FAQ: Percentage or Fixed Fee?

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A frequently asked question we often receive is: how do you charge for your architectural services?

For architects, there are many different ways they can choose to charge their client; percentage, hourly rate or fixed cost.

When starting a project, it is important to establish what is required and what the general budget will be, in order to get an idea of the size of the project and the amount of work required from your architect.

Generally speaking, percentage fees are risky for all involved. Often at the start of a project, the budget can be unknown or unrealistic or impossible to calculate. If the client and architect agree on a percentage fee, the client could be faced with a much larger sum than they once thought they owed on the completion of the project, if the budget has grown!

Hourly rate fees can be dangerous. Again, it is impossible to calculate exactly how long a project and the work of the architect will take, especially if there are changes along the way. Hourly fees generally blow out and aren’t a good idea for those with a strict budget for their project.

We tend to think it is much safer to charge a fixed fee. The client and the architect know what will be owed and there are no hidden costs, even if the budget or the scope of the project gets larger than once planned.

We hope that has helped and answered a frequently asked question.