How much for an architect? And will they JUST do drawings?

Discussion in 'Homes and gardens' started by heretohelp, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. heretohelp

    heretohelp Frequent Poster

    hi there,
    Im looking for an architect to draw up plans for a small extension. My question is how much can i expect to pay and also will the architect just do the drawings and be done with it ?
    Basically i just want to get drawings, get a quotation from a builder and build . Can i do this ?
  2. extopia

    extopia Frequent Poster

    Anything useful here? The best thing to do is call a couple of architects, discuss your budget, and ask them straight out about their fee structure.
  3. moneygrower

    moneygrower Frequent Poster

    considering 40% of them are expected to be unemployed by march, I reckon you could haggle the price!
  4. Wexfordguy

    Wexfordguy Guest

    In my experience they're like solicitors..some will try to charge wildly extortionate fees,others will be looking for a fraction of that for the same job.
    Shop around and ask lots of them.
  5. sfag

    sfag Frequent Poster

    In my recent experience they charged €18,000 for basic drawings (ie planning permisison submission) on a 2000 sq foot bungalow.

    They do not do structural specifications (big ommisison - an extra cost)
    That does not include the 6 basic site inspections.
    Project management is entirely separate.

    If you find those charges high try a good engineer instead.
  6. Padraigb

    Padraigb Frequent Poster

    If you know exactly what you want, and need only drawings, then it is not a job for an architect. There are many people competent in producing drawings of that type, including architectural draughtsmen (and women), surveyors, engineers, and even school teachers of Construction Studies.

    You might also need specifications. For a simple job, the specification can be on the sheet with the drawing (sez he, having just received such a drawing by email yesterday).
  7. Oracle24

    Oracle24 Frequent Poster

    €18,000 for basic drawings!!!!!!!!!!!!! I presume thats a mistake so what did it really cost?
  8. heretohelp

    heretohelp Frequent Poster

    18k is alot of lolly!!
  9. threebedsemi

    threebedsemi Frequent Poster

    in general you get what you pay for, up to a reasonable level.
    if you want an architectural masterpiece you will need to pay for the skill of the architect who will create one for you. if you want to build the same extension as the-one-they-have-down-the-road, you dont even need an architect.
    however, i would say that even in the current climate, paying a reasonable fee to a good architect should add much more value to your project than the cost of the initial fee
    by 'value' i mean both your enjoyment of a well designed living space, and the value of your house if you decide to sell up in the future.
  10. threebedsemi

    threebedsemi Frequent Poster

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
    to actually answer your question:
    an architect can oversee the construction on site as well,
    ask for a breakdown of their fees for each stage,
    ensure that any extras (i.e. engineer fees) are clearly listed or highlighted
    ask for examples of previous work and references,
    the RIAI publish the results of a fee survey every couple of years, ask to see the relevant section of this during your meeting

    you can book an appointment with a local architect for saturday march 7th for a fee of €75 via the simonopendoor website(fees go to the charity)

    this might be a good starting point?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  11. justsally

    justsally Frequent Poster

    A friend of mine used the Simon project. They engaged the architect for a hour. He gave them some very useful tips and expanded their knowledge about what they could achieve on their site. It was a house extension. They then incorporated those ideas into their plans when getting costings elsewhere. They did not feel under any pressure to use the architect with whom they had connected through the Simon community, (and in fact they didn't use him) but they do believe the "donation" for the consultation was money well spent.
  12. living:room

    living:room Registered User

    The services provided by an Architect break down into 4 areas:

    Initial Design:

    Meeting the clients, discussing the brief (client's requirements), timescale and budget, carrying out a site inspection and survey, preparing initial design proposals for discussion with the client, advising outline costs and requirement for additional consultants, advising on planning, building regulation, health & safety regulations (as required), agreeing cost, scope of services and fees.

    Developed Design:

    Developing the client's brief and outline proposals, further disussion with client to agree preferred options / layouts, incorporating relevant planning, building regulations and H&S requirements into proposals, liaising with any appointed consulants, signing off on developed design and costs with client and, if a planning application is required, preparing all relevant documentation - application forms, notices, drawings, outline specification of materials, supporting information - for submission.

    Detail Design:

    Developing detail design of project including construction details, site works, finishes and fittings (if required), preparing technical & quality specifications, incorporating consultants detailed design, addressing any planning issues (compliance submission, as required), preparing Forms of Tender, advising client on forms of Contract & client requirements, liaising with QS, preparing tender lists and issuing tender documents.


    Reporting on Tenders with QS input as required, requesting clarification of rates from tenderers as required, advising clients, arranging contract between client and contractor, visting site to inspect progress and quality of work (as appropriate), modifying drawings to respond to site conditions (as required), issuing payment certs when appropriate and valuing the final account (with QS, as required), listing defects to be made good by contractor and then inspecting same, inspecting work at end of defects liaibility period, issuing final certificate, issuing Opinions on Compliance with Planning & Building Regulations in official format.

    Generally the fee for an Architect to carry out all of the above is calculated as a % of the overall cost of the project. Work to existing houses is usually charged slightly higher than for a new-build house - with new-build there is a clean plot of land, with refurb and extension, there is a higher probability of issues arising once the building is opened up and work is underway, requiring architectural input.

    Although there are no set guidelines for this - it will be dependant on the size of project and complexity of work - there is a survey on average charges available on the RIAI web-site:

    This suggests that the average fee for smaller projects (up to €500k) would be between 8 - 12%.

    The RIAI recommends that each of the above stages be calculated as 25% of the overall cost, which would indicate a fee of 50% of the overall project cost to take the project to planning stage - this is indicative and most architects will be more competitive than this (perhaps with the exception of whoever quoted €18k above!)

    It is not necessary to hire the architect for the whole process, you can agree the services you want and the architect will quote on that basis - in your case, for the initial and developed design to planning stage. Bear in mind, that if you want to sell your home in the future, that a buyer will want to know that the work has been carried out to the correct standards, so you will probably want Opinions on Compliance as well.

    Do you need an architect? Ask yourself the following questions:

    - Do I have a limited space to extend?
    - Do I want the new space(s) to integrate seemlessly with the existing house?
    - Is there an existing extension to be taken into account?
    - Do I want to maximise the use of existing internal space?
    - Do I want to maximise natural light?

    If the answer to any of the above is yes, then an architect will probably bring more value to your project. Building is an expensive business and it's worth taking the time to get it right.

  13. Emiso

    Emiso Frequent Poster

    We were recently quoted 10% of building costs by an architect.
    Considering that our house is probably going to cost about 500,000 to build then this works out at 50,000 for drawings.

    I don't think so !!
  14. threebedsemi

    threebedsemi Frequent Poster

    a large part of the problem is that people have the impression that an architect just 'does drawings'. if this is your opinion, your architect did a fairly bad job of explaining what they can (and should) bring to your project. the time involved in considering an off-standard design for a dwelling house, including details for every off-standard detail or item, is quite considerable, as is preparing a complete tender package for builders to price from, etc.
    the above does not take into account the architects skill and training in designing a house that is a coherent and enjoyable place in which to spend your time.

    it is not comparable to the common practice of 'building off the planning drawings'

    in your case, i would suspect that an architect designed and supervised house of the size you are considering building will easily be worth at least the value of their fee more than one of the same size in which an architect was not involved.
    it should be considered as an investment in the property, just as installing the best heating system or kitchen you can afford is...

    shop around, there should be value to be had at the moment in fees as well as everything else.
    as a footnote, a percentage fee is based on the ex-vat construction costs of the house, so it would be x% of (500,000 - 13.5%)
  15. Emiso

    Emiso Frequent Poster


    That quote of 10% of the building cost was just to do the drawings required for planning permission. We had already come up with the concept and design we wanted for the house.

    It was going to be extra for doing up the working drawings and tender package for builders to quote from. There were also extra costs for project management and site inspections etc.

    We subsequently got other more reasonable quotes form qualified architects which is not surprising given that 40% of them are now unemployed according to a recent news report I saw. Theres a big difference between 15 and 50 thousand for drawings !!
  16. threebedsemi

    threebedsemi Frequent Poster

    sorry, i misunderstood your post. that quote was certainly from la-la land.
    good luck with the project
  17. Emiso

    Emiso Frequent Poster

    Youre right about la-la land.
    The same guy keeps sending us emails trying to persuade us to go with his company. I'm not sure what part of the word "no" he doesn't understand !!
  18. DeirdreD

    DeirdreD New Member

    Did i just see that you got a quote of 15k for drawings.... surely you must be out of your mind. Theres an Architectural Technician that we used when were were building our extension (practically another house) and he only charged us 3k, he did everything for us and was very pleasant to deal with. I wouldnt give that sort of money to an architect knowing theres hundreds of architectual technicians out there that can do the same job for little or nothing.
  19. picorette

    picorette Frequent Poster

    As mentioned in this thread and others, there is a difference between what an Architectural Technician and an Architect do. They have different training and offer different services.

    An Architectural Technician might be more appropriate for a small extension where the client knows what exactly what design they want, and just requires technical drawings.

    An Architect could be more appropriate for a house, where more of a design input would be required, as well as technical drawings.
  20. DeirdreD

    DeirdreD New Member

    I am well aware that there is a difference between an Architect and Architectural Technician, the same difference as between a Legal Exec and Solicitor..... I wouldnt like to think someone is being ripped off for drawings that can be done by a technician for much less. We used a guy and he might as well of been an Architect coz he knew so much but sure you learn from your mistakes.