The Expense of Hiring an Architect

Anyone that’s considering hiring an architect for an upcoming project is probably concerned with just how much it’s going to cost to employ one of these professionals. The truth is that there is no one fixed fee that architects charge, but there are some simple guidelines that you can use to develop a general idea. Architects typically charge by one of three ways, and it’s important to understand each method so you know what to expect when going to hire one of these professionals.

By The Foot

Some architects prefer to go with a more flat-rate fee for their work, and when that’s the case they’ll often charge by the square footage of the project. There are no set-in stone fees for this, but to find out how much your architect is going to cost you consider the total size of the project and the rate they want to charge by foot.



Generally simple structures with a high square footage like warehouses come with a lower cost per foot, while complex designs like a luxury home would come with a higher cost per foot.

By a Percentage

This is the method that the American Architectural Foundation encourages the most and it’s one high quality professionals most often use. Top quality architects are expected to design the project, lay it out and then oversee construction to make sure that everything goes well. For all of this work these professionals often ask for a percentage of your overall building budget. Good architects typically charge between 8% and 15% of the total project cost, which amounts to $800 to $1,500 of every $10,000 that you spend.

By the Hour

When you’re having an architect modify existing plans, make changes to someone else’s work, or just take on smaller projects, chances are good that you’ll be paying an hourly charge instead. When this happens it’s important to manage how long the architect is working on your project and to decide just how much work you want them to take on. When an architect is billing by the hour it’s generally a good idea to minimize their work as much as possible to keep your construction budget down, but make sure that all the necessary tasks are completed.

The Average Cost

According to industry analysts that looked at hundreds of architects and their fees, the average cost that you can expect to pay for an architect on an average project is about $4,500. Of course, that’s going to vary dramatically depending on the project that you need them for, but it’s a good ballpark estimate for you to start out with. For more specific figures try to make a cost range based on the total cost of your project.

Hiring an architect is an excellent idea for most significant projects, but it will add some cost to it. That’s why it’s important to have an idea of how much you’ll be spending on these professionals before you go ahead and hire them. Architects are worth the money, but they’re also a serious expense that must be factored into the overall construction budget to ensure success of a project.

When you want to hire the best architect for the job at hand, be sure to rely on the crew at Contractors Today by submitting the quick quote form on this page.