How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Architect and to have Architectural Services Performed?

Before we get into the ‘why’, I will answer the ‘what’ – a general rule of thumb for the price of Architectural services is 10% of final construction costs as determined by current construction means and methods. So, if your total construction budget is $100,000.00, you should count on spending $10,000.00 for average / basic level Architectural Services. Average projects take about six weeks to complete.

Here are a few things that you should be aware of about costs when hiring an architect:

The basic adage, “You get what you pay for” is true. If you are willing to pay ‘bottom dollar’, then you will get ‘bottom services’. If all you need is ‘bottom services,’ then finding a non-professional drafter is easy enough to do… but your expectations should adjust to a lower level of capable performance.

There are many things that an Architect has to consider when providing an Appropriate estimate for Architectural Services.

He must first have an understanding of the project scope – the things that a client wants to achieve with his work… which includes his design criteria, his budget and his time schedule. In its entirety, this information may or may not be typically communicated by the client.

The Architect must also take into consideration his personal costs of doing business – the ‘break even point’ – as well as the need to make a profit, without which his business will not be able to exist.

Finally, the Architect must have an understanding of the context of his business… how much are general contractors charging for their work and how much do other buildings of like design cost in the area?

After gaining an understanding of each of these factors, the Architect arrives at a cost that is a reconciliation of all of the factors. Depending on the complexity of the work to be accomplished, the cost may be driven up.

Upon reaching his understanding of the cost of the project, the Architect may or may not be able to complete the project for the price that would be acceptable and appropriate for the client’s constraints. At that time, the Architect will leave the cost of the work in the client’s hands for a decision – should the client desire to move forward with that particular Architect, then the price for the client is Appropriate.

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