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.