Fees vary from one project to the next. For the entire project, budget 12% of construction fee to get a general idea of fee for the whole project. Typically the first phase, the feasibility study and brainstorming session, is about $450 to $675. Measuring and documenting existing conditions is about $1.25 a square foot (depends on the complexity and size of the house). The design phase, which leads to schematic documents for the contractor selection and ballpark pricing, is billed at $225 an hour and would be about 40% of the entire fee. If the project moves forward, then the permit/construction drawings are priced in a lump sum negotiated at the end of the previous phase, and would be about the same amount as schematic design. Construction administration services are required for 10 hours and included in the permit/construction drawing phase. Additional construction administration will be billed hourly. The hourly portions of the project always include an estimated number of hours so there aren't big surprises.
My process is designed in stages, so at the end of feasibility or design we decide we aren't a good fit, you will have information about your project to share with future architects. If you do decide to move on to a different architect, I can help steer you in a direction more suited to your needs.
If you listen to a few episodes of my podcast, you will get an idea if I am someone you would feel comfortable working with before we even meet. www.talkinghomerenovations.com
Not all architects are the same, just as with any service provider. How do you feel about your house? Find someone who feels the same.
I do help people with small projects. These might be taken care of with just a feasibility/brainstorming session or they could be a full project. Small projects would be anything from advice to review of plans to a covered porch or bathroom expansion.
No, in most Massachusetts jurisdictions you won't technically need an architect to complete your project. However you will need to do or hire someone to do everything the architect would do- listen to your issues and come up with solutions, check zoning restrictions, make sure the design is up to code. Architects draw up the plans, elevations, interior elevations, sections, window and door information, specify finishes and other information that the contractor will need to price and build the project, and that the town will need for permitting. She will coordinate with a structural engineer and surveyor if necessary for the project, and consult with the building inspector ahead of applying for the permit to minimize surprises after application. She helps interview and choose the contractor. She serves as the owner’s advocate throughout the process. Architects can be the manager of the entire renovation process, which is convenient for busy people.
I would argue that an architect pays for him or herself in watching out for the clients and minimizing confusion and change orders. I keep the clients budget in mind and can flag anything unusual or extremely overpriced based on my experience with hundreds of projects. In addition, you'll get a final result that suits your needs specifically. An architect will help you through the entire process.
No and possibly. Regarding schedule- Each project I take on goes through the phases I mentioned above- starting with a feasibility study/brainstorming phase. Those can typically be booked within two weeks. Documenting the project- measuring the house and building a virtual model of the existing conditions- from request to completion is typically at least three weeks. The design phase is at least 4 weeks, even for the smallest projects. Construction documents can take a month or two. All this to say that I won't be able to accommodate your timeframe i9f it is more urgent than that, although there may be someone else who can.
Regarding already knowing what you want- sometimes that is a good first step as long as you are open to other approaches that may address your goals differently. Many times I have heard "I never would have thought of that". That is one reason I'm hired.