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How Much Does an Architect Cost

How Much Does An Architect Cost? UK Price Comparison

If you are thinking of building a new home, or planning an extension or renovation, a skilled architect can really help to bring your ideas to life.

Not only that, but they are also able to give you a clear design plan, with perfect drawings and calculations to put you on track from the get-go. Architects are also capable of putting together timetables so you will begin the project with a clear understanding of how long it is going to take.

But how much does an architect cost? It simply isn’t possible to answer that question with one figure, there are too many factors that come into play. We will say that if you are only looking for the project to be drawn up, an architectural drawing can cost as low as £1,000. If that is music to your ears, fantastic! If you need to know more, carry on reading.

First of all, we will discuss the three ways in which an architect may charge for their services.

A Fixed Fee

If your project is reasonably straightforward, congratulations! There are many projects out there that are hugely complicated, and as a result, the working out of the finances can become fairly complex.

Smaller extensions or reasonably standard renovations tend to be charged as a fixed fee. There are circumstances where an architect will charge a lump sum for a new build property, so you’ll want to know the costs involved straight away for a project of this size.

Let’s put together some tables on how much you may expect to pay an architectural technician for particular jobs, starting with planning permission only.

Type of Job

Lowest Average Cost

Highest Average Cost

Ground floor extension

£750

£1,500

Two floor extension

£1,000

£2,000

New build house

£2,000

£3,000

Similarly, an architect themselves would charge that bit more as a fixed fee.

Type of Job

Lowest Average Cost

Highest Average Cost

Ground floor extension

£1,000

£2,500

Two floor extension

£2,000

£3,500

New build house

£3,000

£5,000

If you are hoping to acquire building regulations and construction drawings, you can expect to pay that bit more. However, in doing so, you are developing a deeper understanding into the project as a whole, and can make better informed decision as a result.

The same projects with building regulations and construction drawings included are priced up here, from an architectural technician.

Type of Job

Lowest Average Cost

Highest Average Cost

Ground floor extension

£1,500

£3,000

Two floor extension

£2,000

£3,500

New build house

£3,000

£4,000

Again, an architect would charge more, for the same reasons as above.

Type of Job

Lowest Average Cost

Highest Average Cost

Ground floor extension

£3,000

£5,000

Two floor extension

£4,000

£6,000

New build house

£5,000

£7,500

If you are hoping for plans to be drawn up including flooring choices, lighting fittings and furniture layouts, expect to pay that bit extra as a fixed fee.

A Percentage of the Overall Cost

As we mentioned earlier, it is fairly rare for an architect to charge a fixed fee, as this method doesn’t allow for much in the way of flexibility in terms of charging.

More complexed projects, such as new build homes, will generally see the architect charge a percentage of the building cost.

This method can see architect fees range from 5% to as much as 12%. Where abouts on this scale the architect sits is dependent on the job itself.

For instance, a new build house with an overall building cost of £200k, an architect would charge between 3% and 6%. This works out at between £6,000 and £12,000.

Architect’s Hourly Rate UK

Perhaps the least common way for an architect to charge, at least nowadays, is by the hour. In the UK, the average hourly rate for an architect is between £50 and £100. This can vary depending on the size of the project, the area in which the plan is being drawn, and the level of experience of the architect in question.

Drawing Up Plans: The Cost

Consider the drawing up of the plans as part of the overall work that an architect does for you. There are always reasons for decisions made by an architect, such as increase in value and a reduction of risk in the construction phase.

Once they have consulted you, the homeowner, they will have all the tools necessary to design the floor plans and visualisations for that all-important planning application.

A quality architect will do so much more than draw up your plans. They will be able to;

  • Assess the feasibility of your project
  • Discuss your design options
  • Provide assistance on how you must adhere to the relevant rules and regulations
  • Prepare planning application
  • Prepare building regulations application
  • Help omit overspends and omissions

Planning Permission: Architect Fees

More often than not, a project that requires an architect will be of a size that it requires planning permissions. To acquire this approval, you’ll need quality designs to present.

Given how often an architect has to seek approval for planning permission, it should very much be considered as part of the overall cost that they charge.

Take this part very seriously, as it can be expensive once you are denied planning permission.

Building Regulations

Both require approval, but there is a clear difference between planning permission and building regulations.

Simply put, planning permission is submitted to your local authority to see if they approve of the type of build for your property in that area.

Building regulators assess whether the building work being planned is safe. Not only that, but they will also assess its energy efficiency and its accessibility for those with limited mobility.

The importance of acquiring building regulations cannot be understated, and this is why it is so important that the designs are transparent and accurate.

Once again, this should be made clear from the first conversation between you and a potential architect.

Construction and Inspection

We’re getting close to the exciting bit now, the building work itself!

Before then though, you need to select a builder based on the architectural work that has already been put in place. In most cases, it is advisable to allow the architect to select the builder as they will know the qualities required to bring their drawing to life.

Some architects will remain on site for long periods to ensure that the builders are correctly carrying out their vision.

They can also be on hand to ensure that the payments are being made to the builder at the correct stage, and that the job is progressing as it should be.

We would absolutely recommend this step.

Project Management

A lot of the project management falls into the points made above. You may not consider yourself practical enough to project manage the build itself. If that is the case, worry not, your architect can take care of this.

This is very much advisable if the building work being done is particularly complexed. At the end of the day, you want the vision that you and your architect dreamed up together to be brought to life by the builders. With this in mind, you are best not to cut any corners or take any risks.

How Much Does an Architect Cost for Loft Conversion Plans?

If it is possible to convert your loft without planning permission, we would recommend opting for this method. This will majorly cut the final costs.

However, should you require planning permission, we advise that you set aside £3,000 and a further £1,000 to get yourself in a position to build.

Further reading: loft conversion cost.

How Much Does an Architect Cost for an Extension?

Usually, an architect will charge for an extension in the same way that they would for a new build home. The smaller the extension, the cheaper the fee of your architect – but you didn’t need us to tell you that.

If the extension is a complicated one or particularly sizeable, you may expect to be charged as a percentage. For example, a total extension cost of £30,000 will likely see the architect charge around 10% of the cost, working out at 3% in this example.

Is it Worth Getting an Architect?

In the long run, it is absolutely worth hiring an architect. They will save you money down the line by adding real value to the property in question.

Cost aside, a major part of any architect’s job is to spot and reduce hazards and risks before they occur.

When you consider the above points in terms of planning and regulatory approvals, it is most definitely worth putting your trust in a professional. There are several obstacles to overcome along the way, and an experienced architect will be able to negotiate them with relative ease.

How Long Does It Take for an Architect to Draw up Plans?

We’re sure you’re not thinking this anyway, but drawing up plans is much more involved than just throwing together some pretty illustrations.

We’ll break down the timeframe for you, shall we?

Initial Contact

This can last from anywhere between one week to a couple of months. This initial stage is where the client will determine whether an architect is the correct fit for their property.

How far along you are in locating a plot for a new build, or how far along you are in your thinking for a home improvement, will determine how long this initial consultation will last.

Once you have agreed to work with an architect, they will present you with a questionnaire to give a clear understanding of what you are hoping to achieve.

Gathering of Information

This stage will see the architect visit the site of the project on multiple occasions to assess the existing conditions.

Your designated architect will need to liaise with the below people to ensure everything is as should be;

  • Engineers
  • Surveyors
  • City officials
  • Local council

At this stage, you will also review the questionnaire together. All in all, you should complete this phase within three weeks.

Compiling a Diagram of the Build

Once all of the above has been collected, the architect will complete an overall design. They will consult with you to be sure you are happy with the proposals, and once given the go ahead a 3D model is often built to give you a clearer picture.

This can take up to two months, although this can be quicker if you are immediately pleased with the design.

Submitting Permits

Once the necessary permit documents have been completed, they will need to be submitted to give the overall job the green light.

Should I Use an Architect or Builder?

If you are absolutely clear on what it is you want from the project, then it may be less time consuming and cheaper to opt for a builder. However, and we must be clear, this should only be if you know exactly what it is you are after, and have a clear idea in your head of the design.

If you have any reservations, or are remotely unclear on any aspect of the build itself, an architect is an essential addition to the project to iron out any of these potential problems.

It is an extremely involved process designing a home or an extension. With this in mind, our advice would be to trust in the professionals. Sure, you may pay that bit more to begin with, but the long-term benefits are plentiful. Once your home is designed, it’s not a bad idea to find out the interior designer cost in the UK.

After all, you are building a home or a sizeable extension. The last thing you want are any regrets in years to come.