The Cost of Engineering

When deciding upon an engineering firm, there are a number of important issues to consider that will influence the outcome of your project. Some of these issues include:

  • qualifications/experience
  • reputation
  • integrity
  • responsiveness
  • cost
  • organization
  • and the ability to effectively communicate.

A Typical Budget Distribution


Perhaps the most significant issue when selecting an engineering firm is the impact of qualifications on cost. Although it is important to have the work performed at a competitive price, it is also important to select an engineering firm with high qualifications that will meet or exceed your expectations.

For example, design typically, represents between 5% and 10% of construction cost. When life cycle operating cost is considered, however, design fees are typically around 1% of total project cost. When the life cycle cost increase due to even a minor design inefficiency is considered, it is simply not logical to select an engineer on any basis other than qualifications. 

When considering of potential engineering firms, the firm with the lowest bid frequently has minimal qualifications/experience. You would be well advised to look higher up on the list and select a more qualified firm. It may seem like more money up front, but having the confidence and peace-of-mind that your engineering firm is working hard to eliminate problems and potential set-backs during construction is priceless and may save you money in the long-run.

At Pinnacle Engineering, Inc., our staff of engineers and technicians has over 60 years of design and construction experience. We are licensed in 11 western and central U.S. states, with a wide range of construction materials testing certifications. As our client, you will receive our professional services at a competitive rate. Compensation can be either per our standard fee schedule rates or, if the scope of services can be clearly defined, by a fixed fee.