How to Save Money by Hiring an Architect

So you’re thinking of building a new property, you’re thinking “I’ve got experience, I can do this.” Or maybe you’re considering adding an extension to your current home, and you say to yourself “This isn’t a big job, I don’t need an architect.” You’re thinking you can save money by simply not hiring one.

I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. You are almost guaranteed to save money on building your project if you hire an architect – and that’s including his or her fees!

Read on to find out how…

The Costs

First and foremost, you’ll want to know how much you’re going to pay. Traditionally, an architect will charge a percentage – around 10 per cent if you want the full turnkey solution, or between 2 and 5 per cent if they’re only needed until the planning permission stage – of the total construction costs.

However, some architects charge an hourly rate; this usually falls within the £70-90 range. You can usually get the initial consultation for free though, so make sure to take advantage of this! You could even go to a few different firms and get a handful of “initial” consultations – use their advice to your benefit! Also, if you do hire an architect, this is a great way to decide which one is right for you.

If you’re employing the architect for the whole project, from start to finish, you can estimate a total construction cost by the area covered: for an extension you’ll be looking at an average of £1000 per square meter, whereas a new build would be slightly less at £900/m2. Obviously you have to add the cost of any new kitchen or bathroom fittings on top of this, but apart from that absolutely everything is covered, meaning you don’t have much else to do.

The Advantages

If you have neither the time nor the experience to deal with a complex job, get an architect to do it for you. An architect can do the design work, get planning permission sorted, meet with local planners and – most importantly – make sure your property is safe.

They can also advise you on any financial matters and fit the design around your budget, cutting a large chunk out of any possible expenses. In addition, they can make your property energy efficient, meaning you save money in the long run as well as the short. All this adds up to a property with a higher market value; you will get more money if and when you decide to sell.

By hiring from a trusted architecture firm – such as McCormick Architecture in Chester – you are guaranteed to receive the guidance of an experienced professional.

The Verdict

Basically, if you need plans drawing up at all, it is best to hire an architect. Unless, of course, you’re an architect yourself, but if you are – stop reading this article and get on with it!

If you decide you need the assistance of a trained professional, there are a few things you should do. Firstly, get the architect to establish the fees from the beginning, and get it in writing. This avoids any complications. Also, make sure to budget a bit more than you’re told – it’s always wise to have a contingency plan.

In the majority of cases, you’ll be better off hiring an architect to oversee your project. Ask friends and family to see if they have any recommendations as to who you should choose and this will increase your chances of getting an architect you get along with. Good luck!

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