Consumer Guide

How Much Does it Cost?

How Much Does it Cost?

Justin Brain

23 July 2012

There is a misconception that an architectural practice or individual will be an expensive inclusion within any construction project. This is entirely misleading, an architect or architectural technologist is a valued member of the design team, who can save you time and money as well as advising on how you can maximize your ideas and add value to the finished building.

How Much Does an Registered Architect Cost?

An architect is a professional who is employed to implement, advise and realize your initial ideas in to a 'workable' built form. In many cases they can maximize your investment and add value to the finalized project in a well designed and aesthetically pleasing building.

When you reflect the cost of employing an architect and the value they bring to a project you will certainly conclude that their fees by far out way the 'so-called' benefits of undertaking a project without the guidance of a professional architect.

Invariably an architect's practice will not charge for initial consultation or an initial meeting to discuss your project.

You will only be charged from the time you instruct your preferred architect to commence on developing your ideas into a 'workable' scheme.

How will I be charged?

There are three principle ways an architect's Practice will charge. These are:

  1. A percentage of the contract sum.
  2. An hourly rate.
  3. A lump sum.

The most common way of charging is by a percentage of the construction cost. In general terms an architect will base his fee percentage on anticipated time they will spend on the scheme and their practice resources. Invariably, this equates to around 15% for smaller projects such as a domestic extension. For larger and non-domestic projects this will be dependent on a number of factors. The factors include whether the works relates to an existing project or a new build; the type of building it is; the size of building and the complexity of the building.

The fee percentage usually includes a full architectural service from inception through to completion of a project. However, in some instances you may want to only instruct the architect to undertake part of the full service. In these circumstances the below highlights the basic stages that build up their overall fee.

  • Up to and including Planning Submission
  • Up to and including Building Regulation approval
    (usually enough information for a contractor to build a small domestic project)
  • For obtaining costs and administering the contract to completion

An hourly rate may be beneficial if you are undertaking a project that may be complicated in terms of gaining planning permission approval. Although there is no guidance on hourly rates that architect's charge, you should expect to pay between £65.00 and £115.00 per hour, dependant on the nature and size of the project.

A lump sum is sometimes considered, by clients, as a more secure way to employing an architect for their services. Obviously there are no recommendations of fees for this type of agreement so you need to mutually agree a cost based on their anticipated time on scheme and what services the lump sum would include.

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