You may know by now that it’s not essential to hire an architect for any type of project. However if you want the best outcome with the least amount of stress and hassle it is usually worth hiring an experienced professional who has dealt with your kind of project before. In many ways, hiring an architect is much like hiring an accountant. It’s not necessary, but they will usually save you more than you’ll pay them. Making mistakes when designing an extension or new build is very easy to do if you don’t have experience.
Of course we’ve yet to mention how much you would reasonably expect to pay to hire the services of an architect. It is virtually impossible to give an exact figure here, since the fee charged will depend on a wide variety of factors. However we can narrow things down slightly.
Three fee types
Generally speaking there are three main types of fee models that can be followed. Different architects will choose one of these.
1.) A lump sum agreed in advance
2.) A fee based on the amount of time spent on the project
3.) A percentage fee based on how much the project costs by the time it is completed
Which is best for you?
Looking at these at face value, you’ll probably be drawn to the lump sum option. You’ll know what to pay in advance so there won’t be any nasty surprises. However the architect may specify that in the event of a major change to the building plans, additional costs may be added. If you have a relatively small project this may still be the best option however.
A percentage fee can be better when you are looking at a much larger project. Find out in advance what percentage will be charged and bear this in mind when comparing different architects and firms.
Finally the hourly fee is best used when you only require one or two services instead of all the services an architect has to offer. Generally it is more cost effective to hire according to one of the other two models when you require an architect to help you with an entire project.
As you can see it is worth considering how involved your project is and how much you are willing or able to do on your own. It makes sense that you want to pay as little as possible for an architect’s services. However at the same time it can be costly to try and cut costs in this area. Shop around for a good deal from an architect you get along with and trust, but make sure you know what you are getting for the fee in each case.
Many people look back on a complex building project and agree it was worth every penny they paid to their architect to use their services. With a little foresight and research, you could soon have cause to say the same thing.