How to Hire the Right Architect Based on Fees

By | 11/08/2016


When comparing architects to remodel your home you may realize that understanding how each of them charge can be difficult. While this is true, one of the most important things to understand is in fact how they charge. You may notice that some say they charge an hourly rate while others charge a fixed fee or a percentage of the construction cost. What does this all mean? What is the best option for you? Consider the information below to get a better understanding of the architectural fees.

Percentage of construction cost.

When an architect charges a percentage of the construction cost, this typically means they will charge you anywhere between 8 and 15 percent of the total construction cost. For example, if the project costs a total of $100,000 the architectural fees will be anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000. The large range of costs can be due to the firm you choose.

The difference in fees is usually related to the level of services offered by the firm and the size of the project. The firms with an 8 percent fee typically incudes basic architectural services. For a small project like adding an extra bedroom to your home, this may be all you need. Firms that charge a 15 percent fee usually offer full architecturally services. In this case, you are likely to pay more upfront but have fewer cost surprises during the construction process.

When comparing rates, ask what services are included in the firms fee so you can see how much you are getting for your money.

The reason why architects choose to charge a percentage of constructions is because if you decide to add on to your project, the fee will automatically adjust itself to the amount of work they are completing.

To avoid the fee getting out of control, set a project budget from the start to assure that the architect does not get out of hand with expensive designs.


This is self-explanatory. You pay an hourly rate for their service, for the time spent working on your home. This method of payment is not always favored by homeowners because they are stuck paying for however long the architect takes to complete the job. For this exact reason, this method is usually favored by architects.

In order to assure the architect is not taking advantage, there are ways to control the amount of hours spent working on your project, essentially controlling the amount you are left to pay. When creating your initial contract you can include a not-to-exceed amount.

Another option is charging hourly for the schematic design . Once this part of the process is done than you should be able to agree on a fixed price for the remainder of the work that has to be done because a project-scope will be in place.

Hourly rate vary considerably depending on the firm’s reputation, experience and the quality of their work.

Fixed fee.

A fixed-fee is a set price the architect will charge. This amount is put in your contract. This is favored by more homeowners because they will know the amount ahead of time without any surprises. Most architects avoid this until the project is set in stone so they can base the price off of that.

No matter which way the architect charges you want to make sure that you are getting your money worth for the project. do your research and find a firm that can produce quality work within your budget. Residential architects on Long Island, New York  offer a full service architectural experience to each of its their customers.