Architect cost and fees.

Architects are skillful and well trained individuals who design buildings and also give advice on the construction of buildings. An architect is often needed to design the building that you want and also give you advice on the correct steps of the building process. Construction projects can become complicated which is why architects are well paid for their services.

Architects are in high demand in the US. They are highly sought out for their diverse design skills for many different building types. They draft building plan and as well as help you locate the best contractor that can do the work. They also assist in guiding building projects from the first day of constructions to the end. It is a good idea for you to engage an architect who is knowledgeable and experienced with the type of project that you are looking to take on.

Cost breakdown.

The cost of hiring an architect is normally calculated based on a percentage of the overall budget of the project. In the US, 10% to 17% of the total building budget is the approximate fee for an architect.
The American Institute of Architects gives a detailed account of the basic cost breakdown for architectural work. The cost is broken into the various phases of building project as such:
  • The initial interview with an architect doesn’t cost anything. Most architects will offer you a free consultation where you can discuss the project and get a feel for how much work is involved and how the architect can assist you with the project.
  • The subsequent reviews of the proposed building project will then follow. This is where the budget for the project is set. A detailed outline of the plan is also set by the architect. The cost for this will be 5% to 10% of the total established fee agreed to for the architect.
  • The next stage is the schematic design session. Here, the architect will take time to draft the floor plan of the proposed project. This will include the elevation drawings and other tasks with structural engineers. There will also be meetings with the planning agencies involved for the verification of the basic requirements and standards needed for the proposed project. The cost for this phase is 10% to 15% of the total established fee agreed to for the architect.
  • The next stage is the final design session. Here, the architect will conclude the main plan drawings. He’ll also include all other finishes, materials, fixtures and equipments. Every system needed in the project is also incorporated.  The architect will then begin to work as the project manager. He takes time to review all the plans and makes sure they agree with the local standards required. He’ll also obtain all the necessary permits required for the project.  The cost for this is 15 to 20% of the established budget.
  • After finalizing the architectural work, the architect will also help in locating the best contractor for the project if engaged. Actually, the project owner has the responsibility of getting the right contractors; however, the architect can offer useful advice and may also locate the best contractors as well. They will also help you go through the bid review process for each of the contractors. The price for this phase is 5% of the total established fee agreed to for the architect.
  • There’s also the cost for the completion of all the construction documents. The documents describe the details of the entire project. The required building permit is normally submitted at this point. The cost for this phase is 40% to 45% of the total established fee agreed to for the architect.
  • The administration of the construction process also attracts some charges. It’s usually done at least once in a week depending on the size of the project. The architect will continue to monitor the project to make sure the contractor follows the specified details. The cost for this phase is 15% to 25% of the total established fee agreed to for the architect.

From the above, you can easily have the idea of the amount you’ll pay your architect. You simply work out the percentages with the total amount of the established budget you have in mind for the project. In most cases, the payments are done in phases. You have to negotiate the actual percentage cost with your architect based on the ranges given above.

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