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How Much Does an Architect Cost?
August 7, 2023

From the initial surveying of a property to assistance with planning applications and managing construction work, an architect is essential to keeping major building projects on track.

With that in mind, you might be wondering: “How much does an architect cost?”

According to Checkatrade, you should expect an architect to cost between 5-12% of the total project price. However, there are circumstances that can increase or decrease this price.

Here are a few of the key factors that will impact how much an architect costs:

How defined the project is

The truth is, often the cost of working with an architect will differ depending what stage the project is at. Different architectural firms will cost projects in different ways, usually based on how defined the total scope of the work will be.

Here are a few of the different pricing strategies you may encounter:

1. As part of the construction cost

If the total scope of work isn’t clear in the initial planning stages, an architect may charge a percentage-based fee based on the total estimated construction costs.

This is because it lines up quite well with how long the job is going to take. As this is a percentage-based fee, it is important to note that if major changes are made to the design of the project, the fee will almost certainly increase in line with new construction costs.

2. One lump sum

If the specifics of the design and construction are clearly defined, then an architect will feel more comfortable in charging a set fee. This figure will be calculated based on how much time the job is expected to take.

Of course, if major changes are made to plans as the job progresses, then this lump sum may need to increase to allow for the additional work required.

3. Pay per Hour

This is best suited for projects that are undergoing analysis for feasibility and as a result, it is difficult to know the full scope of the work. It ensures the architect gets paid for the time they invest in the project.
The amount an architect will charge per hour will vary based on their expertise and experience.

The specific project requirements

The type of project has a huge impact on the cost of working with an architect.
For example, an extension to your home will typically cost less than a brand-new building project – although in either case, it depends on the complexity of the job.

You should bear in mind there may be other costs and consultant fees necessary and the following provides some of the more common requirements:

  • Local Authority Planning Application Fees
  • Local Authority Building Warrant Application Fees
  • Engineer Structural and Civils
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineer
  • Energy Consultant
  • Ecologist 

You should also always keep in mind that VAT and other expenses, such as travel, will be added to the overall cost of working with an architect.

It is important to have a clear budget in mind for your project. That way, you know what you can afford to spend, and will be able to look at alternative approaches if the costs are racking up quickly.

What you need the architect for

Another consideration when asking how much an architect costs is being clear on
what you need them for.
Here are just a few of the ways an architect can help with your building project:

  • Preparing feasibility studies
  • Creating conceptual and technical designs
  • Coordinating consultants
  • Managing approval process
  • Issuing tender documents and review of returns 
  • Providing inspections during the works and implementation of contract
  • Managing the completion and handover process.

Do you require assistance in all of these areas? We can tailor our service to suit your specific requirements. 

We hope that this blog post has helped you understand how much an architect costs. Ultimately, it depends on the stage of the project, the type of project, and the specific help you need.

At T.H.E. Architecture & Planning, your vision is our passion. We are a highly experienced team of chartered architects, architectural technologists and master planners based in Aberdeen, and specialise in delivering architectural and planning solutions across the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors.
If you have a project in development and you need an expert helping hand, we would love to get involved. Browse our recent projects here or get in touch to schedule an individual consultation.

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Do you have initial ideas for your project but are unsure where to begin? Contact our team and we would be delighted to offer our assistance and expertise.
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