Architect's fees

Discussion in 'Building' started by jray, 31 Mar 2004.

  1. jray

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    Hello all
    We've just been given a quote/estimate from a RIBA architect for c£4k :eek: (estimated build cost £25k) for a dormer loft conversion. This is at a discounted hourly rate. He has done a preliminary feasibility drawing at no charge, and the rest of the costs are broken down into
    (a) measured survey of existing building/land (£720),
    (b) prelim consultations (£480),
    (c) planning application drawings (£480),
    (d) Building Regs application and construction drawings (£960),
    (e) schedule of works/tendering (£480), and
    (f) site admin, construction stage (£960).
    Would you agree these costs were acceptable?
    We could go without (e) and (f), and aren't sure what (a) entails. We only need a 'basic' two bedroom plus shower/wc conversion, and obviously don't want to pay for any more than is necessary. Other estimates we've had, from people recommended by builders, have come in much much lower (!), and these are for planning and building regs drawings/applications.
    He's been really helpful, etc, but are we paying over the odds for him being with RIBA, and would we taking any risks going for an architectural technician or non-RICS registered chartered surveyor for basic drawings?
    We're in Greater London.
    Thanks in advance
    :(
     
  2. GlynL

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    I work for the local Gov Building Regs.

    You can go with a non rics architect but I've found that there's a better chance of getting the drawings done correctly the first time with a registered surveyor.

    Your local Building Regs surveyor can take 5 to 8 weeks to give an approval on drawings. If the drawings are not correct and get rejected you can resubmit new drawings but will have to wait another 5 to 8 weeks.

    I've known some non registered surveyors to need 5 or 6 chances to get it right. Then again some registered surveyors are not 100% correct all the time.
     
  3. markf

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    Erm the term rip-off springs to mind. Now I know every area has different prices but in West Berkshire planning permission costs £110 to apply for, building regs £130, etc.

    My chartered structural architect charges me £400 to draw the plans for my extension, £2 per plan copy and handled all of the planning application for me. All his prices were ex vat apart from the £110 and £130 mentioned above.

    He is also quoting you for project managing your work. Have you considered speaking to a company or builder specialising in the type of work you want to do. You may well find it is cheaper in the end.

    A colleague used a project manager/archtitect and had no end of bother - in the end they sacked him and managed there own project with the builder.
     
  4. jray

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    Thanks for your comments so far!
     
  5. Building Contractor

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    There pros and cons to do it with or without a RIBA, but one thing to always bear in mind. If by some bad luck all goes wrong with you and your builder having a RIBA can be a godsend, I knew someone who took a builder to court and because he had a RIBA he won hands down as the court do believe a expert witness over you or your builder.
     
  6. jeds

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    I would advise getting a couple of quotes. I can't say whether this is high or not but I have certainly carried out similar work for less.

    I would also advise seeking at least one of those quotes from an RICS Chartered Surveyor.

    Not sure what you mean by a "non RICS registered chartered surveyor" though? Just to clarify; An RICS surveyor is entitled to use the the letters MRICS or FRICS and use the term 'Chartered'. No other type of surveyor is allowed to use either of these designations by law.
     
  7. Scoby_Beasley

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    But does that stop anybody using the term Chartered ??
    I've spent me life working in engineering and I think other like minded "practical" people can spot a rip off a mile away. However, if there wasn't easy prey, the wolves would starve.
     
  8. littlecookie

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  9. Nige F

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    London Vs. Yorkshire :LOL: Depends what your house is worth Vs. how big is your mortgage.......
     
  10. stric

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    4k to the Architect? That is an absolute joke.
     
  11. peca27

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    For the type of thing your after (2 bed dormer + wc) u shud be lookin at aprox £1k inc all app fees.

    The architects job is to prepare the dwg's + (in this case) application forms for submission. If any alterations are req'd they are done thru consultation with the achitect who wud then submit revised dwg's. The whole process for planning takes approx 2 months + costs approx £135 (costs vary as per LA). The Building Reg's application takes approx 6 weeks + cost for this is based upon estimated cost of works (costs vary as per LA). You then have inspection fees to pay (again costs vary).

    If your architect gets anything wrong the council are always helpful enough to offer suggestions + like I say revised dwg's are then submitted - the whole process is done within the time as explained above IF your architect is even reasonably competant ..........don't know where all this 'takes another 5 to 8 weeks is coming from'.

    In terms of your breakdown:
    a - site survey inc. taking measurements, photos, looking at drainage etc.
    b - he's charging u for asking u what u want + producing sketches? why?
    c - reasonable cost IF it inc. application fee.
    d - although these dwg's req. more detail + even IF it inc. application fee it still sounds expensive
    e - u do not need a prepared schedule of works for a dormer window conversion, any builder worth his **** will laugh at one for such a small job. Why is he tendering, just ask him for any builders he knows + trusts.
    f - again u don't need project management for such a small job.

    This guy is takin the **** + is charging £4k cos he's done it before + got away with it. You should get in touch with me + i'll do it for 30% of what he's charging you mate.
     
  12. jray

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    Just to update anyone who may still be enquiring about architects:

    In the end we went for an architect who was NOT RIBA listed, but had had many many drawings approved according to the Local Authority Planning Applications weekly lists (we went back as far as we could, and hardly any for similar work had been refused).

    UNFORTUNATELY, we had unexpected problems with our neighbours :mad: and the party wall agreements, and our architect simply didn't want to know. His drawings, although passed by the council, didn't show details about what would happen to our gully which was on the boundary and shared by us and our neighbours. If it hadn't been for the tenacity of our builder, we would have been left high and dry, and would have had to instruct another architect.

    My recommendation now would be to either use an architect who is well versed in party wall matters (unless your property is detached, of course). Believe me, the extra you have to pay for the architect would probably save you thousands on the party wall surveyors we had to fork out for.
    :cry:
     
  13. christopher

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    We live in Nottingham. I am having a 20k extension built and for my architect and building regs i payed just short of £1000, not sure if it's simlar to your case but i find your quote very steep.
     
  14. jray

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    Forgot to mention that we didn't actually go with the £4k architect :LOL: . In the end, the one we went with cost us approx £1.5k on paper, but adding together the party wall surveyors fees we had to pay because of his incomplete plans :mad: perhaps we could have saved ourselves a lot of stress and bother if we'd gone with the original architect after all. Choose wisely guys - even if what you want is a 'bog standard' extension...
     
  15. peca27

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    jray, after everything u still think u shud have gone with the £4k architect :rolleyes:

    The architect u ended up using cost u £1.5k :eek: (i hope that includes the application + inspection fees). Like i said in my earlier post, even a fairly exp. architect should have been able to resolve the party wall issues.

    If u don't know about applications etc. u ask as many architects as possible + u will invariably get a better cross-sxtn of, not only advice, but in your case price.
     

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