How much does an Architect cost?
The short answer is it depends on the size and complexity of your project and how much involvement you want from an Architect.
For example, there are several work stages for any given building project, ranging from assisting you in establishing your brief, and your critical goals for the project, to developing detailed concept designs, meetings with planners, producing planning drawings and submission, detailed construction drawings, interior design and so on, culminating in administering a contract to deliver the project. Therefore, dependent on how involved you wish to be or put differently how much you wish an Architect to assist you will determine the fees.
Your location in the country, relative to building costs, your timeframe and the quality of the build all have an impact on the level of work an Architect will be expected to produce for any given project and therefore have an impact on costs.
It is also important to understand what value an Architect brings to your project and simply what they do, please read “Do I need an Architect” and “What is special about Architects” for more information on this.
The 3 methods Architects use to offer fees
There are typically three key ways an Architect can arrange their fees for your project, this can be architect specific and the way they operate as an individual or practice. Depending on the project and client, some architects may use a combination of these methods.
These charging methods are:
A Fixed Fee:
Relative to your brief the Architect quotes a lump sum that is based on their understanding of your brief, its complexities, and the time they feel is required to deliver the project and or the work stage(s) they are appointed for.
Percentage of the overall project costs:
On residential projects for the project from start to completion, this can range from 8%-20%. This is a broad range however it is generally dependent on the project value linked to the scale. Usually, the larger the project the lower the percentage. e.g. A £300,000 could have a 15-20% fee whereas a £2 Million project could be 8%.
Generally reserved for Ad-hoc work outside of an agreed scope. This would be based on pre-agreed charge rates for different members of the Architect’s team. Eg. The Director of practice will have a higher hourly rate as opposed to an Architectural Assistant.
With all of the above methods, it is incumbent on your architect to be clear and transparent on how they will base their fee and the scope they are committing to.
As a typical example of an Architect that uses a combination of the above charging methods, an Architect may charge a fixed fee for works up to and including a planning application (Stages 0-3). Then a percentage fee for detailed construction drawings (Stage 4) that go out to tender. Then an hourly rate for contract administration (Stage 5).
Here at RHJB Architects, we seek to provide fixed fees where possible to offer our clients comfort and a level of certainty. Where percentages are quoted as a guide, at the early stages of a project, when the scale or complexity has not been fully determined, we seek to firm this up before commencing work, when each stage is reached.
Below is a broad guide to the architect’s fees applicable at each key stage of work for an overview of what each stage entails please see our Work Stages.
For a residential scheme, the cost for architects to meet with you, establish your brief, prepare a concept design, review with you, draw up planning drawings and submit an application starts from £5,000 for extensions and house remodelling, and from £14,000 for a small new build scheme.
The cost for an architect to assemble a consultant team, and prepare a full construction package inclusive of building regulation drawings all ready for tender starts from £7,000 for extensions & conversions and from £18,000 for small-scale new build schemes
To visit the site twice per month, relative to administration of a contract, including the review of on-site works, addressing contractor and client queries, and issuing architects instructions for variations and payment certificates, together with liaising with the various consultants, fees would start from £2,000 per month, and or be calculated on an agreed hourly rate for works undertaken.
The fee for the full architect’s service, from establishing your brief to completion on site, ranges between 8% and 20% depending on the scale, scope and complexity of your project
*All fees noted are ex-vat. NB. It is accepted practice that Architects’ fees and construction costs are always referred to as ex-vat figures.