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    Average architect cost

    Summary: How much does an architect cost, average architect fees and costs.

    When you're starting a building project, be it a new build or a renovation, why use the skills of an architect? An architect is a specialist in designing rooms and buildings. A well-designed area will make best use of your space and increases your property value. A bad design simply creates problems with your build (increasing the time and money spent on the project) and ultimately could make your property lose resale value. A good architect can make the difference between a building project simply being finished and a project giving you a place that works really well for you and that you will love being in.

    Average cost


    Average cost



    Barn conversion (m²) £1000 - £2000 (m²)
    2013 Get quote

    Factors to consider

    If you plan to do the architects job yourself, you will need to make sure you feel competent to address the following:

    • Make a thorough survey of the area to be developed and take measurements.
    • Create detailed drawing for your builder to follow.
    • Inform neighbours if any of your work will affect their property or grounds, following the Party Wall Act 1996.
    • Deal with your local authority to ensure your plans meet with building regulations
    • Obtain a Certificate of Lawful Development if your building works fall within your permitted development rights (obviously you need to be clear what these rights cover; at its simplest level there is a maximum height and volume that these works can cover).
    • If your building works are not covered within permitted development, make an application for planning permission.
    • If you live in a conservation area, submitting a Conservation Area Consent application.
    • If you have a listed building, making a Listed Building Consent application. There is no charge for this.

    If you intend to use a professional architect, you will want to make sure you can check these points:

    • Are they insured, after all if they get things wrong, it can affect the whole build?
    • Are they a member of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) – if they are their standards will be overseen, they will have qualifications and experience and have over seven years of architectural training behind them?

    When applying for planning permission you will need to use some architectural services to help construct the plans.

    Many barns are in remote locations so mains gas and sewerage may not be an option.

    Costs to consider

    Any initial meeting with an architect will not be charged for – it is only when you instruct the architect to begin work that you will be charged. Many architects charge you as a percentage of the complete construction costs – this will reflect the length of time the work will take to complete and the complexity of the build. Generally, the larger the project, the smaller the percentage that is taken by the architect (roughly on a sliding scale). Alternatively you may be charged a lump sum or an hourly rate - these are more common if you only want the architect to preside over part of the project. This may be just working up to the Planning Submission, or being involved up to the point that Building Regulations are approved. These two scenarios are common when it is a small scale project, such as a small extension.

    Remember any quotes given to you by an architect may not include VAT, this can make a huge difference to the final figure, so do check. Also be aware that the location of the architects practice can greatly affect the amount you will pay for their work. However there is nothing stopping you from using an architect from a cheaper area and paying for their travel and time, if they are willing to do this. Also keep in mind that there is a statutory application fee for all applications for planning permission. These applications can take around eight weeks to process.

    On the other hand, using an architect may actually help you save money in certain areas. They may be able to advise which builders to use and offer connections and expertise with financial considerations. This is of course on top of using their greater experience to give you the most cost-effective design for your budget. They also will be able to design in energy efficient features such as insulation and window design, which will save you money in the longer term.

    One final thought about another hidden potential cost. With the possibility of drawings and plans being rejected and having to be resubmitted to planning committees and each application taking around two months, the question you may need to ask yourself is the cost of not getting your building project off of on the right foot. Unless you are confident about doing the work yourself, you may need to consider the cost of not working with an architect.

    Pricing for architects is tricky as the RIBA (The Royal Institute for British Architects) abolished scale rates several years ago.

    If you are converting the property to sell on later, you might want to opt for less costly items to help keep the overall build price in check.

    Author: C J Mills Google+

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