When you compare the rates of two architects for the same project, you quickly realize how different these price estimates can be. This is because there can be huge differences between the fees charged by architects. Understanding how they are calculated is a very important part of the process.
The cost that is estimated usually depends on reputation, experience, and demand. At the same time, different amounts can be charged based on the engaging level that will be expected. Simply put, when the architect needs to interact a lot with you, more will be charged.
According to OZ Architects Inc., There are various involvement levels that are possible with an architecture company. Services offered can include anything ranging from arranging permits and basic design to taking care of the entire project, which involves managing contractors and all additional technical documentation needed. To put it as simple as possible, the more an architect does, the larger the charge.
Architects will normally charge in one of 3 general ways. These are:
- Percentage Fees
In many cases, the architect is hired on a very simple basis. The payment will be a percentage of the project’s allocated budget or overall cost. There is no exact percentage that you can expect. This does vary a lot, usually based on the overall cost. Higher percentages are normally charged for the projects that are smaller.
- Fixed Fees
When you know exactly what you want and you can easily go through a briefing stage while presenting what you can afford and what, an architect can agree to a fixed fee. This will usually be a large amount that will be added to the project’s overall cost. However, it is a great way to guarantee the fact that costs are not going to be out of control when something unexpected happens.
- Hourly Fees
Sometimes, doing work without having a fully-fixed budget is very daunting. However, in many cases, this is better for both the architect and the client. The only thing is that careful records need to be kept. This guarantees that you just pay for the work that is actually going to be done. In addition, the architect will not be worried about having to commit effort that goes over a specific amount. You need to be sure that this is properly estimated though and generally speaking, only highly experienced architects should be considered for such a payment structure.
Keep in mind that hiring an architect is very similar to hiring any other contractor. This means that fees can easily end up being a lot higher than what you initially anticipate. Due to this, you should always be really careful with the contract that you sign. Everything that is discussed in face-to-face meetings should be added.
Before you sign the contract, arrange a final meeting so you can discuss anything that was not understood. Asking questions is always your right and the architect needs to offer good, easy-to-understand answers. Also, there is no reason why you should not shop around and ask for estimates from more architects.