Commercial Architect Fees | architect fees (2023)

Commercial Architecture FeesThese are the typical fees that individuals, organizations, and government agencies routinely pay for various commercial architecture services. Specifically, this website focuses on commercial rather than residential project types. However, it should be noted that residential projects fall into complexity group 5.

. 1 2 3 4 5
. (less complex ————-> more complex)

bis US$ 100.000 8 % 9 % 10 % 11 % 12 %
100.000 $ + 200.000 $ 7% 8% 9% 10% 11%
$200.000 + $300.000 6% 7% 8% 9% 10%
$ 300.000 + $ 400.000 5,9 % 6,9 % 7,9 % 8,9 % 9,9 %
400.000 USD + 500.000 USD 5,8 % 6,8 % 7,8 % 8,8 % 9,8 %
$ 500.000 + $ 600.000 5,7 % 6,7 % 7,7 % 8,7 % 9,7 %
$ 600.000+ a $ 700.000 5,6 % 6,6 % 7,6 % 8,6 % 9,6 %
700.000 USD + 800.000 USD 5,5 % 6,5 % 7,5 % 8,5 % 9,5 %
$ 800.000+ a $ 900.000 5,4 % 6,4 % 7,4 % 8,4 % 9,4 %
900,000 USD + up to 1 million USD 5.3% 6.3% 7.3% 8.3% 9.3%
$1M+ a $1.25M 5.2% 6.2% 7.2% 8.2% 9.2%
$1.25M + a $1.5M 5.1% 6.1% 7.1% 8.1% 9.1%
$1.5M+ a $1.75M 5.0% 6.0% 7.0% 8.0% 9.0%
$1.75M + a $2M 4.9% 5.9% 6.9% 7.9% 8.9%
$2M+ a $2.5M 4.8% 5.8% 6.8% 7.8% 8.8%
$2.5M + a $3M 4.7% 5.7% 6.7% 7.7% 8.7%
$3M+ a $3.5M 4.6% 5.6% 6.6% 7.6% 8.6%
$3.5M+ to $4M 4.5% 5.5% 6.5% 7.5% 8.5%
$4M + a $5M 4.4% 5.4% 6.4% 7.4% 8.4%
$5M+ a $6M 4.3% 5.3% 6.3% 7.3% 8.3%
$6M+ a $8M 4.2% 5.2% 6.2% 7.2% 8.2%
$8M+ a $10M 4.1% 5.1% 6.1% 7.1% 8.1%
$10 million + up to $12 million 4.0% 5.0% 6.0% 7.0% 8.0%
$12M+ a $14M 3.9% 4.9% 5.9% 6.9% 7.9%
$14M+ a $16M 3.8% 4.8% 5.8% 6.8% 7.8%
$16 million + to $18 million 3.7% 4.7% 5.7% 6.7% 7.9%
$18 million + up to $20 million 3.6% 4.6% 5.6% 6.6% 7.6%
$20 million + up to $22 million 3.5% 4.5% 5.5% 6.5% 7.5%
$22 million + to $24 million 3.4% 4.4% 5.4% 6.4% 7.4%
$24 million + to $27 million 3.3% 4.3% 5.3% 6.3% 7.3%
$27M+ a $30M 3.2% 4.2% 5.2% 6.2% 7.2%
$30 million + to $33 million 3.1% 4.1% 5.1% 6.1% 7.1%
$33M+ a $36M 3.0% 4.0% 5.0% 6.0% 7.0%
$36 million + to $39 million 2.9% 3.9% 4.9% 5.9% 6.9%
$39M+ a $42M 2.8% 3.8% 4.8% 5.8% 6.8%
$42 million + to $46 million 2.7% 3.7% 4.7% 5.7% 6.7%
$46 million + up to $50 million 2.6% 3.6% 4.6% 5.6% 6.6%
$50M+ and up to 2.5% 3.5% 4.5% 5.5% 6.5%

(Video) How does an architect calculate their fees? | RIBA Ask An Architect

In the table above, “k” = thousands, “M” = millions.

This is a proven way to understand the relative amount of detail and therefore the amount of work or hours that an architect can put into producing a design and construction document set. Design documents generally consist of drawings and job specifications. There are also other contract documents that provide the advice of the architect and advice in drawing up agreements between the owner and the contractor and other advisers and bodies.

The level of complexity of architectural designs is illustrated here:
Degree of complexity of the architectural design..

The reason for this is that many organizations assign higher or lower percentages to the project type based on the level of complexity of the project. Therefore, it is first important to assign a degree of complexity to the project under consideration. The referenced diagram goes from group 1 (less complex) to group 5 (more complicated). Understanding this allows us to begin to understand the rate ranges on the various charts that organizations around the world and in North America associate with project type.

(Video) How to set Architectural fees. How do Architects charge for projects?

6% of construction costs has long been the magic formula for many commercial architectural jobs. However, this has changed and is in the 8% range for many types of projects and even higher due to the continued complexity being built into buildings today. However, the higher the cost to build, the lower the fees, because at the lowest level, it actually costs more to create a design because of the basic tasks an architect must perform for each project, to provide a reasonable set of documents and designs. effort. .

US state governments are a very reasonable benchmark for judging rates as they are looking for value for money using state funds and also understand that they are using some of the state taxpayers to design the projects. Therefore, the stated rates appear to be a good mid-range for many commercial projects in the US, North America, and possibly worldwide. These agencies appear to agree on the broad cross-section of project rates and complexities.

The chart above is largely based on US state governments. These can be seen here:Other Fee Sources.

Architectural projects of all types of complexity (including SFRs (single-family residential)) are presented in the table above, since SFRs belong to the category of Group 5 (the most complex).

(Video) Magkano Magpa-DESIGN kay Architect | How Architects Charge For Their Fee? | ArkiTALK

According to the table above, for these different types of projects for BASIC SERVICES (without optional additional services, depending on the organization's policies), the architecture fee ranges are as follows:

(Single-family homes, special decorative constructions, custom furniture):
Basic architectural fee of 6.5% for construction costs over US$50 million for:
12% base architectural fee for construction costs of $100,000 or less.
this means using this graph that:
A 9.8% Architectural Utility Fee may be applied to the $500,000 home
9.5% architecture fee may apply for $750,000 home
A $1 million home may incur a 9.3% architectural services fee
$1.5 million house: 9.1%
$2 million house: 8.9%
$3 million house: 8.7%
$4 million house: 8.5%
$5 million house: 8.4%

(Aquariums, classrooms, art galleries, university buildings with special facilities, communication buildings, special schools, theaters, and similar facilities):
5.5% for construction costs over US$50 million for:
11% for construction costs up to $100,000.

(university classrooms, convention centers, prisons, acute care facilities, gymnasiums, hospitals, institutional dining halls, laboratories, libraries, medical schools, medical buildings and clinics, mental health facilities, tenant-improved office buildings, parks, parks Children's, Recreational Facilities, Police Stations, Public Health Centers, Research Facilities, Schools (Elementary/Middle), Stadiums, Welfare Buildings, Utilities, Water Services, Wastewater Treatment Sewers, Substations and Distribution Systems, roads, bridges, major site improvements as stand-alone projects):
4.5% for construction costs over US$50 million for:
10% for construction costs up to $100,000.

(Video) Dear Client, This is how to charge my Architects Fee. Your Architect

(Arsenals, apartments, cold rooms, dormitories, showrooms, hangars, factories/industrial plants, office buildings without expansion for tenants, graphics, public markets, workshops):
3.5% for construction costs over US$50 million for:
9% for construction costs up to $100,000.

(Industrial buildings without special facilities, parking lots and multiple garages, simple loft buildings, warehouses without automation, other agricultural buildings):
2.5% for construction costs over US$50 million for:
8% for construction costs up to $100,000.

EXTENSIONS: It should be noted that the above rate schedule (which is largely derived from US state rate schedules) does NOT include rate percentage increases for renewals of each project type. It should, but it doesn't. So a reasonable rule of thumb might be to INCREASE the percentage for the project type perhaps two shifts to the right (increase in complexity level) to result in a percentage increase of at least 2% to handle some of the higher demands involved with renovation projects, which almost always require more effort than new construction projects. Renovation projects always involve some form of research and discovery, requiring more time on the part of the architect to understand what needs to be added, moved or removed. From an architect's perspective, it's always easier to build something new than to understand what's already there and then carefully modify certain parts to install and add new features.

Therefore, renovation projects almost always increase the complexity and therefore the hours an architect must spend on a project, which is why renovation percentages are often higher than new projects. There's no hard and fast rule for that percentage increase, but for argument's sake, it could be in the range of maybe 2% to 5% more than new projects. This can and will vary by project. For example, hospital renovation projects can be significantly larger than warehouse renovations.

(Video) Architects' Fee Structure

There is an additional wild card service that can and will increase the percentages stated above: GIVEAWAY REGISTRATION. To seearchitecture servicesfor an explanation of registry layouts. These are necessary for most renovation projects. These are almost always provided by the hour, in addition to other services provided. This is one of the reasons why renovation projects are often more demanding and therefore architecturally more expensive than new build projects. Regarding drawing records: Even if the owner has existing paper drawings, the architect still has to redraw them on the architect's computers, usually from scratch, in order to have usable electronic drawings. Very few architects today draw anything on paper, certainly few documents that end up being used for actual construction plans. Most architects create their designs, drawings, and specifications on the computer. Therefore, when electronic design documents do not exist that accurately describe the layout of existing designs features, the architect must undertake work to measure and understand the existing conditions, usually through field measurements, and then convert those fields in computer-aided drawings that become usable by the architect during the creation of the redesign.

It is rare for the owner to actually have electronic plans, primarily for a housing project, and in software compatible (usable) with the architect's state of the art software, that actually shows what has been built. There are usually numerous changes during construction and the new architect usually needs to review all the documents provided by the owner for the new project in order to obtain a reasonably reliable description of the existing conditions from which to proceed with the new work. of design.


What are standard architects fees? ›

Clients could expect to pay architects around 7-10% of the construction cost from their project. Architects' fees can be calculated in three ways: a percentage basis, a lump-sum basis, or time charged by agreement.

How to calculate architect fees? ›

Some architects charge a percentage of the total estimated cost of the project. It can be anything between 6% to 15% of the project fees. Some others charge a lump sum amount. If the cost of the project is below 20 lakhs, they can charge the fees at the rate of per square foot.

How much should a freelance architect charge? ›

For general architectural services, a new architect may charge $150 – $200 an hour, while a senior architect may charge $350 – $400 an hour.
Architect Hourly Rate.
TitleAverage Hourly Rate
Intern / freelance$60 – $100
Architect$100 – $200
Principal architect (oversees firm)$160 – $350
Feb 2, 2022

How much does an architect cost per SF? ›

Rates per square foot

You could also encounter architects that charge on a per-square-foot basis. Most professionals use these rates on smaller projects that are simple to estimate in this regard. In general, the common architectural fees per square foot are about $1 to $5 per square foot.

How much should I pay my architect? ›

Most architects claim to charge between 5% and 20% of the cost of the building. That means if a home costs $100,000, you can expect the price of the architect to be somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000.

What should I pay for an architect? ›

The average cost to hire an architect can vary largely depending on the experience of the architect and the complexity of your project but generally you can expect and architect to charge between 5-10% of your overall build costs.

Can you negotiate price with architect? ›

'A lot of architects go into meetings not having worked out in advance what their costs are. It is only when this has been done that you have a position to negotiate from. It then becomes a matter of profitability and what margin you are willing to accept,' explains Ostime.

Do all architects charge the same? ›

Architects' fees vary widely, depending on the project, the local economy, and the architect's experience and reputation. Fees typically range from $2,014 to $8,375, with an average of $5,126. But fees can be much higher than that, depending on the size and complexity of the job.

What is the typical overhead rate for architects? ›

The Calculation

So in this example, there's $1.61 of overhead for every dollar of direct labor and that's about average for architects and engineers in the United States. Your overhead factor might be different from the average $1.61. It could be higher or lower than that.

What is an architect fee proposal? ›

The Architect will submit a fee proposal for services to determine the full scope of work and if the fee proposal is agreed upon by the Owner, both parties will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding for Limited Services between the Owner and the Architect for these services.

Do architects charge for drawings? ›

An architect may charge a fixed fee for a straightforward piece of work when they can clearly work out how much time it will take. For example, you may be charged a fixed fee for the drawings required for planning permission.

What is the lowest paid architect? ›

How Much Does an Architect Make? Architects made a median salary of $80,180 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $102,160 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $62,500.

What is cheaper than an architect? ›


As they're not full-blown architects, they tend to charge less and offer tremendous value-for-money. This can be especially true when it comes to contemporary, energy-efficient buildings, as many architectural technologists are qualified to design to Passivhaus standards.

Do architects provide cost estimates? ›

That's right! The architect is required to prepare an initial estimate during Schematic Design phase and update the estimate during Design Development phase and Construction Documents phase.

How long does an architect take to draw plans? ›

However, whether they are drawing house plans by hand or by computer, the process takes several months, not hours. Typically, homeowners should plan about four months for the design process from the initial consultation to the time the construction documents get submitted.

Are architects too expensive? ›

They're too expensive

Architects generally charge 10-to-15% of the construction cost of a project, based on how complex or large it is. Generally, the higher the construction cost, the lower the percentage. Their fees will also be linked to the construction cost – so if your building budget goes up, so do their fees.

Can a contractor sue an architect? ›

If you believe your architect has been negligent in the supervision, management, or design of your building project and you have suffered a financial loss, you may have a case for a negligence claim, and this is where we come in. Some examples of architect negligence include: Inadequate plans/drawings.

Are architects liable for mistakes? ›

Making claims against architects

You will need to prove you have suffered that loss because of the architect's negligence and show you would have been in a better financial position if it wasn't for that loss. If you are able to do this, then you should be able to claim for damages.

How do architects bill clients? ›

Architects have standard billing rates they state in their contracts. They then bill you for their services based on the number of hours they work on your project multiplied by their billing rates. Hourly rates can vary depending on the project, location, and experience level of the design personnel doing the work.

Why are architects expensive? ›

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.

Do architects charge a consultation fee? ›

It's not standard practice for an architect to charge for a consultation. Interviewing an architect about your project and their skills to learn if they're suitable should cost nothing. If you ask for brainstorming, sketches, or designs, that's more than a consultation and you should expect fees.

What is a reasonable overhead rate? ›

As a general rule, it's best to make sure your business doesn't exceed a 35% overhead rate, but there's no cut-and-dried answer to what your overhead should be.

What is the typical multiplier for architecture firms? ›

Overhead Multiplier Target

The lower the overhead multiplier, the higher the profit margin of your architecture firm. Most firms aim for a target overhead rate of 1.5 to 1.75 (150-175%) of total direct labor. The overhead multiplier can be lowered by managing indirect expenses.

What is the ideal overhead rate? ›

Overhead ÷ Total Revenue = Overhead percentage

In a business that is performing well, an overhead percentage that does not exceed 35% of total revenue is considered favourable.

Is it worth paying an architect? ›

If you are in need of an architectural design and want to make sure your house is designed reflective of your personal desires, then hiring an architect will be worth your time and money. You'll get exactly what you want. Licensed architects follow their own specific design process.

What is the most common claims against architects? ›

Should you decide to sue your architect to recover your losses, you have two basic theory choices: breach of contract and negligence. Often plaintiffs choose to combine these two theories into one comprehensive lawsuit.

What I wish I knew before hiring an architect? ›

10 Things You Need To Know Before Hiring An Architect
  • 1) Understanding the Experts. ...
  • 2) Take Timeline Into Consideration. ...
  • 3) Balance The Budget Beforehand. ...
  • 4) Learn From The Long Term. ...
  • 5) Ask Around For A Great Architect. ...
  • 6) Sometimes It Takes A Team. ...
  • 7) It Will Get Messy. ...
  • 8) Change You Can Count On.
Jun 13, 2022

How long do architect plans take? ›

However, whether they are drawing house plans by hand or by computer, the process takes several months, not hours. Typically, homeowners should plan about four months for the design process from the initial consultation to the time the construction documents get submitted.


1. 3 Things You Need To Know BEFORE Hiring an Architect
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4. ARCHITECT FEES - What I Charge for a UK House Extension
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5. The Architects Fees; a client guide in a nutshell
(A coffee talk with Maestro)
6. Architect Fees in India | Drawings | Plans | Construction | Site Visit | Meeting | Types of Charges
(Architecture Opinion)


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