The initial design brief typically forms the basis for the fee agreement between architect and client. The architectural fee is negotiated with each client and will reflect the level of service and design that each client requires, and is affected by the size and complexity of each project. Some clients may desire a full architectural service, whereas a partial service will suit those who want to be more hands-on. When choosing an architect and negotiating fees, as with most things in life, the cheapest is not always the best option. Make sure you fully understand what you are paying for and that it is appropriate for your needs.
Just as the design process is generally broken down into stages, so are the fees. This allows the client to understand the quantum of work required for each stage. It also creates hold-points where the client has the opportunity to review the design and ensure all their requirements have been included, before authorising the architect to proceed to the next stage.
The architectural fee structure is flexible and is formulated specifically for each project. It may be a fixed price, or a percentage of the construction cost, or if the scope of work and/or services is harder to define it may be based on hourly rates. A combination is also possible, where some work is based on a fixed price, and some is undertaken at hourly rates. As fees are so project specific, it is impossible to provide any meaningful figures here. Whether you already have a good idea of what you want, or you’re simply interested in exploring some ideas, I invite you to contact me and arrange a time to discuss your project so that I can understand your requirements in detail.