Understanding Architectural Fees

Allison Beatty

While each architectural firm sets its own fee schedule, there are similarities throughout the industry. Many architects have two or three fee schedules, ranging from set prices for drawings to a percentage of the construction costs to an hourly fee.

Fees for Large Projects
On large projects, such as additions, an architect will charge a percentage of the construction costs. That percentage, which can range from 4 to 8 percent, typically is not charged on cabinets, appliances and other materials. It does apply to the $25,000 contractor's fee and the $5,000 electrician's fee, as the architect would be involved in overseeing those aspects of the project.

Architectural Drawings
Architects are most commonly associated with the drawings they create. Those drawings can take several forms, from informal sketches drawn on paper during an initial meeting to detailed construction plans.

Depending on the scope of your project, the architect may charge incremental fees for each design stage or one flat fee to prepare a few rough drafts and fine tune those into detailed construction documents. That fee might be $1,000 to $4,000, depending on your market and the size of the project.



Smaller Projects
For smaller projects or those that are difficult to define initially, an architect might charge by the hour. The rate can range from $40 to $125, depending on the market and architect's expertise.

Before hiring an architect, make sure that you understand the fees involved. Ask what services are covered and whether the fees are paid in increments.

Working with an architect has many benefits. Once you define the fee structure, you can focus on the fun work of designing your new space.

About the Author
By Allison E. Beatty


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