Architects and Architecture Firms: Rates and Options

Before we can assess the worth of hiring an architect for your new or redesigned home, we need to understand what exactly these services entail. Architect fees are a commonly quoted component of the cost of designing and building a home. 

The majority of Melbourne architects charge a fixed fee for the work they do on residential homes, although a select few specialize in projects that require them to build industrial or municipal buildings. Architect fees can vary greatly depending on the size, scope, and complexity of the project. A small home remodelling job probably won’t require a contract with an architect, whereas a major building project will likely involve one.

Before Construction Begins

An architect’s main focus is on the design and building of the property. They make all of the construction drawings and all of the specifications for the structure itself. From those construction drawings, an architect develops the blueprints for the construction project. These blueprints are typically referred to as architectural drawings. If your construction documents are not produced in a format that the architects can use, then they will have to create them from scratch.


Once an architect has produced construction documents and a client has agreed to pay for it, the architect is responsible for creating a detailed and carefully-planned design for the house remodel project. This includes estimating materials, working with contractors and subcontractors, creating the budget, and negotiating the contract with the client.

All of this requires that the architect has a high degree of professionalism. The better the architect does in this process, the more likely it is that the contractor and subcontractor will be able to afford the house remodel proposal he or she is presenting.

During the Construction

When constructing a home, the architect is in charge of all of the plans and blueprints, as well as all of the required building permits. All of the necessary plans must go through the proper channels before being released for public consumption. The more efficient the architect is at preparing construction documents and building permits, the more he or she will be successful in securing the plans for sale.

The architect also must make sure that he or she receives regular construction administration updates. This includes getting the latest building permits, ensuring that all of the materials and supplies are available in the proper quantities, and keeping abreast of the changing design trends. 


The architect also has to follow rules and regulations set forth by the city or county that he or she lives in. In some cases, he or she may even have to get special permission to do certain things. These things may include changing the way a sidewalk or street is oriented, constructing a parking garage, redesigning or altering a bridge, among other things.


The fees can represent a percentage of the overall project cost. Sometimes, an architect will be able to get his or her rates reduced by doing additional work, or by agreeing to add design revisions to the project. This means that the architect hourly rates can increase to reflect the added costs, but they will still be subject to negotiation between the architect and the client.

Architects that remodel homes rather than construct new ones can expect to have slightly lower architect hourly rates. The reason for this is that these remodel projects are much simpler than the construction of a new home. 

Additionally, homeowners that are remodelling rather than building tend to use a smaller amount of material, so the construction costs for these remodels will be less than a comparable construction project. When you hire an architect to remodel instead of constructing a new home addition, it is important to consider the fees that the architect will charge you, especially if you are having problems getting qualified for financial assistance from your local government.

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