What Determines an Architect’s Fee

When people consider building their dream home, it is common for them to question the use of an Architect. And whether it’s necessary to hire one at all. Clients often enter the building phase with a fully-developed idea and vision for their building. And potentially, the skills to draw up these ideas accurately. However, this can prove rather risky, as nothing can replace the years of experience and theoretical knowledge Architects accumulate. Becoming a fully registered Architect is an 8-year process alone. A client might well have an intuitive understanding of space and coherent design ability. But regardless of client ability, creating successful architecture requires far more than a gut-feel. If hiring an Architect to design your home is a prerequisite, you should know what determines their fee.

architecture building design

Architects Have a Role to Play in Each Stage of the Building Process

Since the type of work in each stage varies and the building’s design is subject to change, it is impossible to pay an Architect with a lump sum at the beginning of the project. To resolve this issue, the architect’s fee is generally calculated as a percentage of the project’s final construction cost. This percentage is usually between 10 to 20 percent for residential projects.

The next issue is that one can’t accurately determine the building’s final construction cost during the early design stages. As a result, Architects often charge an hourly fee during the design phase. However, some Architects may require up front payment or a deposit to begin work.

As a client, you should also understand that the building’s final cost of construction is not the total cost of the project. After all building materials and labour fees are accounted for, costs such as testing fees and other fees associated with the ‘close out’ of a project need to be calculated. Once this has been established, we can ascertain the true cost of the project and finally determine the Architect’s fee.


For more information about Architect Services and on how we can assist you, get in touch with our Architects in Cape Town on 021 422 5041 or via email to info@dscape.co.za

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