Remodeling Cost Of Architects?

Remodeling cost of architects? This question covers the basis of how much the average architect charges for a job. The range isn't reasonable to anybody, but we do only custom designs. In other words, we...

The range isn't reasonable to anybody, but we do only custom designs. In other words, we don't have stock plans that people come and we say, "We'll pick from this or this." We don't do that. We do only original designs for what people need and the bottom line answer is, it can cost from 10 to 15 percent of the construction cost. This is from experience. If you did a 100,000 dollar remodel, our fee could be ten to 15,000 dollars. That is the high end, but it includes: a structural engineer, which is one to two percent, but it's worth it. In Texas, architects can design structure for houses up to three stories. We can't do three stories. Up to 25-foot spans, we can do most house designs, foundations, framing, everything; but we just don't, it's not good. Engineers are cheap. It's just much safer. But that includes people starting with first conversation all the way through different design options which could take a long time, and then helping them get estimates early, not after the drawings are done. Then, doing the drawings, which is 50 percent of our work, then blueprints, then helping them get a contractor, and then watching it all the way through construction. That's how it can be the full amount. Most people in remodels that are modest, like a bathroom or a kitchen, feel like they don't need all that, and they're right. So we just work hourly and consult, and it can be a lot less. If you get what you want and if we're doing what we're supposed to do. What I think architects are good at, and designers as well, is we help people make better choices early. It's kind of off the subject, but I think there's three times you make a decision in the process of construction. You can make them during the design period, in the drawings. Then, it gets bid and built. Or you can make the decision while you're negotiating, and you don't have full drawings. We can make it during construction, but you're gonna make the decision. Someone's going to make the decision, and if we're good at our job, we guide people as to when those decisions happen. If they don't want us to be a part of it and don't want to pay for it, that's fine. The worst thing, this is the best example, without bad intentions, builders and contractors are used to the process of helping make those decisions. That's fine and the less involvement we have, the more they have to have, and they're used to that. The best example is, they're getting ready to pick the hardware for the front door, the most important piece of hardware in the house. It tells people about your house when they come to the door. The door is built. You're gonna move in three weeks, and they show you three pieces of hardware they picked up at the lumber yard. They say, pick from one of these. These are in the budget we gave you. They may think they're nice, but if you don't pick one of those three hardwares, it's twelve weeks ordering time. It's too late; you don't have a choice anymore. So if you can make choices in the beginning, you have more range of opportunity for choices. If you make it when you negotiate the contract with a contractor and you don't do it in the drawings, you still have a better range. But if you wait until it's under construction, you've lost your options. So what they pay for architects, we help them save money in bad decisions later. It doesn't go away, but we help, because they don't spend money twice. I was a Construction Electrician for seven years before I became an architect, so I've seen it from both sides. I've see the architects save money, particularly in remodels.

What people do that is a mistake, is to go in and tear out a ceiling and tear out a wall because "I'm going to make this room bigger." But you don't know what you're going to do yet. Then you do it or you have a contractor do it, and you're invested. You've got a start and you may not know what you're gonna do yet. So you may start doing things, and this happens all the time. Then, you realize it's wrong and the contractor or the framer or the plumber, they all have ideas, and they've done a lot, but you'll get into it and realize that window is in the wrong place. Now, you've got to pay to move it. Those are the things where I'm convinced, doing this for 30 years, back before I was a partner, is where we help save money, because people don't do things twice. They make better decisions earlier, and you have better expectations of what the cost will be.

There's never a major remodel or new house where you don't change something, because when it gets framed and you stand in a room that has a view, you suddenly realize, "If I move that window three-feet it would be an incredible view, and if I leave it, it is gonna be a sad view."

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