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I'm currently reconsidering our architect of choice for our extension. Most company's we've spoken with have asked for our budget which I presumed was to both weed out the daydreamers and also give them some bounds to work within. 

 

We had a company come out and suggest we didn't need to extend as far as we initially thought and made reference to how it would also save us money - great. However their quote has just come through and they're asking for 5% of the budget I initially provided. This is for up to and including technical drawings.

 

Given this number was very much a finger in the air guess AND they claimed they would likely be able to design something well below that figure, I feel they're taking the Michael. 

I get they need to price based on something, but using such an arbitrary number seems odd. Is this normal? Am I missing something?

 

I should have just said the budget was £5.48 :)

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try other architects. some charge a percentage and some charge a flat fee for each RIBA stage. we chose one that charged a flat fee and think we got very good value for money.

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They need to base their fees on something, and % of estimated build cost is a simple one.  If you think it is too much, negotiate, explain it is over your budget and ask if they will do it for less.  If the design is simple you could get an architectural technician to do it.

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1 hour ago, jayc89 said:

I'm currently reconsidering our architect of choice for our extension. Most company's we've spoken with have asked for our budget which I presumed was to both weed out the daydreamers and also give them some bounds to work within. 

Hi jayc89

 

Often you'll gently ask if folk they have a budget, but only after asking a good few questions first and carefully listening your Client's response. Some Client's are quite happy to state their budget early on, some not. An easy way of broaching this is to say.. well something that size based on current prices may cost £ x amount, is that the sort of figure you could work into your budget?

1 hour ago, jayc89 said:

We had a company come out and suggest we didn't need to extend as far as we initially thought and made reference to how it would also save us money - great. However their quote has just come through and they're asking for 5% of the budget I initially provided. This is for up to and including technical drawings.

5% is a low figure to take this up to technical drawing stage. You could almost call these construction drawings. If the 5% includes planning and BC (building warrant in Scotland) and a SE input then I would question this as being too low. They may be loading the job elsewhere? On say a 40k simple extension with a knock through to the existing house if you can get your professional fees in the range of some 10 - 15% that is often a good deal.

 

The main thing here is while an extension may seem small it often involves the same scope of design as small house. Small things can sometimes be harder to design than larger spaces. In technical terms you still need to design the insulation, drains, maybe heating, fire regs, get light in, keep the place from over heating.. it's a long list and each element takes time to design / draw and it still needs to function practically / meet your soft requirements and look great!

 

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1 hour ago, Mr Punter said:

They need to base their fees on something, and % of estimated build cost is a simple one.  If you think it is too much, negotiate, explain it is over your budget and ask if they will do it for less.  If the design is simple you could get an architectural technician to do it.

Don’t agree. Architects use percentage fee costs because they can’t be ar*sed working a proper fee proposal out.   Either tell them you want a fixed fee or go elsewhere.

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Just to add to this, the fees I have paid for in the past for planning plus building regs have come to between 2 and 3 percent of project cost.  Projects have ranged between £200k and £3M.  We agree fixed fees.

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But let me complicate things.

 

The really good designer will spend more time on detail and economy, so more hours, but your build cost is reduced and/or quality increased.

 

so their fee would be higher and your build cost lower, and so their percentage would look high.

 

The converse is....quick design without revisiting any decisions, no iteration of the structure...fewer hours, higher build cost.

 

For our conversion project, one Engineer quoted a percentage, we told him our budget, he said that can't be done I want my percentage on double that cost, whatever you do it for. We will never know how clever and economical his designs might have been.

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We often get asked on here how much a build should cost.

Usually this is based on £/m².

 

Why not base it on a multiple of Architects fees.

So when you want to build get an estimate of what an architect will charge, then multiply by 20.

Then laugh.

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3 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Why not base it on a multiple of Architects fees.

So when you want to build get an estimate of what an architect will charge, then multiply by 20.

Then laugh.

The only time I approached an architect, they based their fee on a percentage of the build cost and then estimated the build cost at twice what it actually turned out to be.  Had their build cost estimate been true, I would not have been able to afford it, and the house would have cost more than the market value.

 

IF they had got the build cost estimate right, then their fee would have been half, and they might have got my business.

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I think my biggest bug bear is they're basing it off my own "finger in the air" guess. No informed opinion based on the requirements etc. In reality I don't expect the build to cost anywhere near what I said because it was really my max budget if I was to be fully hands off and have no involvement in the build. I could have given them any number I liked.

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