its costs. And yours would probably be a better deal as mine might not include wood?

I agree, if you do this day in and day out like we seem to, we agree (custom or stock item timber frame) if you have been doing this a while it isn't difficult at all to give a potential client a really accurate prices for just a frame. With just a little more info you can provide them the transport and raising fees as well. Clients love speed, set fee pricing, and the knowledge base to succinctly delve deeper into this topic with them without too much hemming and hawing or reluctance to share the information...even if some of it is validated as "averages." To be able to do this "off the top or your head" is even more valuable in instilling confidence in a client...Assuming one can do that accurately...

(P.S. Mike...expect an email soon from me on some frame related item questions, your current timeline of projects, and related... I may need your assistance and thoughts on some stuff...Thanks...)

>>>>>

Quote:
Jay, Your work takes you on a different path than mine and perhaps others. Our different paths head in a general direction or have a similar view, but they are different.


Hi Tim,

It would be foolish of me to say for certain on whether our paths are very different. However, I suspect they aren't really at all that much different, but perhaps working in a broader field of Guild art trades and in a global format has equipped me with perhaps a broader perspective?? You do something on and off for over 35 years and you get a deeper understanding of it...

Quote:
By all means you and the folks you work for have their system of pricing, I'm sure it is on a level of work I don't perform in.


Again, that may well be true, but I suspect it isn't?

I have consulted on Cruck Frames in the U.K., to delving into items with Ed L. (who I miss terribly) on the Christ Church project in New Zealand, his work on the Synagogue in Poland, and all the way down to DIYer project restoring and/or building Bousillage traditional Creole timber frames...and the gambet in between...With that, and the diversity it reflects from huge projects in the commercial range (as I am on now) to small "pizza pavilions" in the Asian style for an elementary school...I would doubt that there is too much I might not have at least studied that would or could have merit in the methods you perform.

Quote:
I would listen if you could explain how you price a frame alone and equate it into square foot pricing. And why you would do that? I have no problem learning new trick.


Tim... smile ...New tricks is what I too am here to learn all the time!! grin ..and share what "tricks" I known and understand with fellow Timberwrights and potential consumers of our frames and other craft...

The basic methods for square foot pricing are well outlined in this conversation thus far...If you ever wish to "dig deeper" into it, by all means send me an email or give me a call. My online business card lists all my contact info at the bottom of each post...I would love to hear from you and chat about this topic to any depth or detail you wish to...

Quote:
If you are listing frames pre designed, pricing by the square foot is logical. To design a fresh frame by sitting down and first running the square foot number, well, I'm still not sure how that process works.


Part of this ability, no doubt, is a great deal of experience on many different types of frames and in many different disciplines. These prices do not very often include the timber as that commodity does fluctuate a great deal, especially for high end custom or complex traditional frames like Bousillage, Minka, Kubbhus, Kath Kuni or other vernacular style...

If a "pre designed" boiler plate frame, then wood/timber can often be included with little issue.

Quote:
The first thing is determining the construct of the frame, square foot pricing of the building is derived from and based on the design of the frame.


I wouldn't really disagree with the above comment one bit...

You can have a "metric" of volume or area be very different from one frame style to the next...Most definitely...A Dutch design or a "Tidewater Cape" Saltbox could have many more joints than an average "colonial salt box." Nevertheless that does not change the ability of someone with the correct knowledge base (and a calculator in my case) in providing a price that is at least 70% to 80% accurate within just a few moment of punching in numbers so a potential client of such a project could understand their potential project better...

Regards to all,

j
_________________________
http://about.me/tosatomo

Top
#33430 - 02/07/16 07:21 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1873
Loc: Maine
After reading through your post, Jay, it brings things a little more in view. Pricing out a frame project without the timber figured into it and then hitting the price at 70-80% accuracy within 3 minutes is not a price quote but an estimate. You are estimating or giving an educated guess to a price, it puts you in the ballpark. Now, to quote a price is different than an estimate. I have picked up the term "quote" and use it. When I put out a price quote it is the final number it includes, delivery and raising of my product and the timber. In twenty+ years I have had only one small frame leave my shop that I didn't put up.

So we can be on the same page, often people use a term with a different meaning than what another may use.

Here you will see estimate as an approximate judgement.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/estimate

And here you can find a quote as being.... to state (a price).
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/quote

I believe the OP is looking for a price quote.

Top
#33433 - 02/07/16 07:59 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: TIMBEAL]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 479
Loc: Vermont
Hi Tim,

Quote:
Pricing out a frame project without the timber figured into it and then hitting the price at 70-80% accuracy within 3 minutes is not a price quote but an estimate.


Yep, I would agree with that...no doubt. My figure is an "estimate" as you have kindly provided the definition links for...

Quote:
Now, to quote a price is different than an estimate.


Agree again we do... grin

Quote:
I have picked up the term "quote" and use it. When I put out a price quote it is the final number it includes, delivery and raising of my product and the timber. In twenty+ years I have had only one small frame leave my shop that I didn't put up.


Excellent!!

I think it is very important (and helpful...thanks Tim) that folks not confuse an estimate from a quote, and where these can and should lead for a potential customer...

Quote:
So we can be on the same page, often people use a term with a different meaning than what another may use.


Yes, they do indeed, and it is often the poor consumer that gets terribly confused by it all if these things are not clarified "up front!!"

I would only add that when an experienced Timberwright is going through the "estimation" process with a consumer...the final quote numbers are little different from the estimates themselves for each item, which is a clear indicator the Craftsperson offering them knows what they are doing...

Cheers,

j


Edited by Jay White Cloud (02/07/16 08:00 PM)
_________________________
http://about.me/tosatomo

Top
#33435 - 02/07/16 09:49 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
Mike Shenton Offline
Member

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 28
Loc: Fleetwood, NC
I should add that most of the frames I quote are simple rectangles. I also attach a picture or state "4 bents 3 bays" etc. If I was just quoting predrawn frames there would be no mystery. My quote included the timbers, I never just quote the labor for cutting the frame.
_________________________
Michael Shenton

Top
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Jim Rogers, mdfinc, Paul Freeman 
Newest Members
laurenjv, VanMJones, weldoak, Miles, anexit
4723 Registered Users