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Architectural Fees Unraveled: All You Need To Know on How To Choose The Right Architect!

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Architecture is a complex and specialized field that involves a variety of skills and expertise and architects play a crucial role in creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing space for you.

When embarking on a building project, one of the key decisions you will make is choosing an architect to work with.

However, the question of how much architects charge is a common concern for most people and it's important to understand how architects charge for their services and what factors can influence their fees.

In this blog post, we'll unravel the mystery of what factors influence architectural fees and the various methods of calculating them. We will provide you with everything you need to know before you hire an architect.

Factors That Influence Architectural Fees

Several factors can influence architectural fees. These include:

  • Project Size and Complexity: Larger and more complex projects will require more time and expertise, and therefore will be more expensive.

  • Architect's Experience: Architects with diverse experience in the field will charge more for their services.

  • Architect's Qualification: Architects with a vast knowledge base for developing unconventional designs and designing efficient buildings will typically charge more for their services.

  • Location: Architects in larger cities and metropolitan areas may charge more due to higher costs of living.

  • Scope of Work: The amount of work required for a project will impact the architect's fees.

  • Timeline: If you need your project completed quickly, you may need to pay more for an expedited timeline.

Methods of calculation of Architectural Fee:

Per Square Feet Cost

One common way that architects charge for their services is per square foot. This is typically used for small projects or consulting services. Per square feet, rates can vary widely depending on the city location, local market standards set in the past, and illegal practices.

On average, you can expect to pay between INR 50 and INR 150 per square foot for an experienced architect basis location, and the complexity of the project.

Percentage of Construction Costs

Another way that architects charge for their services is by a percentage of the construction costs. This is a common method for larger projects such as new home construction or major renovations. The architect's fee is typically calculated as a percentage of the total construction costs, usually ranging basis project type and scope of work.

For example, if the total construction cost of an individual house is INR 50,00,000, and the architect's fee is 7.5% ( as per COA guidelines), then the architect would charge INR 3,75,000.

Fixed Fee

A fixed fee is another common way that architects charge for their services. This is a flat fee that's agreed upon before the project begins. This method is often used for smaller projects where the scope of work is well-defined. The fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the project, the architect's experience, and the location.

For example, a fixed fee for a small addition for a shop design might be INR 35,000 - INR 50,000.

Additional Expenses

In addition to the basic architectural fees, there may be additional expenses such as site surveys, engineering reports, specialized consultancies, site visits, and building permits. These costs are typically billed separately and can add up quickly, so it's essential to factor them into your budget.

Negotiating Fees

Architectural fees can be negotiated, and it's always worth having a conversation with your architect about the fees they're charging. However, it's important to remember that quality comes at a price, and you don't want to compromise on the quality of your project by going with the cheapest option.


Architectural fees can vary widely majorly depending on the project size and scope of work, apart from the architect's experience, and their location. It's important to understand how architects charge for their services for transparency and budget planning. When choosing an architect, make sure to discuss fees after you have discussed in detail your design requirement and vision for your project and get a clear understanding of what services are included in the fee.

By engaging in elaborate discussions and hiring an architect with in-depth knowledge and technical skills you can ensure that your project is a success.

Now that you have a better understanding of how architects charge for their services, you may be interested in reading our article on what to consider when hiring an architect "Design Your Dream Space: 5 Essential Traits to Look for When Hiring an Architect"

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