Architect Fees - am I being ripped off?

4 Jul 2007
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United Kingdom
Just got a quote from my local architect for extension works our 1930s semi-detached house. We want to add a 2 story extension to the rear and add width to the detached side of the house.

The quote has been split into 3 parts followed by a list of exclusions including building reg app fee, building reg insp fee, planning app fee and VAT. Without these exclusions the quote comes to £2500 which includes Survey & Scheme Design, Planning Work and Detailed Design for Tenders.

Altogether the quote comes to over £4k :eek: . I wasn't expecting it to be this much - is this the going rate for such work?

By the way the Architect is RIBA.

Any advice greatfully recived, Thanks x
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All architects rates vary, if they're more commercial and used to doing larger schemes such as apartment blocks or office blocks the chances are their outgoings will be a lot more and so will their fees. Commercial practice = commercial fees. One man band = lower fees (usually).
Get yourself a one man band or technician, ask friends, family, yellow pages, even building control would probably be able to recommend one. Get several quotes, only way to know if the price is competitive.
By the way its illegal for an architect to practice without registering with the RIBA. If you're not registered and fully qualified as an architect you can't call yourself an architect. Its the law! Unless you're a naval architect.
Professional Architects are well qualified (or should be) but can be very expensive. This is fine for large projects & commercial work & it’s where they come into their own but they are a bit OTT for small scale projects or even a new house build &, as you’ve discovered, PP submission, any meetings & BC inspection fees always come extra; this is, however, usual as they will always vary.

For the scope of work you’re planning, all you really need is a good Architect’s Technician; they do most of the work anyway! Make sure you use someone with a recommendation & get a written quote of exactly what will be done for a fixed fee. You will probably be able to halve the price quoted by the Architect for the same scope of work. In general terms, what you’re proposing isn’t rocket science so unless there are particular circumstances why you might need one, why go the expense of employing a rocket scientist!
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my next door neighbour is a rocket scientist :)
Get a quote from a couple of local chartered surveyers. (ones that do that type of work) I would expect a price of about 2/3rds your architects quote.

On the assumption that you live in a fairly standard semi, you want to build a full width double storey rear extension and a single storey extension to the open side of the semi. Again on the assumption that there are no unusual site / client requirements, i would say that his quote isn't too far off.

I would charge approx £1500 for something like that (bearing in mind I havn't seen the site etc)

Architects usually charge approx 3% of overall build cost for planning dwg's + submission. Then a further 2% for building regs dwg's + submission. That excludes all local authority, struc. engineer + services etc etc costs.

These initial costs are in line with the build costs and eventual rise in property value you will realise upon completion of works. That's why builders, plumbers, sparky's + decorators etc all charge a fair wack.........because you will be the one who benefits from a decent job, in the pocket and in the property you can enjoy living in afterwards.

I'm not trying to argue the architect's case, i can just as easily give you a few no's for guys who could do your drawing's for £350-£450, but you want him to produce good accurate info, on time + be able to resolve any problems you may have through out the pay your ££££'s and take your choice.
peca27 said:

I would charge approx £1500 for something like that (bearing in mind I havn't seen the site etc)

I would agree with that being a target price .

plus of course the local authotiy fees
A friend's dad has taken a look at the quote (he is a commercial architect but used to do domestic).

He said that the company isn't listed with RIBA as a registered Architectural Practice and so its likely that there is no architect in the company (it is a small business). He said that this isn't a problem as most technicians are as good anyway (as was posted earlier). However, he said that because the quote ONLY includes the drawings and not overseeing the project, it is rather steep.

He also said that we should ask for a lump sum quotes in future which include everything, rather than listing exclusions which can all add up to a hefty sum.

So we're going to contact a couple more and hope to get a better deal

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.


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