Established in 1986, Geotech Consultants, Inc. is a successful, full-service, earth sciences company. Based in Seattle, Washington, the company is locally owned. While our engineers, technicians, geologists, and environmental assessors are involved in projects throughout the Puget Sound region, we have worked in the entire Pacific Northwest. Our engineers are registered in the states of Oregon and Washington. The staff possess many years of experience in the profession and contribute various professional and educational backgrounds. The diversity of disciplines includes geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering, and geology, along with a basic knowledge of civil and structural engineering.
Geotech Consultants, Inc. enjoys a broad customer base, ranging from financial institutions and government agencies to large residential and commercial developers to individual home owners. Most of our new clients are referred to us by existing clients, architects and engineers that have been pleased with our service. Relying on proven technology, combined with extensive experience and professional judgment, we are able to offer complete engineering and testing services on a large spectrum of projects. Considering both the technical and economic constraints of each project, we offer appropriate and practical recommendations. Our extensive working knowledge of the geotechnical guidelines of most local municipalities has been beneficial on many projects.
Consulting Engineers perform services on a professional fee basis. The term “fee” represents the total charges for engineering services, including all project expenses incurred by the Consulting Engineer.
Most engineering projects result in construction and have long-term operational ramifications. Accordingly, the cost of engineering services is typically a small percentage of the full cost of a project. The most cost-effective solution to a Client’s needs will not usually result from minimum or lowest cost engineering services, (i.e. cheapest usually isn’t the best).
There are two primary methods for determining a Consulting Engineer’s fee. These methods are:
Agreed Lump Sum
For those projects where a clearly defined scope of services is agreed to by a Client and the Engineer, fees can reasonably be established as a Lump Sum fee. In these cases, both the Client and the Consulting Engineer should be clear in their written agreement as to the scope of work and the extent and level of service to be provided. The Client should also carefully consider their desire for Professional Liability (“Errors and Omissions”) Insurance.
Time and Materials
Time-based fee methods are based on the premise that Consulting Engineers are reimbursed for their costs to deliver services plus a reasonable profit for their business.
Clients should be aware that these time-based fee methods provide an opportunity to overcome the many uncertainties that often exist at the start of a project. The critical concern here is that, unless the full scope of services can be established, it is nearly impossible to accurately estimate the cost of engineering services in advance of the start of a project. Significant financial limitations at the start of a project can restrict the Consulting Engineer from exploring options which may have an overall net benefit to the project. Similarly, the amount of time required to observe construction is largely in the control of the Contractor, not the Consulting Engineer. Accordingly, the type or quantity of services required may, and in many cases should, vary. Therefore, time-based fee methods are more appropriate.