Every home is built on a budget, and every component adds to its final cost. While some contributions to the final cost are obvious like materials and physical inputs procured to actually build your home, others like the cost of hiring an architect may not be as clear.
So how do you actually go about matching an architect to your budget? Read on to find out.
Ask for a consultation and commit to hire the architect only for the preliminary designs
Ask For A No Obligation Consultation
Most architects will be open to meeting you and discussing what is to be expected if you do decide to hire them for your job. A no obligation consultation with an architect will let you decide if they are the right fit for your job both budget wise as well as in their design sensibility. Some architects may charge a nominal fee for a preliminary consultation but many will do it at no charge.
What To Expect At A Price
An architect will usually provide an estimate for services that are to be rendered. Take a close look at the estimate and make sure that it clearly outlines the scope of the architect's work, all inclusions as well as any items for which there will be an additional charge. An estimate should provide you with a detailed understanding of the work that the architect is responsible to provide at the quoted price, for example, will changes to a design during construction entail an extra charge and if so at what extra cost, the set of construction drawings that will be provided, any permits that the architect is responsible for procuring and the time frame, etc.
Step By Step Approach
Hire an architect to complete only the first step of the design process, i.e. to submit a preliminary design first. In doing so you ensure that the architect understands your needs and design vision while ensuring that you have a pleasant working relationship during the process. This step is the least expensive one when hiring an architect and helps you avoid making a large financial commitment up front, leaving you with the option of opting for another architect if you so desire.
Preliminary designs are usually design sketches or computerized drawings and do not have details that are required for construction drawings, this aspect helps to curtail the up front cost to you.
Make changes at the preliminary design stage
Consult A Contractor
After the preliminary design is finalized it is prudent to consult a building contractor to ascertain if he agrees that the design can be executed within your budget. This is important because at this stage the architect can rework the design to fit your budget. The contractor can also share any suggestions or cost saving measures that may be incorporated in the design at this stage and discuss it with the architect.
Have you hired an architect to design your dream home? Do share how you matched your architect to your budget.