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  • FIRST POST
    • bpk101
    • By bpk101 26th Feb 15, 3:26 PM
    • 219Posts
    • 13Thanks
    bpk101
    Architect Fees for small side-return Extension
    • #1
    • 26th Feb 15, 3:26 PM
    Architect Fees for small side-return Extension 26th Feb 15 at 3:26 PM
    My partner and I are wanting to extend the kitchen in our Victorian mid-terrace (east London). The original plan was to fill in the side return and also extend the back wall out:

    http://www.bpkersey.com/images/big-k.jpg

    But due to budget we may look at a simpler option of just extending into the side-return:

    http://www.bpkersey.com/images/small-k.jpg

    I interviewed and received proposals from 5 RIBA architects who I initially shortlisted based on them having similar work to the style we want to achieve… (clean modern contemporary style extensions on a Victorian terrace). The architect we felt most at ease with – as well as having his own practice through which I found him – is also a member of the Architect Your Home scheme and suggested in his proposal that we use him as our lead architect but via the AYH scheme as they operate a much more flexible menu rate system which might help us to keep costs down as we can use his services on a pay-as-you-go basis.

    His approx architect fees for each stage based on this approach were:

    Initial design and development up to submission of plans for permitted development / planning application: £3000 + VAT
    Detailed Design up to finished plans for tendering: £3500 + VAT

    Outside of his fees he has suggested we will need approx:

    £1000 + VAT for a measured survey
    £5000 + VAT for Structural Engineer fees, Building Control Consultant, Planning Fees and any Party Wall Surveyor we might need (but then again, neighbours willing we might not)

    And then of course the cost of the build and kitchen itself on top.




    My questions are:

    Do these fees sound reasonable?

    Has anyone had experience with Architect Your Home (remembering that we are still using an architect I met via his own practice… just through the AYH rate plan)?

    Most importantly… do we even now need an architect at all given we may just opt for a simple side-return, moving out 1 wall only? I am very much after a stylish ‘designed’ finish however. Perhaps that alone is worth the architects fees? I wouldn't feel comfortable asking a builder to pull off the look we want.

    We have an all in budget of £60k to complete this project including fees, build, fixtures and fittings. All 5 architects interviewed said it was extremely tight
Page 1
    • MX5huggy
    • By MX5huggy 26th Feb 15, 4:24 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
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    MX5huggy
    • #2
    • 26th Feb 15, 4:24 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Feb 15, 4:24 PM
    Seems very expensive to me. You would in all likelihood get what you want.

    Try members of CIAT or RICS for better value options of qualfied professionals.
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 26th Feb 15, 4:39 PM
    • 3,340 Posts
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    martinsurrey
    • #3
    • 26th Feb 15, 4:39 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Feb 15, 4:39 PM
    You don’t need an architect with a fancy office and a room full of hipster designers for what you want... its bread and butter stuff.

    Get a half decent draftsman, who can do the building reg’s application drawings and modify them for a planning application (if needed).

    Then as it’s a kitchen, get a kitchen designer and pay them some of the £10k+ you save on the architect.

    In Surrey (so not London prices, but not far) I could get the drawings done for £1000+vat for both the building regs and planning, add in £1k+vat for building regs fees and party wall, and that £2,400 total, against your £15,000.

    In short you need someone who comes to a first meeting with a clipboard and a laser rangefinder, not an Ipad and a fancy business card.

    (look for an MRICS qualified building surveyor)
    • Furts
    • By Furts 26th Feb 15, 4:41 PM
    • 4,450 Posts
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    Furts
    • #4
    • 26th Feb 15, 4:41 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Feb 15, 4:41 PM
    This totals £15000 on fees for an extension to a house. I appreciate that a product is worth what a person is prepared to pay, and also that this is London. However, my instinct is the fees could be shaved by an enormous margin.

    Ask around friends and neighbours for recommendations, and look in the freeby ad magazines, and similar, that are put through the letterbox.

    All you require is a competent technician, with a proven track record, and ideally, but not necessarily, some PI insurance. This could be through CIAT if you want this kudos.
  • bursuc
    • #5
    • 1st Mar 15, 10:31 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Mar 15, 10:31 AM
    My partner and I are wanting to extend the kitchen in our Victorian mid-terrace (east London). The original plan was to fill in the side return and also extend the back wall out:
    His approx architect fees for each stage based on this approach were:

    Initial design and development up to submission of plans for permitted development / planning application: £3000 + VAT
    Detailed Design up to finished plans for tendering: £3500 + VAT

    Outside of his fees he has suggested we will need approx:

    £1000 + VAT for a measured survey
    £5000 + VAT for Structural Engineer fees, Building Control Consultant, Planning Fees and any Party Wall Surveyor we might need (but then again, neighbours willing we might not)

    And then of course the cost of the build and kitchen itself on top.




    My questions are:

    Do these fees sound reasonable?

    Has anyone had experience with Architect Your Home (remembering that we are still using an architect I met via his own practice… just through the AYH rate plan)?

    Most importantly… do we even now need an architect at all given we may just opt for a simple side-return, moving out 1 wall only? I am very much after a stylish ‘designed’ finish however. Perhaps that alone is worth the architects fees? I wouldn't feel comfortable asking a builder to pull off the look we want.

    We have an all in budget of £60k to complete this project including fees, build, fixtures and fittings. All 5 architects interviewed said it was extremely tight
    Originally posted by bpk101
    with 15k you can build the kitchen extension not drawing it on paper .
    for my kitchen entension plans i paid around £1200.
    - arhitect fees for plans cost me =£700
    - fees to the council for the plans .. around £150
    - building control - £300
    and drawings for the kitchen once you've got the measurements you can go to any kitchen saler (wickies, ikea.) and they do it for free .
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 1st Mar 15, 1:10 PM
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    the_r_sole
    • #6
    • 1st Mar 15, 1:10 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Mar 15, 1:10 PM
    op has shortlisted architects based on contemporary extensions onto victorian buildings - i.e. they want design - some of the fees sounds fairly large, given your budget - but they are right it is very tight.
    Tbh their own fees don't seem that bad 6500 - but sounds like they want to use lots of other consultants which are bumping the cost up... there is no way a measured survey should cost 1k, unless it's a castle!

    op if you want to achieve something that has been well designed and detailed to give you a look like you have seen on their websites, then employ the architect of your choice.
    If you just want a simple side extension then you don't need to pay that much for design - sometimes the simpler something looks the more complex the detailing is, and that's what you pay the architect for
    • bpk101
    • By bpk101 1st Mar 15, 6:49 PM
    • 219 Posts
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    bpk101
    • #7
    • 1st Mar 15, 6:49 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Mar 15, 6:49 PM
    There is no way a measured survey should cost 1k, unless it's a castle!
    Originally posted by the_r_sole
    All architects we met estimated figures between £900-£1100 for a full house measured survey (including loft as we may use same survey plans at a later date for dormer extension).

    Friends of mine paid £950.

    How much (in London) do you think measured surveys are for a 2 up / 2 down terrace... and where do i go for a better price?

    they want design - sometimes the simpler something looks the more complex the detailing is, and that's what you pay the architect for
    Originally posted by the_r_sole
    You're absolutely right there... making something look extremely simple and effortless often takes much more effort to achieve.
    That said, with all the other costs mounting up on the rest of the refurb and taking on board other comments re: architects high fees i'm starting to wander wether this is money well spent.

    Concrete floor, glass sliding doors, roof lights over side return, kitchen fixtures and fittings. It doesn't sound that complicated?!
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 1st Mar 15, 7:40 PM
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    the_r_sole
    • #8
    • 1st Mar 15, 7:40 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Mar 15, 7:40 PM
    That's about 2 days for a survey, seems excessive to me! Guess if it requires the whole house and roof in detail it might take some time...

    It doesn't sound that complicated, but it's very easy to put those elements together badly! And getting the right doors/fittings/etc is the trick - the devil is in the detail as they say!

    Up to you but I'm a firm advocate of spending time on the design so you can get precise quotes for the work and guaruntee the standard of finish. Very easy to spend money in the wrong places on a tight budget.

    This forum has a long history of not valuing the design process or paying for it at least, most will recommend getting a draftsman to do a planning application and handing it over to a builder - in my experience this is not a good route for something where the standard of finish is above average. That route can work and you might be lucky but without fully detailed drawings you leave it down to a builder to try and keep it on budget and on time and give the level of finish you want, hard to do if you can't give them all the details at the outset
    • Furts
    • By Furts 2nd Mar 15, 8:40 AM
    • 4,450 Posts
    • 2,884 Thanks
    Furts
    • #9
    • 2nd Mar 15, 8:40 AM
    • #9
    • 2nd Mar 15, 8:40 AM

    It doesn't sound that complicated, but it's very easy to put those elements together badly! And getting the right doors/fittings/etc is the trick - the devil is in the detail as they say!

    Up to you but I'm a firm advocate of spending time on the design so you can get precise quotes for the work and guaruntee the standard of finish. Very easy to spend money in the wrong places on a tight budget.

    This forum has a long history of not valuing the design process or paying for it at least, most will recommend getting a draftsman to do a planning application and handing it over to a builder - in my experience this is not a good route for something where the standard of finish is above average. That route can work and you might be lucky but without fully detailed drawings you leave it down to a builder to try and keep it on budget and on time and give the level of finish you want, hard to do if you can't give them all the details at the outset
    Originally posted by the_r_sole
    And the Forum has a long history of complaints about "Architects" where those posting do not understand the differences between, or the purposes of, Planning Permission and Building Regulations. This is then compounded by seeking low quotes for these design services and then expecting the FOC services of the "Architect" once the Regulations have been granted. Almost nobody is prepared to pay for detailed drawings, working details, a specification and tender documents. They certainly do not pay for valuations, or stage payments and, most important, never pay for the inspection of the work.

    We can all watch the television, and sympathise with the victims of "Builders From Hell" type programmes. The reality is that most of these situations could have been avoided with a little common sense and some professional back up. Too many clients commence building works, be it a new home, or an extension, with little idea of what is involved. They play into the hands of the cheapest quote gets the work, let us pay cash, and let us get the job bodged.
    • bpk101
    • By bpk101 2nd Mar 15, 3:54 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    bpk101
    So in light of recent posts i started chasing some comparative quotes for a measured survey, first one back ... £2000 + VAT(!)

    That's over twice what our architect has quoted.

    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 2nd Mar 15, 5:54 PM
    • 2,597 Posts
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    the_r_sole
    That's crazy!!
    ...must move to London...
    • bpk101
    • By bpk101 2nd Mar 15, 6:07 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    bpk101
    The quote in full:

    "The cost for a measured survey of part garden, ground, first, loft, roof, front/rear elevation and two sections would be £2,000 + vat."

    Sounds insane! Is that really what's required for a small side return kitchen extension and possible dorms loft extension few years down the line? It's a tiny 2 up / 2 down!
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 2nd Mar 15, 6:17 PM
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    the_r_sole
    Is it listed or are you in a conservation area?
    You don't need a fully accurate measured survey of the whole house for a side extension, its the fact you want to get the whole place done in case you do more in the future, I wouldn't bother with that until the time comes tbh
    • tired dad
    • By tired dad 2nd Mar 15, 7:47 PM
    • 541 Posts
    • 181 Thanks
    tired dad
    I'm paying about 5.5k in total for planning drawings+ building reg drawings inclusive of all additional fees (structural engineer + waterboard fees+ PP fees + BC fees). The whole lot including VAT where needed. This is on a project with a projected 90k build cost. Based in Greater London. Not a RIBA architect but came recommended from friends who have used. In conservation area but no party wall issues.
    • bpk101
    • By bpk101 3rd Mar 15, 1:30 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    bpk101
    Is it listed or are you in a conservation area?
    Originally posted by the_r_sole
    No not at all, just a run of the mill terraced street in East London.
    Another measured survey quote came back at £495 + VAT (2 floor plans, 2 elevations, & 1 section).

    The surveyor was suggested by a different architect although the architects words were "they're not brilliant but prices are good and they are usually available".

    What does 'not brilliant' mean in the measured survey world? And is £500 worth the risk if our preferred architect has quote £1k and will take full responsibility if drawings are not up to scratch for the job?
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 3rd Mar 15, 1:45 PM
    • 2,909 Posts
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    theGrinch
    too expensive. a local draughtsman or structural engineer will do it for much less
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • bpk101
    • By bpk101 3rd Mar 15, 1:50 PM
    • 219 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    bpk101
    too expensive. a local draughtsman or structural engineer will do it for much less
    Originally posted by theGrinch
    Are you referring to the measured survey or the extension plans in general?
    • 03022242
    • By 03022242 17th Mar 15, 8:38 PM
    • 336 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    03022242
    have you decided on an architect?
    Named after my cat, picture coming shortly
    • HeinzTomato
    • By HeinzTomato 20th Nov 16, 6:39 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    HeinzTomato
    Hello!

    Planning very similar work - also in E London. Would love to know how the process went for you...? Any tips re - architects / builders / trades world be massively appreciated.

    Thanks, and hope your project went well!
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