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Architects Fees London 2022

Architecture fees generally reflect the level of service provided and the quality of the completed project. Therefore, the end budget is calculated from the size, type and quality of the project.

Architects fees are usually negotiated at the start of each project except when fees are charged on a 'work on a time charge' basis until the budget can be estimated more accurately.


There are several options when it comes to architecture fees, depending on the company you are working with, but in London, charges are typically

  1. percentage of construction cost

  2. lump sum (NU uses this option)

  3. time charge / hourly rate

Let's dive deep into all options.

Percentage fee:

Percentage fees are based on the construction cost (excl. VAT + professional fees). The most significant advantage for the client is that this gives a reasonable starting point regarding the total architectural cost whilst allowing some flexibility if the project scope increases.

If anything changes in the estimated construction cost, the fee will be automatically adjusted. This estimated cost is redefined during the design process as well, providing a more precise way of adjusting fees.

Percentage fees are usually divided into monthly payments during each work stage.

Lump-sum fee:

This type of fee is very carefully and thoroughly calculated based on specific items of work.

The fees are renegotiated if the nature of the project changes significantly.

This approach is the most straightforward, we at Nu tend to use a fixed lump sum for fees to define the costs clearly.

Time charge

At the start of a project, where the scope isn't clear yet, time charged fees work well.

For the client, this approach is the least fee certain, so as a solution, the architect will estimate the total number of hours required to finish the project, or the parties can agree on hourly caps.

Fees Broken Down by Project Type

Residential Project Fees

Residential projects are one of the most time-intensive types of work for an architect as it requires high-quality building and in-depth service.

Comparative difficulty levels for various project types: where 1 = simple and 5 = complex

  • private houses for individual clients: 5

  • housing/apartment blocks: 4

  • office developments: 3

  • community halls: 2

  • storage sheds: 1

New Build House Fees

New builds are the most straightforward residential projects for an architect and attract the lowers percentage fees.

In 2018, for a new house or self-build project, architecture fee figures varies were the following:

  • £100k budget: 9.5%

  • £200k budget: 8.5%

  • £500k budget: 8%

  • £1m budget: 7.5%

Although VAT is typically not payable on the construction cost of a new house, VAT is still payable on architects fees and for all other consultants involved in the process.

Home extensions, basements and loft conversions:

Working with existing buildings is more complex, so extensions are resource-intensive projects.

For a high-quality design, architects fees for extensions in 2018 may be in the region of:

  • £100k budget: 14%

  • £200k budget: 13%

  • £500k budget: 12%

  • £1m budget: 11.5%

Listed building fees

Listed buildings are more complex projects and even more resource-intensive.

You will need a highly experienced architect when working with a listed building as obtaining listed building consent and designing any alteration on a historic building requires a specialist's knowledge.

Fees for works to listed buildings in 2018 may be in the region of:

  • £100k budget: 16%

  • £200k budget: 15%

  • £500k budget: 14%

  • £1m budget: 13%

Architects fees for planning

Clients can decide if they wish to appoint an architect to plan only. In most cases, work to planning is around 30% of a complete architecture fee.

For a residential project at £500,000 with a 12% per cent fee, the total planning fees may therefore be in the region of £18,000 +VAT.

Fees for plans only

Fees for plans only typically include the

  • technical design phase

  • planning application phase of work.

A client that requires a plans only service, therefore, usually means to the end of stage 4, i.e. including detailed drawings and a full specification. So contract administration and on-site involvement during construction are excluded from the fee.

Detailed plan fees are around 70% of a full fee. So for a residential project at £500,000 with a 12% per cent fee, the total fees to this stage will be in the region of £42,000.

Our advice

A good expert can add significant value to your home. Architects are highly skilled professionals who can maximise the potential of your property.

For the best build experience, sign up with a design and build company that takes care of everything from architecture to construction.


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