Fees and Schedule
It probably costs less than you think ...
I take your ideas and interests seriously and will provide a professional service on time and in the form we've agreed upon. After a brief email or phone discussion, we'll establish a rate structure, scope of work, and project schedule that makes sense for both of us.
Every project is unique, so there are no set rates. Layout Design projects are bid based primarily on the research required, overall size (square feet) and complexity (e.g., number of turnouts) of the layout. Typical single-deck designs range from $600 to $2500 (multi-deck designs higher). "Club"-sized designs (1500 sq. ft. or larger) may be significantly higher, but again, complexity is a key factor, not only square footage.
Many single-deck design projects are completed in four to eight weeks. My backlog to begin a project varies with the seasons from a few weeks to a few months, so check with me for the current backlog status.
Operations Plan development is based on the size and scope of the layout and the amount and types of supporting documents required.
Article Authoring and Editing projects are bid based primarily on the number of hours required to complete the work to everyone's satisfaction.
How can I know if your prices are in my ballpark?
If you have a project in mind, I'll be happy to make a rough estimate of the cost at no charge or obligation to you. If you don't contact me, you'll always wonder ...
Pricing in perspective
I recognize that people may have reservations about making a large investment in the hobby, but it's important to consider the costs of layout design or ops planning services in perspective. The cost for a custom model railroad layout design is typically less than the price of a few DCC-and-sound-equipped locomotives, for example. When one considers how many "extra" locos and railcars many of us have purchased over the years that no longer fit our layout vision, the cost of layout design or ops planning services is likely very small by comparison.
You might also consider the cost for these services in comparison with other skilled services, such as contracting or electrical work, that might be part of your investment in a layout room. A well-executed custom model railroad layout design or ops plan will help achieve the maximum model railroading enjoyment from your available space and time. It's one investment that can help every other dollar you spend on model railroading deliver more fun and realism.
Contact me now and let's discuss your ideas.
A custom layout design was only a fraction of the total cost for a recent mid-sized HO model railroad project with staging. (Non-sound diesels, mid-range rolling stock, Atlas track components, etc.)