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+1 on charging for specs.

We had some landscaping done and interviewed a few contractors. Only one charged for the upfront design work, but theirs was the most detailed proposal. We ended up going with them. I think they rebated most of the design fee, too.

Also, if you feel uncomfortable for charging for specs, you can always agree that the fee will be waived if the client decides to commit to the project.

Sorry but what is meant by this "specs"? Estimation?

Specs here means specifications. It could include things like requirements documents, acceptance criteria, wireframes--anything to create a shared understanding of the precise shape of the work product to be delivered.


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