WPO Image

How to Hire the Right Architect For Your Building Project


What are the average costs of hiring an architect? The fees can range from Hundred of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the project and what comes under the scope of their work. An architect will normally take from two to five years to complete an entire full-scale architectural plan. Most architects will utilize an average schedule fee structure which breaks down as such:

General Contractor Fees

These include a number of different expenses that are linked back to the overall planning process of an architect’s work. These include legal, planning, and bidding fees. The actual legal fees will depend on the complexity, and scale of the architectural project itself as well as the requirements of your local building authority. The building authority will determine how much the legal fees will be and what they can be included in. These fees will usually be included in the architects suggested final price.

Full Remodeling Contract

These are typically required when working with architects who have already agreed to a design development plan. Once an architect has a contract in hand, it allows you to move forward with the design development phase without any additional delays or hassles. There are many contractors that specialize in this field and are available to take on larger projects. Working with these individuals will help expedite the construction administration process. The right architect can make the difference between success and failure in the completion of a major construction project.

Fixed-Fee Structure

This includes a number of different aspects that are related to the overall pricing structure of architectural services. These include the actual hourly rate, the hourly salary, and overtime rates as well as the total budget estimate that are provided to the contractor. This type of arrangement is often used when there is a significant change that must take place within the current architectural plan. In order to ensure that the changes are implemented correctly overtime and to meet the expectations of the client, the contract for this portion of the project must be approved by both parties prior to implementation.

Basic Architectural Services

These types of architectural services are generally offered by general building management firms. A good general building management company will offer an assortment of general administrative services as well as specific specialized services. These professionals normally take on the entire responsibility of the project from start to finish including oversee the entire construction management process. This includes bidding on contracts, hiring subcontractors, performing periodic inspections, managing all subcontractors, and providing constant support after the initial project start up. When hiring an architect, make sure to discuss which of these general administrative duties will be performed by the firm.

Focusing on a Specific Area

When hiring an architect, focus on their area of expertise. Some architects specialize in certain types of buildings such as residential housing, while others are capable of designing structures that can be adapted to nearly any size application. It is best to ask specific questions about their experience and expertise when interviewing contractors. Do not assume that an architect has designed similar projects in the past nor assume that the contractor will provide the same level of expertise. In many instances, the contractor may have designed similar projects but it is better to have an experienced and knowledgeable professional to do the work instead of trying to cut corners because the architect was not specifically asked to build your addition or remodel your kitchen.

Fixed Fee

Fixed fees are often lumped together with other administrative expenses in an architect’s contract. These fees are intended to cover specific portions of the overall job such as bidding on a contract, paying subcontractors, paying for materials and labor, and so forth. Since these fees are usually paid upfront, they are considered a service and therefore, are added to the hourly rate. Many architects choose to include this fee in their hourly rate since it is meant to cover the bulk of the project which is normally the largest portion of the cost. It is important to understand, however, that these fees will not change based upon the time frame in which they are due such as the time it takes to decide on a bid.

Finding the right architect should not be difficult if you follow the tips outlined above. The easiest way to do so is by using a combination of interview techniques to make sure that you find out all about an architect prior to hiring them. You can learn more about interviewing an architect by visiting the links below. Your contractor may be able to help you get started or guide you in the process of hiring a professional. Either way, hiring the right architect can make all the difference in the success of your renovation or home improvement project.


WPO Image

Hello, my name’s Marvin Armstrong, maritime seaman and sailor by trade.

This blog, although it wasn't meant to be a blog, but rather the site about my maritime interest, has now expanded to be an expression of my own lifestyle itself where I cover my interests and discoveries.

Click to read on
Maritime Heritage