Guide to Navigating Architect Costs in the UK

18 January 2024

Costs for an architect to draw plans, fee structure, and recognising when hiring an architect is essential 

Embarking on a construction or renovation project is an exciting endeavor, but it often comes with the need for professional guidance. Architects play a crucial role in bringing your vision to life, but the cost of hiring one can vary significantly based on factors such as project scope, complexity, and location. In this blog, we'll delve into the intricacies of how much architects cost in the UK, how much an architect costs to draw plans, and the different methods of charging, the benefits of hiring an architect, and when it's essential to enlist their expertise. 

Architect fees in the UK 2024 

Architects' fees in the UK can be influenced by multiple factors, including the project's size, complexity, and the architect's experience. As a rough estimate, fees typically range from 5% to 15% of the total project cost. For smaller projects, architects might charge a fixed fee or an hourly rate, while larger projects may involve a percentage-based fee structure. 

Structure of fees 

Percentage-Based Fees is a common method where architects charge a percentage of the total project cost. The percentage can vary based on the complexity and size of the project. 

Some architects prefer to set a fixed fee for the entire project. This provides clients with cost predictability, especially for smaller or less complex projects. 

For smaller tasks or consultations, architects may charge by the hour. This method is more flexible and allows clients to pay for the actual time spent on their project. 

How much does an architect cost to draw plans, and how much time does it take? 

The time and cost for an architect to draw up plans in the UK depend on project complexity and scope. Simple projects might take a few weeks, while more intricate designs can extend to several months. Costs can range from £1,000 to £10,000 or more, depending on the architect's experience, the size of the project, and the level of detail required. 

Typical architect fees in the UK based on project type 

Typical Architect fees in the UK based on project type
Single storey extension planning applications £1,000 – £2,500
Two storey extension planning applications £2,000 – £3,500
New build planning application, £3,000 – £5,000
Single storey extension including Building Regulations and construction drawings, £3,000 – £5,000
Double storey extension including Building Regulations and construction drawings, £5,000 – £7,000

A forever home by Tony Holt Design

Benefits of hiring an architect 

  1. Design Expertise: Architects bring a unique skill set to the table, ensuring your project is not only functional but aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Project Management: Architects help coordinate various aspects of the project, working with contractors and ensuring everything aligns with the design.
  3. Navigating Regulations: They are well-versed in building codes and regulations, helping you secure necessary approvals and permits.
  4. Cost Savings: Despite initial costs, architects can help optimize the project to avoid costly mistakes and rework.

When to choose an architect versus self build 

  1. Project Complexity: For simple projects, a self-build approach might be feasible. However, complex designs or large-scale constructions benefit significantly from an architect's expertise.
  2. Building Regulations: Projects requiring adherence to strict building codes or planning permissions are best handled by architects.
  3. Design Ambition: If you have a unique or ambitious design vision, an architect can translate that vision into a feasible plan.

While the cost of hiring an architect in the UK varies, the benefits they bring to the table often outweigh the initial investment. Choosing the right method of charging, understanding the time and money involved in the planning process, and recognising the instances when an architect is essential can help ensure a successful and well-executed construction or renovation project. 

When making the decision to hire an architect for your project, it is a good idea to explore which style of architecture suits your living requirements and taste.  Consider contacting three of your researched favourites to help you decide.  

Are you ready to take the next step and seek guidance on kitchen extensions, conservatories or simply design and interior schemes in 2024?  Book a showroom appointment today!



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