How Much Does An Architect Cost?
Whether you are planning to add a loft conversion, small or large extension or carry out any other large renovation project to your home, the likelihood is that you’ll need an architect.
Within this article, we walk you through the overall cost of an architect as well as all the factors that impact the fees that they may charge for your project.
✓ Fact: Architects must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in order to practice.
What Is An Architect?
To ensure you know what you are paying for when hiring an architect, it’s crucial that you understand what the role’s purpose is when taking on a project.
In short, an architect designs the plans and specifications for the construction or renovation of buildings. This can include big and small extensions, loft conversions, new builds and many other projects.
When you instruct an architect, they’ll work with you to develop the structure’s look, functionality and safety and ensure that the building follows all the applicable planning regulations. Once the plans have been discussed, they’ll often collaborate with engineers, contractors and other professionals to ensure the project is completed successfully.
What Does An Architect “Actually” Do?
Architect fees can be relatively expensive depending on the project and it may get you thinking, what do they actually do? To give you an idea, below are some of their tasks:
- Measuring and surveying the property/land
- Creating designs according to the client’s needs and specifications
- Making sure that designs meet all the latest building codes and regulations (in order to obtain planning permission)
- Preparing detailed drawings and plans (i.e. drawings of a new build, extension or loft conversion)
- Conducting research and studies related to design, materials and construction methods
- Working with clients, contractors and other professionals to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget
- Monitoring the construction process to ensure that the design is implemented correctly
- Providing advice and guidance on the best use of space, materials and other resources
- Keeping up to date with new products and technologies that could improve the design process.
How Much Does An Architect Cost?
The task of an architect can vary depending upon the type of service they provide. Therefore, to give you an idea of the cost of an architect, below is a table that includes the average fixed fees they may charge for extensions, loft conversions and new builds.
|Architect Service||Average Cost|
|Single Storey Extension Planning Application||£1,500 – £2,500|
|Double Storey Extension Planning Application||£2,500 – £3,500|
|Single Storey Extension Building Reg & Construction Drawings||£4,000 – £5,000|
|Double Storey Extension Building Reg & Construction Drawings||£5,000 – £6,000|
|Loft Conversion Planning Application||£1,000 – £2,000|
|Loft Conversion Building Reg & Construction Drawings||£2,000 – £3,000|
|New Build Planning Application||£4,000 – £5,000|
|New Build Building Reg & Construction Drawings||£6,000 – £7,000|
It’s important to note that the architect fees in the table above are based upon “simple” extensions, loft conversions and new build projects.
Another important factor to consider is that for certain projects, architects have their preferred fee structure.
For example, a fixed fee structure (as shown in the table above) is used for most small to medium sized projects where the project is clearly defined.
However, for large scale projects where the extent of work is unclear, they may charge a percentage basis and this can be in the region of 7.5% to 15% of the construction cost.
Architects may even charge an hourly rate in the region of £75 to £125 per hour but this type of fee structure normally occurs for small projects or single tasks.
What Factors Impact The Cost To Hire An Architect?
The complexity of the project is one of the most important factors that affect the cost of architectural fees. Projects that are larger, more complex or require specialist expertise typically incur higher costs.
Projects located in London and other major cities within the UK will more than likely incur higher fees when hiring an architect.
3. Project Stage & Services Required
A project that requires full architectural services such as planning design and construction supervision will incur higher fees than one that requires only planning or design services.
4. Architect Reputation
The reputation and expertise of the architect can also affect the cost. This is because architects who have a strong reputation and a proven track record in delivering high-quality projects may charge higher fees than those who are less established.
5. Type of Building
A project that involves the construction of a new home will typically incur lower fees than one that involves the renovation or restoration of an existing building because more work is required in the latter case.
Importance of The Architects Registration Board (ARB)
The Architects Registration Board (referred to as ARB) is the regulatory body for architects in the UK. All architects working in the UK must be registered with ARB in order to carry out professional architectural services at your property.
ARB maintains a register of qualified and experienced architects and it’s important that you use a professional from this register to ensure the architectural services you receive are to the highest of standards. It’s also important to note that ARB sets standards for the profession and enforces those standards, which means that all registered architects are held to a high level of professional competence and conduct.
Other Associated Architect Fees
Along with the services that an architect provides, other associated costs may be involved such as:
- Site surveys and analysing of the conditions and constraints of the site
- Obtaining planning permission (may not be charged as it can be part of the architect fees)
- Requirement of a structural engineer for technical help in the project
- Project management if they are overseeing the project from start to finish
Is It Possible To Save Money On Architect Fees?
Architectural fees can be a significant cost when planning and building a new home, extension or renovation. However, with a little planning and preparation, it’s possible to save money on these fees whilst still ensuring that the project meets all of your requirements. Some of our top tips to save money on architect fees include the following:
Get Competitive Quotes
One of the most effective ways to save money on architectural fees is to get quotes from multiple architects. This’ll give you a good idea of the typical fees charged for your project and help you find an architect who is willing to work within your budget.
Be Clear About Your Requirements
When you meet with architects, be clear about your requirements for the project. This’ll help to ensure that the architects have a good understanding of what you want, which will help to avoid costly changes and revisions later in the process.
Work With Architects Who Specializes In Your Type of Project
Architects who specialize in the type of project you are undertaking will have a better understanding of the specific requirements and challenges involved.
This helps to ensure that the project runs smoothly and is completed on time, which will help to save money in the long run.
Keep The Design Simple
A simple design is usually cheaper to produce and often results in lower architectural fees. Therefore, you may want to consider limiting the number of rooms, avoiding complex roof designs and choosing materials that are easy to source and install.
An architect plays a big role in the renovation or complete build of your home and it’s crucial that you choose the right architect for your project. Although expensive, the expertise, experience and knowledge that they have can save you a fortune later down the line.
Hopefully our guide has given you an idea of how much an architect costs but if you require further information, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.
Written By Danny Morgan
Danny is a property developer by trade with over 15 houses successfully rennovated from the bottom up but other than rennovating houses, he's also a car enthusiast with multiple classic and performance cars.
✔ Construction/Property Development
✔ House Rennovations
✔ Plumbing & Electrics
✔ Cars (Mechanically & Buying/Selling)
✔ Gardening (Heavy Duty & Big Projects)
- Finding A Professional Architect, Architects Registration Board (ARB), (https://arb.org.uk/)
- Architect Fee Structure, RIBA, (https://www.architecture.com/working-with-an-architect/how-do-i-calculate-an-architects-fees)