How much do Architects cost? by Megan Blaine

Architects are highly trained, licensed professionals and as such, our expertise in design, building system coordination, and construction is valuable. California Architects also have higher than average business expenses. Our license requires continuing education, business liability insurance, and workers comp. Our companies are expensive to start, expensive to run, and are worth every penny.

For residential construction, generally Architects cost roughly 10% of the construction budget. So for a $250,000 remodel, expect the Architect & Engineering costs to be around $25,000-$35,000 to get through design and permitting.

At BLAINE architects, our fees start at $15,000 and go up from there.

Hire an architect if you want a special design. Architects have 5-7 years of extensive building design education which makes us more creative than the average Joe, and we are best at designing unique, new spaces. But if you’re not after something special or unique, you might not need an architect. For instance, if the project is residential, there are less than 4 units, and less 3 stories, you can hire a design-build contractor.

Hire an architect if you want a fully coordinated building and less headaches down the road. It’s always better to hire an architect if you can afford it because the design will be thorough, well planned, and thoughtful, hiring an Architect will save many headaches down the road. We think about things like the structural design, the HVAC duct runs, plumbing, and we also keep on top of the latest and greatest technologies so we can suggest smart, effective solutions to our clients.

Construction Budget:
Additions and remodels vary widely based on the design and size of the remodel, but in the bay area, you can expect to pay anywhere $350/sf for a larger project, up to $1000/sf or more for a compact Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit. Generally the construction budget for a detached ADU starts at about $190,000 and goes up from there.