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Cost To Employ An Architect

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  • 16-08-2021
Cost To Employ An Architect

Do you want to find out how much it costs to employ an architect? We look at how much architects charge and the services that they can offer.

Bob Trimble is a chartered architect registered with RIBA with 30 years experience in the industry. Trimble Architects work throughout Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston Upon Thames, Teddington and the surrounding areas of London.


When you initially begin planning numerous layout ideas and researching the average house conversion costs for your new dream home build, you often have many questions that require answering regarding several aspects. These aspects you need to answer determine whether or not you have the proper budget to afford all of your most essential or expensive ideas. It allows you to understand if you need to reduce the scale in any way to fit your budget better.

Many residential homeowners ask questions in their projects' early stages and planning phases concerning "How much does an architect cost to hire?" "Do I need to hire an architect?" 

These are questions that require plenty of thought; hiring an architect for your building project will take up at least 5-10% of your overall budget and is quite an investment. 

You want to ensure you making the right decisions for yourself and your future home or property. An architect can assist you quite a bit during the practice and drawing process, and they can also help you gather numerous specialists perfect for the jobs at hand.

An excellent rule of thumb for you to remember and follow is always to allocate at least 5-10% of your overall budget cost and make a note of it or keep it away in case you decide to hire an architect in the planning stage. 

An example of this is, suppose you're planning a kitchen or bathroom extension in London, sorting out all the necessary build costs, and your budget for the comes to around 80K, be expected to pay approximately  £5,000/ £4,000 -  £8,000 for a traditional architect. 

The average cost of hiring an architect can widely vary significantly depending on various factors, such as the complexity of your project overall and the experience of your hired architect.

How Much Does It Cost To Employ An Architect?

A more experienced RIBA trained architect with many years in the business or sector will charge much more than an architect who has just gotten out of university and completed their final year. 

The scale of your project also drastically affects the price; if you're going for a more modest project like a kitchen or bedroom extension, it will likely cost less than a complete remodel of an old property or utterly new builds.


How Much Do Architects Charge?

The question of how much an architect charges for their full services is a difficult question to answer. There are so many ways that an architect can charge you for their technical designs and overall. Various firms across the UK use all three methods, depending on the scale of the task at hand. Architects may charge you in these ways:

The architect will offer you quotes and lump you a particular sum depending on the size of the project, the duration of the task and how much work they feel they need to do or put into your building.     

The percentage of this can often range between 1.5% up to 20%. Typically, the bigger the scale, the lower the overall rate. The range may seem vast; however, the reason is that 5% of 3 million, which is a lot more than 15% of 300,000. 

This is the easiest method to understand; this is the way many services operate, for example, plumbers, solicitors, cleaning services, etc. If the duration is much longer, then they may charge a higher fee and VAT. If it is a small or modest build or extension, therefore, taking less time, then the costs may be low.   

You've likely figured out the theory; if the time the architect spends on your projects equates to more than what your architect anticipated initially, along with the hourly rates, the clients must then pay on a time charge basis. 

If the overall project becomes increasingly complex throughout the process and much more costly as more aspects like lofts and basements, new rooms or a new storey, etc., are added on or changed, and your architect is working on a percentage, the client pays more. However, if you find that your architect charges you a fixed architectural fee, they, unfortunately, bear the pain when your construction project expands or becomes more expensive. 

What am I paying for when hiring an architect?

Domestic architects are well worth their money if you're budget will allow you to hire one out. When you bring in an architect to assist your project, especially a suitable project and fits the work displayed in their portfolio or something like large-scale remodels, ambitious extensions and listed buildings, any skilled architect is likely to do a fantastic job. 

Architects with plenty of experience in the field will generally support and undertake any of the following jobs or tasks. These tasks on the to-do list ensure that your building project is always safely constructed and all aspects comply with all health and safety building regulations. They also desire to optimise the design layout and frequently ensure that everything they plan or draw suits your aesthetic taste. All architects in the industry aim to do their best to ensure structurally everything is safe and that the drawings and plans can go ahead or work efficiently. 


The following tasks include:

They will thoroughly measure and survey the property or land site you have chosen.

They will develop 2D and 3D design schemes (including all electrical, plumbing and heating plans and all the best material advice for those struggling with any design plans).

They will then revise all the design schemes to ensure they value and represent your vision practically and in a safe way that suits you. 

Your hired architect with prepare and submit all drawings and additional details to the LPA for planning permission purposes. To build your new dream home, you require planning permission from your local council, community and authorities.

They will monitor all planning applications you receive during the process to ensure everything is filled out correctly and to the industry standard. 

They will then produce and manage Tender, and this means liaising with the numerous appointed contractors you have chosen in the process and advising them on the materials and products to source for the project. 

Finally, your architect will manage the build from beginning to end to ensure that the builders and contractors on-site adequately represent your vision and plan. Usually, the client will pay the architect hourly, and the costs will be separate from the initial planning and construction drawing costs. 

You must be aware that some architects in the industry focus purely on specific aspects of the home, for example, the roof, floors, the external walls and the material makeup of your new build house or property building. You want to be incredibly clear if you would like some assistance on the interior layout, you should ask this question when you first contact them in the first meeting. 

Some architects prefer not to give too much thought to the interior, so if this is an aspect you would like your architect and contractors to consider in the process, let it be known before they begin designing. 

Architect's fees for a house extension

Suppose you have a design in mind; a talented, skilled architect can help you turn all your visions and ideas into a thoroughly detailed technical drawing or 3D diagram. 

These construction drawings are complete with numerous accurate calculations, timescales and specifications. It is well worth investing in a professional to construct these for all large-scale projects and extensions. All existing extensions could benefit from the knowledge and assistance of an architect to its best to consider one should you have the budget. 

However, before you rush ahead to the planning stage, it's excellent to understand precisely how much money you will require for the extension project. There are numerous levels of architectural technicians and different types of architects dealing with multiple aspects. You'll always want to be aware of who you have quotes from while making all your decisions. 


An architect and an architectural technician are relatively different. Such is all down to their level or amount of experience in the field; this means their price range varies dramatically no matter the scale of the project. 

The cost of a quality architect for a small extension or large-scale project will initially depend on the type of service you are receiving from them. 

However, if you want your construction project plans drawn up or turned into 3D diagrams, the cost of the final architectural drawing may be approximately  £1,000. Additionally, if you require your architect to draw the plan, oversee the application, and manage your new build, you must be aware that the costs will rise significantly. 

Architects fees are often calculated in numerous ways, as mentioned before. In some circumstances, you may be expected to pay local council fees; however, these tend to vary widely depending on the town or city you are in or wish to build. We highly recommend you call your local authorities planning office for further information and guidance. 

An example of an extension fee is:

In London, it is unlikely to pay less than £3,000 for all aspects of the extension work, including the evolution of all designs. Drawings for all buildings and creating the layout ready to give to builders and contractors may end up coming to around £7,500 to £10,000. Prices will also depend on how intricate and detailed your vision is and the overall scale you are dealing with. 

Other costs to consider

Before you draw up a budget for any architectural needs or requirements, it is crucial to consider all additional costs that will gradually factor into the final overall sum. Some of these costs to bear in mind are as follows:

You may not require any planning permission whatsoever with your building project. However, suppose your local authority or council deems it necessary to have to begin building and designing. In that case, this is one of the tasks that your architect will have to undergo as part of the services they are offering you. 

Planning applications can sometimes come at a cost, you can choose to pay this fee yourself to your local council, or your architect can charge you at their final overall price, and that way, they will manage and apply to this stage. 

Any home renovation, loft conversion or new build project often calls for the talents, skills and knowledge of structural engineer professionals to assist and assess the viability and feasibility of your building project.

Any structural engineer service often charges approximately £50-90 per hour; however, it all depends on their location, level of experience and whether they work as part of an established firm or independently. Suppose you need a building survey of the land or property beforehand. In that case, the final costs will fluctuate from around  £200 for a small apartment or flat to £2,000 for a significantly larger home or household. 

Before you the extension or renovation building project, you and your architect must make time to advise your local authorities or council. You can do so by submitting your Full Plans or a Building Notice. These allow you approval of your project and design plans to go ahead and be built. However, this requires a cover charge regardless of whether your project receives a pass or gets rejected. 

You will also pay an inspection charge that covers all inspections of the work-related by professionals that will come to scope out the site. 

Are you planning to hire an architect in Twickenham or the surrounding areas of London? Follow the link below to find out more about project management consultancy in London.

 Architects Near Me

Are you looking for architects near me? If you are looking for RIBA local architect services in Twickenham and the surrounding areas. Trimble Architects works with clients throughout London and the surrounding areas including:

Bob Trimble is a chartered architect registered with RIBA. Bob Trimble has 30 years of experience working with residential and commercial property projects. For 4 years, Bob Trimble has worked from his housing association and private architectural practice for clients throughout Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston Upon Thames, Teddington and the surrounding areas of London.