Why Do Architects Cost So Much?
Architectural projects aren’t always inexpensive. For a lot of people, the question of why an architect charges so much often comes up in their minds. What is an architect's reason for charging so much?
How They Charge You
There are three common ways an architect may charge you for their services. Some firms will charge you an hourly rate which can look inexpensive on the front end but can quickly rise in costs. Others will charge you with a fixed rate, most often applied to a specific service like a conceptual design or engineering. But for a full services architectural higher this option isn’t the most common nor popular. And lastly, some architecture firms will charge you using a percentage based fee. This fee takes into account the complexity of each individual project and construction value to come up with appropriate fee prices. This type of fee structure gives the homeowner peace of mind knowing their architectural work is not contingent upon hours spent. Here at Cummins Architecture and Design, we generally charge 10%-15% of the estimated construction value for our services. There are, however, certain factors that can reduce or raise that number.
What Are You Paying For?
When you hire an architect you are paying for 10-12 years of architectural education and field work required by the industry before he/she is able to open their firm's doors. It also includes a state license that is renewed every two years as long as the firm is operational. The architect is responsible for fully understanding frequently changing code requirements by the many cities and counties throughout the state in which they holds their license. Architects are trained in environmental sustainability, artistic design, structural safety and code enforcement to name a few things. Services you may higher a firm for that require these skills include consultations, entitlement, design layouts, structural engineering, 3D design, etc.
Cost Per Square Foot Explained
Cost per square foot is a flat rate fee based on the proposed square footage of your project. The fee is also based on the complexity, detailing, and time put into the project. Increasing square footage will increase the price. An architect or contractor should be able to give you an estimated price.
Being informed on the costs of an architect can help you get a better understanding of why they charge what they charge. It’s also important to note that even though it may seem an architect is expensive, keep in mind the quality of work they are performing to ensure your home, remodel, or addition is being built according to building codes and with your style and needs in mind.