This is a question that is asked many times:

An architect’s fees are made up of two elements:

  1. fees for architectural services (the major component); and
  2. reimbursable expenses for out-of-pocket expenses (such as travel and communications, and reproduction of contract documents) etc.

After you and the architect reach agreement on the extent and nature of services to be provided for the project, the architect’s fees can be determined in several ways, including:

  • lump sum (fixed fee);
  • time basis (hourly or per diem rates); and
  • percentage (of construction cost).

Combinations of these methods may also apply for:

  • different aspects of service on the same project;
  • limited services; or
  • the evolving nature and scope of services during the life of a project.

Frequently, the client pays a retainer to the architect upon signing of the agreement. Usually, the amount of the retainer is based on a percentage of the total amount of the architect’s fees.

Appropriate fees ensure appropriate architectural services. 

{RAIC website 2014}

As some projects change and are modified during the life of the project it is better to discuss any changes or modifications at the earliest or onset of the design phase with the architect and design professional. On complexes projects a single change in most cases effects all consultants involved on the project.  

The types of consultants varies from project to project.

Depending on the Project one might Encounter:
Architect
Structural Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
Electrical Engineer
Grading & Site Servicing Engineer
Landscape Architect
Interior Designer
Surveyor
Soil Engineer


Note: As requirements vary from project to project, for better clarification one should discuss the project with a design consultant that can better discuss what consultants are required for the specific project on hand. 

Many factors dictate the length of a project such as the complexity of the project.
As the requirements vary from project to project, for better clarification one should discuss the project with a design consultant that can better discuss what elements effect the length of a project.  

An architect's designs are protected by Copyright.

"Payment of the architect’s fee gives you the right to use, once and for the intended purpose only, the plans, sketches, drawings, graphic representations, and specifications prepared by the architect as instruments of service. However, the copyright and ownership of both the design and these instruments of service belong to the architect and you may not use them for any other project, sell them or offer them for sale (or as part of a sale of property). " {RAIC 2014}