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Architect Fees - for house extension

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Is This Quote Fair?
13 replies 95.8K views
emailuseremailuser Forumite
16 posts
Part of the Furniture
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Is This Quote Fair?
Hi , i am living in the midlands and we are looking to add a two storey side extension to the house, with a single storey protruding into the garden area, as part of this we plan to open up the kitchen and dining room into this new area, move the kitchen and thus create a open plan dining / kitchen area, also we plan to open up the stair well , in total the extension size is approx 45sqm, plus we have a flat roof which we want to extend one of our back bedrooms onto, this will mean remodeling the current roof layout ( removing 2 flat roofs with gables )

A architect visited spent 2 hours discussing our plans and has come back with the following quote, it seems a bit high to me so would appreciate any comments

Measure and create house "as is" drawings ( scale 1:50) £650

Prepare 1:50 sketch design drawings of new design (ground & first floor with fornt and rear elevations) £275

Prepare overall scheme level drawings for basis of planning applic ( ground floor first floor , roof plan 1:50 and front elevation,rear elevation and cross sections £910

Prepare more detailed drawings incl 1:20 scale to enable building reg approval (A1 size) £875

All these are plus vat , does not include fees to council or structural eng fees

Thanks for taking the time to look ... hope to hear from you
something missing


  • sujmansujman Forumite
    564 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    I too had drawings done for a 2 storey back extension, single storey back extension and a double garage.

    When I had quotes, the general rule seemed to be a charge of 3-5% of the cost materials used for contruction.

    i.e. If the builder charged £50k, assume £30k materials and 5% of this would amount to £1,500.

    Note the £1.5k was for planning permission and building regs.

    In my case, I underestimated the contruction cost at £50k and so the architect who did my drawings only quoted £1.5k.

    Another architect, reckoned that construction would actually amount to £100k and so quoted twice as much, for the same amount of work!! However his estimate was actually closer to the truth in terms of what I was looking to build at the time.

    In the end, I only had drawings for planning permission done (which passed 1st time) and paid a total of £650 (I negotiated a discount!).

    If I wanted building regs down as well, it would have been another £650.

    Note - these prices included as many iterations as necessary (within "reason") to get the drawings approved - note just a one attempt service.

    (all values are plus VAT)

    So in answer to your query, the price might actually be about right but if you're lucky, sould be able to find cheaper.

    If you live in Leicestershire, I would be happy to pm you the name of the people I used.
  • Seems high, but the fee you pay is dependent on the qualifications of the person you're engaging. If they are a RIBA architect then you're looking at a sliding scale % of project price, variable by what services you require, i.e. from basic plans to full project management.

    On the other hand, for a typical house extension you may be better off with either an experienced architectural technician or draughtsman. Your fee is then less likely to be based on the project cost.

    If your local council has online planning then you can look at recent submissions to gauge the quality of drawings, see whose plans are getting passed / refused and get plenty of contacts.

    Typically the planning & building regs. drawings are consolidated so this will simplify the process and hopefully reduce the fee.
  • Having recently used an architect myself (though for a much smaller project than yours) I would definitely consider using an architectural technician next time round. I am pleased with the end result but my architect made some worryingly basic mistakes through the process (such as not realising my boundary was at an angle until the foundations were being dug, causing the extension layout to be altered last minute) and I am certain I could have got to where I am now with a tech but saved some ££££s.

    But at least you have a full quote upfront. Mine was very vague about his fees until we felt we were too tied in to go elsewhere!

    wickyb offers some good advice about utilising your council's online planning portal thingy if they have one.
  • For what is being produced, it sounds fair (assuming they do a good job). They are providing a comprehensive service;

    - existing (inc measureed survey)
    - concept / options
    - Proposed (planning)
    - Detailed (build ctrl)
    + construction details.

    If you appoint them, make sure the instruction includes all construction drawings.

    You could trim it down and get the builder to work out the details. It would not be my recomendation though. A good design and well thought out detail will benifit the final scheme.

    Lots of people skimp on design fees (just Planning and Building Control) and leave it in the hands of a builder. This option does not include construction drawings and you are giving free reign to your builder.

    Likewise, many don't get a survey when they buy a property and are then surprised when things go wrong... sorry I just don't get it. I see a house is a big investment.

    One last thing; if you have a builder in mind, get the architect and them together early, you will see saving, and less 'missing / wrong' information.
  • emailuseremailuser Forumite
    16 posts
    Part of the Furniture
    Thanks for all your advise, i am going to ask for some reference clients before committing , my brief wa to ensure very good design and low margin for grey areas ...
    something missing
  • We used an architectural technician for our single storey (but quite complex) extension and his fees were very high (so high I can't bring myself to say how much..and more than emailusers). However, the plans were extremely detailed, with comprehensive construction notes etc., both for planning and building regs, and the builders we have given them to for a quote are pleased to have exact specs to work from. There will be no room for "grey" areas and once the work starts there will be no delays for clarification of details etc. The AT also liaised with the structural engineers and submitted the plans for us. In that respect, it's reassuring to know that everything has been done thoroughly and correctly as we are first time extenders. So I do think it's money well spent...:rolleyes:
  • Jeannine wrote: »
    There will be no room for "grey" areas and once the work starts there will be no delays for clarification of details etc.

    Hope your optimism is realised, but in my experience the translation from drawings to subbies & cement always brings a few grey areas!! ;)
  • So do I - I'll let you know once building work starts!!:rolleyes:
  • benyboybenyboy Forumite
    12 posts
    These fees seem roughly correct for what is a fairly complex job. If when you are happy once you have seen the architect's previous work, then it could well be worth it. An architect's training focuses on design skill, so he should be able to produce a more aesthetically pleasing extension than a technician. Paying extra for this design skill may be a wise investment when it comes to the future value of the property. Architects are also required to carry appropriate insurance for the project, whereas a technician isnt required to...
  • To me this is quite high to carry out the works. I am an Architectural Technician and not an Architect but I still believe you could get the plans drawn, approved and ready to build for around the £1850 - £2000 mark, this then would be more acceptable for the work that needs to be done. Hopefully this will help you
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