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How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Architect?

You’re ready to begin building your dream home – or turning your current space into the best version of itself. Congratulations! It’s daunting to take that first step but it will be so “worth it” when you’re literally living in the space you only envisioned on secret Pinterest boards.

Of course with big decisions come more big decisions – and you’re faced with the question of hiring an architect and what can you expect to pay? In this blog we’ll break down the type of fee structures to expect  as well as the range of prices you should be looking for.

Architects offer a wide skillset to any home project. You should consider hiring an architect if you’re looking for a new or extensive build or if you’re looking for not only design, but construction management as well as someone who understands your aesthetic and vision.

What an Architect Will Bring to the Table:

  • Complete design of your new construction, remodel and/or renovation
  • Analysis of your property, including zoning parameters
  • Documentation for your home’s existing conditions
  • New plans, blueprints and construction documents for your builder
  • Help in identifying specific products, materials, colors for your space
  • Help with selection and negotiation of contractors
  • Oversee construction and help maintain your timeline
  • Work as your agent, planner, manager and construction administration
  • An understanding of engineering, structure, spatial relationships, building and zoning codes

What architects charge

Architects bill for their services in several ways and it is not uncommon for them to use more than one payment method. Fees will fluctuate vastly depending on the project, the fee structure, the services offered by the architect, how extensive or complex the project, where you live and whether you find a seasoned architect or an intern to work with. Here are the three main ways an architect can charge for their services.

*One additional note. According to national research these are the general rates. However, South Florida fees tend to be on the higher side of the country’s averages.

Costs on the percentage of a project

Architects typically charge between 8% to 15% on most projects. Though the range can spread from 5% to 20% in different cases. For a more basic architectural plan, the lower the percentage. As you add in cabinetry, electrical, bidding, construction administration and project management, the percentage raises. New construction costs less than remodels. The reason for this is that there are more unforeseen construction problems in remodels that only reveal themselves once the work has begun. This will require plan modifications along the way.

If the thought of a percentage model worries you, talk with your architect about budget before the project begins. Your architect will know how to build what you want within your budget, and if not, they will help you set realistic expectations.

Costs per hour

Hourly rates are normally used in smaller projects or tasks in which the timing is unknown. Sometimes hourly rates can be charged in remodels where the work can be less predictable. Hourly rates can be as low as $70 per hour for an intern to as high as $315 per hour for a principal at a reputable design firm in a major metropolitan area. But typically the hourly rate ranges from $110 to $200 per hour.

Different hourly rates may apply to different tasks and for the time of the many ranks of professionals working in a firm (from the intern to the senior members). An architect will be able to give you a good estimate of your total fees and some may even set a cap on what they will charge you.

Costs per square foot

This is a less common fee schedule, which involves paying from $2 to $15 per square foot, depending on the project and the services involved. This method of payment can come in handy when you don’t need anyone to negotiate with contractors and you’re skeptical of the hourly fees adding up. Starting with concept development and drafts, the price per square foot will go up when you add construction documents and project management or administration.

We hope this helps give you a good rundown of prices and pricing structures. Every project, every home and every architect is different so it’s important you find the right architect for you. Schedule a free consult with us today and we can get to know each other. We’ll take you out for coffee or schedule a Zoom date to discuss your dreams.


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