Topic: Architect's Costs

Author: Brian
Date Posted: 3/3/2003
I met with a local (Maryland) architect because I want to finish my unfinished attic to add a master bedroom and bath. Rather than a percentage of the total cost of the project, she's charging by the hour ($110/hr). Her total cost to gather measurements, draw up different designs, meet w/ prospective contractors, and see the project thourgh to completion is about $18,000 or about 163 hours of her time. Since this project will require me to raise my roof for needed headroom to meet code, I estimate the project will cost about $100K. This means her costs are 18% of the total cost of the project. I'm not sure what architects costs on average, but this seems like alot, even for an architect. Anyone that's worked with an architect, please let me know what you were charged, whether you were charged by the hour or by % of total project cost, and whether it was worth it as opposed to working with a design/construction company. Thanks.

Posted: 7/7/2003

Brian, You should expect to pay 5%-8% of costs depending on the level of complexity, design details expected, services desired and local codes. Interview firms in each category and see what their work is like to make your decision. Their is no one right answer for your project but as an architect I recommend using a qualified architect who can interpret your ideas and come up with a well thought out design that meets your needs as well as budget. They will look at aesthetics, details and technical issues as well as codes. Architects have the background and training needed to complete the total project some designers dont. Good Luck

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