Pricing for project design is on an individual case. in residential, it is usually by the sq. ft.(ranging from 1.35 psf to 2.75 psf depending on style and complexity) in Commercial, it is done by fee, based on the discipline/s needed for the design (IE: Arch, Struct, Mech, Elect)
Once I have been brought onboard, we begin by setting up an initial "Meet and Greet" meeting. I want to get to know what the client is thinking, in regards to their project. I like to keep the relationship light and easy. The client needs to know that while his or her project is a very important one, there is no reason that we can't have fun putting it together. I want them to ask questions, and tell me what they want incorporated into the project. I will be honest with them and let them know if what they want, or are thinking, is practical or economically feasible. During the course of design, they will have amply time to study and evaluate the project, and modify it before it is released for pricing.
For the past 43+ years, all my planning and design has been hands on and field related. starting out in custom design manufactured housing, and the working into commercial/industrial/institutional planning and design. I was fortunate to work for some of the best companies and contractors in the area. There are very few construction types that I haven't been involved in, in some design capacity.