How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Architect?
What do architects charge? This is an important question that many clients want to know. In this short article I will give insight into that question and explain how architect fees are structured.
First things first, there are typically different ways that an architect will charge for their services. They are as follows, a percentage of construction, an hourly fee, a fixed fee, or a mix of the above. These will be discussed below.
A percentage of construction
A percentage of the construction fee is when an architect (or architectural firm) charges for services based on a percentage of the cost of the building’s construction. Architect fees can be any percentage of the cost, but they can range from 5% to 20% or more depending on the complexity and size of the project and the level of service the architect will be providing. When evaluating this type of contract, a building owner should ask what is included in the fee and what isn’t.
An hourly fee
Architects also can charge for their services by the hour. Let’s use a hypothetical fee of $200 per hour for our example. This would mean that the architect would charge $200 for every hour they work on your project. This type of fee can be used for the whole project, but sometimes an hourly fee is used when the scope of the project is unclear or when the project is just starting out.
A fixed fee
A fixed fee is when an architect gives a set price for the services that they will provide. In this pricing fee, the architect will let you know how much their services will cost, and if you require additional services the fee will be adjusted to include them. Architects sometimes price with a fixed fee when there are fewer unknowns about the project.
A value-based fee is when an architect connects their fee to the results that their work provides. In this pricing model the architect’s fee may be linked to the end building’s profitability, store sales, leasing success, or other metrics agreed on by the architect and the owner.
Other types of fees
This list is not exhaustive, Architects can also charge by other fee structures not stated above.
A mix of fee structures
Commonly, design projects will use different types of fees. For example, a project may start with an hourly fee, then switch to a percentage of construction (or fixed fee) once the owner and architect pin down the scope and the design.
The amount an Architect will charge ultimately depends on their individual architecture practice, but knowing how those prices are determined is helpful.
Saving money & adding value
An important thing for clients to consider is that the right architect can help them save money and add value to the project. Think about it for a moment, a business that can open sooner or a building design that attracts more customers is directly beneficial to the company’s bottom line. Architects make this possible. This reality should be factored in when thinking about architecture pricing.
What a future client should look for when pricing
It is a good idea for you as a future client to understand what is included and what is excluded in the price of your architecture services. Some questions to ask are: if engineering, interior design, or construction administration are included in the price of the services. Some firms build this price in, while others do not.
Here is a helpful link to another one of our blogs that discuss what you should look for when hiring an architect.
What’s our approach?
At TKZ Architecture LLC we make our pricing clear. We do this by providing a proposal estimate which shows you what you can expect to pay and what pricing model we’ll be using. We also are clear about what is included in our fee, so that you can make a sound decision.