As with most service industries, it’s very difficult to generalise when it comes to architectural fees and what you can expect to pay for their services. Logically, the more in-depth or complex service you require, the more your architects are likely to charge as you essentially paying for their time as well as their expertise and knowledge.
To help you understand what professional architects’ fee should normally cover, Cellan Jones from Prime Architecture covers these points in the video below:
Standard Service and Architectural Fees
When it comes to a standard service, most architectural practices will offer a wide range of services with corresponding fee levels. However, if we take the standard service required by non-professional builders or construction companies, an individual client would generally need support at the planning and building regulations stages.
The planning stage involves the management and co-ordination of the full planning process including the design of the project, planning application and submission to the local authority. If the planners have any queries with the application, your architectural professional is ideally placed to deal with these too. This takes the stress and worry about the pitfall of planning away from the client in the knowledge that it is being dealt with by the experts. Chartered Architectural Professionals, like the team at Prime Architecture, will also ensure that the client is aware of everything and they have a copy of all designs, planning submissions and other paperwork.
Building Regulations and Tendering
The next stage your chosen Architectural Professional should be involved in is the building regulations stage where they are responsible for producing the detailed construction drawings and for liaising with the appointed structural engineers to ensure everything is in place and in-line with the regulations. This a very basic but important service that your architect should deliver before handing the work over to a builder.
In addition, most architectural practices would be in a position to manage the tendering stage of the project. This involves helping the client to put the tender for the work out to between three to five builders who have been approved by the architect and are on their approved tender list.
Theses builders will have a proven track record in the execution and delivery of specific projects as well as all the necessary and associated insurances and accreditations to enable them to carry out the work to the highest standards.
If required, an architectural practice can also provide a contract administration service. This includes providing a full administration service on contracts (JCT Minor works contracts) up to £0.5 million worth of work. The Architectural Professional will work with the client and builder to agree all costings and once a fee has been agreed, the practice will produce a schedule of costs which includes a break-down of how the builder expects percentage payments to be made.
At this point a contract is signed and the agent takes on the role of administrating the contract with the builder on behalf of the client. He or she will come out at every stage as required to inspect the works, ensure they are signed off by building control and that all parties are satisfied with the progress and quality.
If, at any stage, the agent is not happy with what the builder has produced and what he’s claiming he’s completed, then new orders will be issued and checked before a partial completion certificate is issued instructing the client to pay the builder that stage payment.
A partial completion certificate is where the builder has completed the majority of the works and so can be paid 97.5% of the overall agreed price. The remaining 2.5% or greater is kept back if the client has not been satisfied with the level of work.
Snagging List Review
One of the key stages in contract administration is when the agent comes out to carry out a review of the snagging list. A snagging list is where the agent inspects the works and notes down if anything has been damaged, for example if a tile in a bathroom has been cracked and needs replacing; or where an area hasn’t been painted or if there are scuff marks on the floor. It is up to the builder to make these repairs and adjustments within a three to four-week period. Following a further inspection, and as long as the agent and client are both happy with the work, a completion certificate is issued to the builder who can then claim the remaining 2.5% for the overall contract.
These standard services are an example of the range of services that the team at Prime Architecture offer their clients in their standard architectural fees. The practice also works with builders and contractors by offering high-level specialist service required by building professionals.
For full details of Prime’s range of architectural services, visit the services section on our website or call us on the number below to book a free consultation: