What does it cost to use WOLF Architects?
A significant amount of information from you is still needed for us to even provide a rough fee estimate. The more information we have, the more accurate the estimate will be. It’s like asking for the cost of a car. The brand, type, options, etc., all affect the final fee.
At Wolf Architects we need to understand the following:
How large is the project in squares or square meters? Or can you at least tell us the number and type of rooms you need?
How much do you want to spend on the project? Everyone has a budget and we need to know not only if the project is feasible but what your expectations are with quality and finish.
Where are you and the project located and what are the site conditions? While we have no fear of working on distant projects we need to be realistic about logistics and if we have to travel great distances to inspect the site or meet with clients it will affect costs. Some clients are also only available to meet outside of normal working hours and to be fair we do need to consider how this may affect our fees.
4 Town Planning
Do you need town planning? Where town planning is required the costs will increase depending on the level of difficulty and this must be assessed on a case by case basis. Squeezing more dwellings onto a site will obviously be more challenging.
5 Special Requirements
Do you have any special requirements such as swimming pools, basements, lifts or other disabled access? These luxuries can often add to the level of complexity in both design and build and can take more time to consider.
Which of our services do you require? Refer to the previous section on- “What do Architects do”. In some cases all services may be necessary and this is often referred to as “full architectural services”. Most of our clients require at least the first 5 services with the last two being optional. I heard Architects charge 10% of costs?
What level of detail do you require? How much involvement do you want to have and how much information do you require from us? Regardless of which services are required the level of detail is something that will vary depending on the client but also from architect to architect. In many ways the level of detail is one of the best ways to compare one architect to another, as what one may regards as detailed interior design may in fact be just basic to another.
What is your time frame? Working to tighter deadlines will mean allocating more resources and this can affects costs.
If you are able to provide us with information for all of the 8 points above we would be able to give you a good estimate on fees. Without this information we could only give you a very broad range which may not be very helpful. Without detailed information most architects might make a guess based on what they feel is an appropriate construction cost.
I heard Architects charge 10% of costs?
Without the 8 points above a percentage is probably the only indication possible on fees but 10% is not an accurate guide. It is generally known within the industry that architects charge approximately 10% of buildings construction costs as an average. This unfortunately does not explain what 10% includes. If it is for full services then that needs to be clarified, as full services for one practice may mean getting the project up to the point where building permits are obtained while for another practice it could mean handing over the keys at practical completion. At Wolf architects full services in general means the later.
10% must also be considered against the size of the project. For smaller projects 10% is probably insufficient while for larger projects it may be too much. At Wolf Architects a project under $1.5 million is considered too small to use 10% as a guide. 15-20% is probably more realistic. For projects over $3 million the percentage may scale downwards.
Quality and level of detail are other factors which need to be considered. 10% might be seen as an average, a reputable architectural practice can easily charge up to 20% of building construction costs. It’s hard to put a price on fine architectural thinking that enhances life. If an architect can deliver work of award winning quality that truly delivers happiness to their clients then higher fees are probably justified. The same applies to architects charging on an hourly rate. Don’t disregard the one charging $380 per hour as being too expensive over the one that is only charging only $180 per hour. If the person with the higher hourly rate can do in one hour what it takes the other a whole day, you will be better off paying $380 per hour.
Whatever the architect’s fee may be, you need to make sure you are clear on what you are getting for that amount. That is what WOLF Architects are quite happy to provide lump sum fees based on the work load required to deliver the WOLF standard.
Are fees negotiable?
What if I have a cheaper quote but prefer WOLF ARCHITECTS?
In the past we have sought to beat quotes well knowing that we have a superior product. However we have found that in most cases the quotes against us are from firms we found to be incomparable. A non-registered architect’s fees for example should not be compared against a registered Architectural practice such as Wolf Architects. Wolf Architects is consistently ranked amongst the best practices in Melbourne so it is unfair to ask us to match price to a practice that is not even ranked on Google. Furthermore, the work needs to be of the same calibre. Our fees reflect the standard of our services and what is expected by existing clients.
Design is also something which not every practice excels in. At Wolf Architects it is one of our strongest points and our fees are weighted more towards this. As such we are not willing to compromise on this area of our work although the level of detail in interior and landscape design is negotiable and can effect on the fee.
Documentation is a service that can vary greatly with the level of detail. A basic set of working drawings can often obtain a building permit but there would still remain a large amount of guesswork. So the level of detail in the documentation is an important consideration.
If you are short on time and money is not a factor then you might be inclined to go for more services. If you are short on time and money is not a factor then you might be inclined to go for more services. Perhaps you want us to do everything from design to picking out the door handles and tiles, to inspecting the site during the construction and even helping you to choose the furniture.
Or perhaps you want to be very involved and are happy to do most of the running around and research. The less we do the lower our fees. While we are not precious about doing everything we do recommend that by increasing the architects role you also increase the chances for a successful outcome.