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Architect fees cost guide

Thinking about hiring an architect to bring your new build, extension or renovation project to life? 

If you have a design in mind, a skilled architect can help to turn your idea into a detailed technical drawing; complete with calculations, specifications and timescales. 

Naturally, work of this nature comes at a cost. If you have the budget, it’s well worth instructing a professional for large-scale projects. That said, even small extensions can benefit from an architect’s touch.

Before you start planning ahead, it’s a good idea to understand exactly how much money will be needed for the project. There are various levels of architects and architectural technicians; it is essential that you know who you have had quotes from. An architect and an architectural technician are very different due to their level of experience and therefore their pricing structure varies significantly. The following costs are to do a planning application (these exclude the planning fees and any other specialist surveys that may be required):

Of course, prices will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. If you’re thinking about hiring an architect, it’s best to get an idea on a price ahead of time. We recognise the importance of keeping within budget, so we’ve spoken to the online estimators at My Build Estimate – a professional estimating company monitored by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Here is a guide to help you navigate the market and budget for the build of your new home or extension, focusing on architect fees.

Average cost for architect
Single storey extension - £1000 - £2500

Architect fees for a new house

The cost of an architect will first and foremost depend on the service you are receiving from them. If you simply want plans for the project drawn up, the cost of the architectural drawing itself may be as low as £1,000. If you require an architect to draw up plans, oversee the application and manage the build, their costs will rise accordingly.

Architect fees are typically calculated in one of three ways: percentage, lump sum or on a time charge basis.

By percentage

When it comes to large-scale or complex construction projects, such as the design and build of a new home, architects will charge a percentage of the building cost. In this case, architect fees range between 5% and 12%, depending on the scale and complexity of the project. 

For a new build in a vacant plot with a building cost of £150k, we found average architect fees to be £3000 – £7500 – that’s 2 – 5% of the total building cost. 

Architectural drawing and planning for a new home valued at £300k, you might see a 4 – 6% price tag of £12,000-£18,000. 

By themselves, architect plans cost as low as £1,000 for simple single story extension

By lump sum

If the nature of the project is simple and straightforward, an architect’s fees may be calculated as a lump sum. This method is commonly used by architects to charge for small extensions or standard renovation projects rather than new houses. Once again, costs will be determined by the exact works, tasks and outputs expected of the architect as agreed by the client with revisions charged in addition to the agreed scope of work.

The following costs are to do a planning application (these exclude the planning fees and any other specialist surveys that may be required):

The average costs on an architectural technician on a lump sum basis:
• Single storey extension – £750 – £1500
• Double storey extension – £1000 – £2000
• New build house – £2000 – £3000

This can range from 1.5-3% on a percentage basis.

The average costs on an architect on a lump sum basis:
• Single storey extension – £1000 – £2500
• Double storey extension – £2000 – £3500
• New build house – £3000 – £5000

This can range from 2-5% on a percentage basis.

The following costs are to produce building regulations drawings/construction drawings:
The average costs on an architectural technician on a lump sum basis:
• Single storey extension – £1500 – £3000
• Double storey extension – £2000 – £3500
• New build house – £3000 – £4000
This can range between 3-5% on a percentage basis.

The average costs on an architect on a lump sum basis:
• Single storey extension – £3000-5000
• Double storey extension – £4000-6000
• New build house – £5000-7500
This can range between 4-6% on a percentage basis.

If you want drawings done to a much more detailed level including furniture layouts, flooring types, lighting designs etc. then the cost can range between 10-15%.

By time

Some architects choose to charge on an hourly rate basis, although this is becoming increasingly rare. It is common, however, for an architect to charge by the hour for additional consultancy or amends on an ad-hoc basis. 

In the UK, the average hourly rate of an architect ranges between £50-£100 – the main influential factors to pricing being seniority within the practice and size of the practice. 

For example, while the average rate of an architect with less than five years in practice of 3-5 people is £55, an architect with the same level of experience in a practice of over 30 staff is £71

Architect job type The average cost of an architect in the UK (lump sum basis)
Low rangeHigh range
Single storey extension planning application £1000£2500
Double storey extension planning application £2000£3500
New build planning application£3000£5000
Single storey extension building reg and construction drawings£3000£5000
Single storey extension building reg and construction drawings£4000£6000
New build building reg and construction drawings£5000£7000

*These are estimated, average costs. Our prices have been researched widely online by the Checkatrade team and represent a ballpark average for your proposed project. Costs may vary by region, the scope of the project and indeed by the products you plan to use.

Find an architect near you

Find an architect near you

Architect fees for a house extension

Find an architect near you

Architect fees for extensions will be calculated in the same manner as new builds. As with most home renovation projects, the exact cost will depend on what you want. 

Obviously, architect fees for small extensions, such as the addition of a bay window or the conversion of a garage into a covered walkway, will be cheaper. 

However, large or particularly complex extension projects can often see fees charged by a percentage rate even higher than a new build. 

For a two-storey extension project at a total cost of £50,000, you can expect an architect to charge a fee of £5,000 – 10% of the finished building cost. 

Other costs to consider

Before you draw up a budget for your architectural needs, it’s important to bear in mind the additional costs that will factor into the final sum. These include: 

Planning application

You may not need planning permission at all, but if your local authority deems it necessary, this may be a task that your architect takes on as part of their service. Planning applications come at a cost: either your architect will charge you as part of their fee to submit and manage the application or you can choose to pay the fee yourself to your local authority.  

Structural engineer

Architect fees - architect working

Undertaking a significant home renovation project often calls for the skills of a structural engineer to help assess the viability of the project. Structural engineers charge between £50-90 per hour, depending on their experience, location and whether they work independently or as part of a firm. If you require a building survey, costs will fluctuate between £200 for a small flat to £2000 for a large house.

Inspection and building control

Before you build, extend or renovate a property, you or your architect must advise the local authority by submitting a Building Notice or Full Plans. If you submit Full Plans for approval, you will need to pay a plan charge to cover the passing or rejection of the plans and an inspection charge to cover the inspection of work to which the plans relate.

Architect fees in the UK

Average architect fees differ by region. It goes without saying that the high demand in London makes for higher fees, with the typical costs of an architect in London and the South East being approximately 10% higher than the UK average. 

On the other end of the spectrum, architect costs are about 10% lower in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the North of England.

Key takeaways for hiring an architect

  • Hiring an architect can make all the difference to the design and build of your new home or extension of your house.
  • Before you go ahead with a transaction, always make sure all parties involved are in agreement on costs so that the project can remain within budget. 
  • Most architects will charge by a percentage of the total cost of the building works. This ranges between 5-12% on average. 
  • Architect fees for larger, more complex house extensions are usually charged at 10% of the final cost. 
  • Architect plans can be purchased by themselves and cost an average of £1,000.