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Navigate Designer Fees & Hospitality Design Professional Pitfalls

Successfully navigate your Hospitality design project with Peak Construction.

Peak Construction excels in delivering full design-build services by starting with the best team, not the least expensive. The implications that result from not selecting the best design professionals for the task always far outweigh the savings generated from selecting the lowest cost provider.

One of the most important decisions that an owner must make when deciding to embark on a hotel development project is where to place their trust when it comes to selecting the professional service providers that will make up the architecture and engineering team.

As design-builder, Peak Construction is also confronted with this same challenge on our clients’ behalf.

With that experience, we are uniquely qualified in both witnessing and avoiding the pitfalls of such a major decision. From time to time, Owners/Developers do not consider with thorough enough evaluation the challenges presented and make a one dimensional decision in selecting design professionals on design fee only.

Selecting your professional design team, particularly your Architect, on a hospitality project can be an especially difficult decision for a Owner/Developer.

There is a common misconception that a major hotel brand’s prototype drawings are already substantially completed by the hotel brand itself and the prototype drawings can simply be copied and pasted, augmented with additional engineering drawings, submitted for permit, issued for bid to contractors and built!

Why would someone pay for an architect to redraw the prototype or spend time re-inventing the wheel?

An Owner/Developer may receive professional services fee proposals that, to some degree based on inexperience, also under-estimate the amount of time and effort required to prepare and deliver a complete set of coordinated construction drawings that are in accordance with current local codes and ordinances for the location the hotel is to be built. Likewise, Owner’s may also be tempted to negotiate professional services fees down to unrealistic amounts with prospective design professionals who are willing to cut fees to the bone.

Unfortunately, the basis for any design fee is essentially, time—a limited resource. Therefore, when a fee is cut, time is reduced and at some point, so is the quality of the documents that are ultimately the basis of project cost.


The following are very important questions to ask that Peak Construction makes sure to satisfy for ourselves regarding design professional when delivering a full design-build hotel project:

1. What experience does the design professional have with the specific hotel type and brand that is being considered? Familiarity with brand requirements?

2. What experience is there with the applicable level of service the hotel will provide—full, limited, select, extended stay?

3. Is the project going to be built strictly prototypical or does the client desire to deviate from prototype?

4. What type of building/structure will be required to meet the number of stories and guest room count that is desired? Has the design team been involved with a completed building through construction administration of a building like this before?

5. What are current local code requirements for a hotel project in the location being contemplated? Is the architect familiar with all of the local code requirements—structure type, zoning, setbacks, parking, signage, landscape, architectural façade limitations, restrictions on MEP system components of the jurisdiction within which the hotel will be reviewed for permit compliance?

6. Has the design team worked together before?

7. Are construction administration services included in the proposal?

8. Are prototypical brand drawings being fully coordinated with structural and MEP design within the scope of services? Are additional details, missing from the prototype drawings, included as required for a complete issue for construction set of drawings?

9. What is the design professional’s professional liability insurance limit?

10. How does the fee break down by discipline and by phase of the design services?

11. Is the civil engineer familiar with the municipality and all other jurisdictions that may have some authority over the development, utilities, etc.?

12. What standard scope of services will be required of the civil engineer and which additional services listed in the engineer’s proposal are actually required by the nature of the project?

Contact Peak Construction about your Hospitality project today.

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