WHAT ARCHITECTS DO

Determining the Cost of Architectural Services

Architects provide a wide range of services related to the design and construction of a building. Fees for these services are based on:

  • Percentage of the construction cost
  • An hourly rate
  • A fixed sum

Most commonly, fees are based on a percentage of the construction cost. For smaller projects, charges are usually based on an hourly rate or a fixed sum. This is done because there are basic fixed costs for any project; for small projects, it may not be feasible for the architect to charge based on a percentage of the construction cost.

Managing Construction Costs

Construction projects are somewhat unpredictable. A great number of things can happen during construction that could change the final cost of construction.

Architects can help you to manage the inherent uncertainty involved in construction. At the start of the project, an architect can work with you to clarify specifications and expectations for the project.

As well, they can monitor and manage the construction process, keeping you informed when things change. They can present options for you and explain the implications of each option to help you make the best decisions to react to changes.

Investing In An Architect

Cost is an important factor in selecting an architect, but it may not be in your best interest to select an architect on the basis of lowest cost. An architect provides a professional service that is best judged on the quality and value that it contributes to a project. An architect's services are likely to enhance the value of your investment, and may lower costs during the construction stage.

More information on the cost of architectural services:

RAIC Guide to Determining Appropriate Fees for the Services of an Architect (PDF Format; 1.5 MB)

Checklist of Services Provided by Architects (PDF Format; 318 KB)