Architects Fees – How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Architect?
Many of our private clients and even some of our professional clients feel in the dark with regards to how much it should cost to hire an Architect. The information below is intended to de-mystify the world of Architects fees.
The three main methods for Architects calculating fees are;
- Percentage basis
- Lump-sum agreement
- Time charge basis
1. Percentage Fees
The fees are procured as an agreed percentage of the construction costs. This method is very common in larger projects. Both client and Architect MUST agree an understood scope of service and budget for the project before fees can be estimated. The nature of the work and procurement route will also define the percentage agreed.
2. Lump-sum Agreement
Lump sum fees are best utilised on projects where the scope of works required from the Architect is easy to define. It is again important to define exactly what works, tasks, outputs will be completed for the agreed fee as additional works and or revisions will be charged in addition to the agreed scope of service. This method is very common for smaller projects, often for private clients who wish to complete small changes or extensions to their own home. This method can also be utilised for specific packages of works. Investigating the site through feasibility studies for property developers is also a good opportunity for lump sum agreed fees.
3. Time Charge Basis
The hourly rate time charge is becoming increasingly rare for Architects to work under. Although this is the most accurate way for the client to know exactly what they are paying for, this method has an intrinsic fear of fees running away with themselves. The positive is that you pay for exactly what you are getting. Time Charge Fees are often utilised for revision charges. If a client wishes to amend the design following the release of a package of drawings and the knock on effects are difficult to define, then time charges would be applied until the requested revision is resolved. Time charges are also utilised for consultancy such as additional requested meetings on site, during the design phase and or on an ad-hoc basis.
As a guide based on averages (vary with different project complexities), fees for private clients would be between 15-5.5% dependant on the complexity of the project and agreed/estimated construction budget. This whether agreed as a lump some or percentage basis the fee you should be budgeting for should be IRO:
The figures noted below are taken from independent annual fee survey, showing average fees across the country. Regional variations and market fluctuations should be considered. The below fees are not a reflection of Acres Architects fees and are for example and illustrative purposes only.
Private Client Extensions (fees for a full project service)
Percentage Lump Sum
50k 12-15% = £6,000 – 7,500
100k 10-13% = £10,000 – 13,000
250k 8-11% = £20,000 – 27,500
£500k 7 -9% = £35,000 – 45,000
Private Client New Build House (Fee for Full Project service)
£300k 8.5-10% = £24,000 – 30,000
£500k 7.5-9% = £37,500 – 45,000
£750k 6.5 – 8 = £48,750 – 60,000
£1m 5.5 – 7 = £55,000 – 70,000
Property Developer Projects (Fee for Full Service)
Type: Developer Housing New builds
£2m 4-5% =£80,000 – 100,000
£4m 3-4% =£120,000 – 160,000
£8m 2-3% =£160,000 – 240,000
£15m 1.5 – 2.5% = £225,000 – 375,000
Type: Apartment Building New build
£2m 5-6% = £100,000 – 120,000
£4m 4.8 -5.8% = £192,000 – 232,000
£8m 4.5 – 5.5% = £360,000 – 440,000
£15m 4.2 – 5.2% = £630,000 – 780,000
Architects will generally breakdown their fees to assist with business cashflow.
Here at Acres Architects we generally aim to provide Lump-Sum agreement for projects under £200k in construction value, mostly for our private domestic clients. Sometimes for revisions we can arrange capped hourly rate fees, which limit the possibility of fees running away. Generally for most of our project we operate on a mixed of the main fee being a percentage of construction costs, with a mix of fixed fees for add on services like GCI production and or hourly rate fees for unanticipated requested tasks.