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#33436 - 02/07/16 10:34 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 484
Loc: Vermont
Indeed Mike, I knew yours was more the true "quote" than my offered estimate...

I was still glad to be close to it in range...Much Thanks and will be in touch soon..

j
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#33460 - 02/12/16 06:35 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
steve2 Offline
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Registered: 01/29/16
Posts: 9
Hey guys,

I just wanted to follow up... I've been slammed at work and haven't had any time to respond to all the helpful suggestions. I plan on responding this weekend to keep this great thread going.

More later.

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#33489 - 02/14/16 08:57 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
steve2 Offline
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Registered: 01/29/16
Posts: 9
I really appreciate hearing everyone's thoughts on the distinction between a quote and an estimate. I think I am seeking an estimate and the conundrum I am facing is that the Timberwright wants to start the design process and I am still trying to figure out the "trust" part of what was described earlier. I am trying to nail down all the aforementioned factors (species, finish of timbers, spans, and bent design) while leaving the joinery decisions for the most part, to the Timber Framer. I have tried to design the frame such that the floor plan is simple and flows from the bents. Are there other details that I could resolve that could help me at least get a quote?

It's also nice to know that Sketchup is fairly ubiquitious as a format and are useable during the process.

Thanks.

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#33496 - 02/15/16 01:09 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
Hylandwoodcraft Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Western NY
Sketch up is also versatile in that it can be "eaten" by architectural programs like Revit. It's nice when the architect can drop your frame right into their plan, instantly revealing conflicts with window placement etc.

Can't the framer look at what you have and give you an estimate? I really don't see why that should be a problem to get within a close margin quickly. Is the framer trying to rope you in for paid design work without giving any idea on cost?

Most factors like species and finish are a fairly small consideration, assuming you are not considering anything exotic.
For example, on a frame like you have described, the difference in material price between Pine and Oak would probably only run about $1000. I would also add some for extra labor, due to weight etc. But really it is a small change in the overall percentage. The bulk of the cost is always going to be the joinery, which in a simple layout like what you described is going to be pretty evident.

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#33504 - 02/15/16 05:57 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 484
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: steve2
...the conundrum I am facing is that the Timberwright wants to start the design process and I am still trying to figure out the "trust" part of what was described earlier...


If this is the actual conundrum you feel you are facing, I would openly share that with the current Timberwright and explain your position...

If the current Timberwright wishes to "design something" without a contract or the rest of the plan and understanding between you both, that will be a learning experience for him...

Originally Posted By: steve2
...I am trying to nail down all the aforementioned factors (species, finish of timbers, spans, and bent design) while leaving the joinery decisions for the most part, to the Timber Framer...


If you are taking on the liability and responsibility for the frames structural capacity, then leaving the "joinery decisions" up to an experience Timberwright is an option. I think I have a good handle on this craft of timber framing, and I still would guide my client and their project towards having a PE sign off on the design. Sharing the burden of "liability" and "good engineering" with a licensed, and insured PE that has timber frame knowledge is well worth the $500 to $2500 it costs on average...

If cutting a frame for oneself, then perhaps this may not be a necessity, yet I know I won't do this without the "peer review" of having my work examined by others...including a PE whenever possible.

Originally Posted By: steve2
I have tried to design the frame such that the floor plan is simple and flows from the bents. Are there other details that I could resolve that could help me at least get a quote?


If your current Timberwright is not willing to give you a solid "estimate" (low to high) at this stage, then I would continue to looking for a Timberwright that can...This is an indication of competency.

I may not have suggested this yet, but I now I tell all my potential clients that I want them to be 100% confident in my relationship with them...That starts by me strongly encouraging them to get at least three quotes from equally skilled Timberwrights.

As for an estimate, you do need a "solid design" that will not change.

This has to come from you, or and experience designer. It the "Designer" is also the Timberwright, they should be able to give you a price for these services and either include them in the final price, or give you a price outright for their design services...
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#33505 - 02/15/16 06:50 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: Hylandwoodcraft]
Mike Shenton Offline
Member

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 28
Loc: Fleetwood, NC


Most factors like species and finish are a fairly small consideration, assuming you are not considering anything exotic.
For example, on a frame like you have described, the difference in material price between Pine and Oak would probably only run about $1000. I would also add some for extra labor, due to weight etc. But really it is a small change in the overall percentage. The bulk of the cost is always going to be the joinery, which in a simple layout like what you described is going to be pretty evident. [/quote]


What kind of price are you guys paying for pine up there? Pine is 1/2 the price of Douglas Fir here and although I haven't priced oak lately I'll bet it's twice what pine is here. If I priced his frame in Douglas Fir compared to what I quoted in pine the quote for Douglas Fir would be about $7000 more.
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#33518 - 02/16/16 09:09 AM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: Mike Shenton]
Hylandwoodcraft Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 141
Loc: Western NY
Pine usually runs $0.60-$1.00 a Bd. ft. depending on length/grade. Oak would be $0.70-$1.25. I personally use locally available timber, and I would consider something that had to trucked in like Doug Fir to be on the exotic end.
I apologize if my statement was a bit general. Of course everyone has different material costs depending on region. I think my general premise is still valid though. It should be pretty easy to say that a given frame will run about $X.

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#33520 - 02/16/16 11:28 AM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 484
Loc: Vermont
I agree completely with Sean on this one, and see no reason you can not get a solid estimate during negotiations with a select group of bidding Timberwrights. Then a solid quote and pricing for the contract.

I also agree with Sean, et al, that anything, wood or otherwise, that does not come from within a reasonable distance of the project site (whenever possible...like wood timbers) should be looked at as exotic and "unsustainable material." Shipping materials is inevitable but should be restricted as much as possible. Local wood is also much more supporting of local economies, and stimulates sustainable forestry management operations. Our lumber cost, range in the same area, price wise, as what was just reflected, sometimes less, as currently Hemlock is only $0.45/BF and pine in large orders is $0.85, with Oak being $1 to $1.5.
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#33522 - 02/16/16 12:31 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
Mike Shenton Offline
Member

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 28
Loc: Fleetwood, NC
I agree also about using local wood. I really hate hearing the companies close to me tout building green but they all mostly use Douglas Fir. They look down their noses at white pine. I am starting my first job using df because that is what my client wants.
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#33523 - 02/16/16 12:50 PM Re: Design Process Question from a Client [Re: steve2]
Jay White Cloud Offline
Member

Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 484
Loc: Vermont
I understand that one completely Mike...

That is the only time I will use a "non-indigenous" species like DF to an area it does not grow naturally, or if there is a specific structural mandate from a PE or other mitigating circumstance. We have all been there.

I also agree, and become more outrage with every job I have to bid, when some "new company" is bragging about how "GREEN" they are!!! Yet, when I actually go through the proposed materials lists they are any but "green"...more like "green washed." I simply will not allow myself or the potential client to be duped by such practices...If it cost me the job and at least I have done my due diligence in educating the client about what "natural sustainable building is" compared to the many "green washed" practices of many firms...
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