How Much Does an Architect Cost?
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An architect is a professional that is going to be able to design buildings and places of residence. The architect will put these ideas on paper by way of a blueprint, which can then be used as building plans. Architects can also supervise projects as they are being built to ensure that the end result will be exactly what the customer wanted. The cost of an architect is going to depend on so many factors such as their experience, the geographical location, the project, and more.
How much is it?
- Most architects are going to charge by the hour. If they do charge by the hour, plan on budgeting anywhere from $85 to $185 per hour depending on the type of work. Some may also be willing to work out packaged deals for a certain number of hours ahead of time.
- Another way that the architect charges is based on a percentage of the construction’s cost. For instance, if your are building a home that is going to be worth $200,000, the architect may charge anywhere from 3 to 14% of that total. This means that the architect fee in the end could be either $6,000 to $20,000. As you can see, the more space you need designed, the more it is going to cost you; however, you may find that the actual percentage may be decreased as the size of the building is increased.
- Building additions tend to cost more than a plan built from scratch. Additions could cost as much as 15% of the cost.
- Aside from the two pricing structures mentioned above, there are also architects out there that charge by the square footage of the project. If this is the case, the rates can range anywhere from $1 to $6 per square foot.
- According to a forum thread on the website Gardenweb.com, many users were either charged by the square foot or a percentage of the building costs. The costs ranged anywhere from $3 to $6 per square foot or 3% to 8% of the value of the project.
- The WashingtonPost.com states that the average architect in Washington state charges anywhere from 8 to 18%.
What are the extra costs?
- Extra charges can include soil tests, copying, plant surveys and long distance travel if necessary.
- Anytime you are building, you will need a building permit from your city. The price for this will vary from city to city.
What is going to be included?
- An architect is going to be able to give you an idea of what a new home is going to look like or even add additions to your home. Taking the photos or styles that you have, an architect will be able to draw the technical details and provide a visual for you to approve.
- When you decide on an architect, you should receive a schedule, a budget for the construction project, the fee the architect is going to charge, and a payment schedule if you create one.
- Also depending on their services, many will work with you from the beginning to the end of the project working with both you and the builder.
Factors that influence the cost:
- Square footage. The more space you have, the more you will probably have to pay for the project.
- Complexity. With anything, the more complex the design is, the higher the prices are going to be. If it is an average house design, the price may be less; if it is a large building that is unique in its design, the price can be much higher.
- Additions. Additions to a home are going to cost more than a plan from scratch. The reason for this is that the plans will have to fit exactly with an existing structure, which means more restrictions and less opportunity for creative design.
- Details. Along with the complexity, the more details you need added, the higher the costs can be.
Tips to know:
- Do not settle for the first architect that you come across. Instead, learn about their previous projects, their training, experience, and get a feel for their style. Every architect out there will have his own style. If you ask, the architect will probably give you a list of a few other projects that he has done in your area. You can check these out and see what you think before making a decision.
- SmartMoney.com has 10 things that an architect will not tell you when hiring one. Make sure you ask a lot of questions rather than just listening to the architect talk.
How can I save money?
- There are so many architects that probably work in your area. Do not settle for the first estimate that you receive, but instead, get at least three to five quotes. Free quote services such as HomeAdvisor.com can help you get multiple free quotes with the click of a button.
- Feel free to haggle on the price. Many professional architects out there are more than willing to bring down their price.