Sustainable/ green architects in Concord, CA


Hypothetical Project "A"
The numbers presented below are just examples and not reflective of current market trends. We all know how fluid interest rates have been in recent years, and the costs of loans and property taxes. We advise you to use these only for what they are, a hypothetical example and we strongly urge you to use the services of a professional to assess current market trends and costs.
Architects fees for full professional design services can range from 10 to 15 percent of construction costs for a new custom house and 15 to 20% for an addition/remodel (remodels are riskier and more complex). Many clients tend to ask for reduced services On the surface it appears excessive but most do not comprehend the added value they actually get with good design services. What we need is a proper context of the true costs of design fees.

So let's consider a typical 25-30 year life cycle costs of a home (30 yr mortgage/ loan). The actual cost of the building maybe 2-3 times the initial outlay. Do note that these are representational numbers. You should use current values that reflect the area you intend to build in.
We will use the table below as an *example for a 2,000sf custom home:

As a percentage of a total cost, it is easily seen that architect's fee only represents less than 4% of the total cost. Note that these figures do vary. Lower interest rates, lower costs of construction and lower home values should be considered in the above example. This does not take into account that homes designed by good architects tend to have added value. The appraised value of the home tends to be much higher than it's construction costs, providing them with more equity. If the building is well documented, competitive bids can significantly lower the costs spread of the design fees. The term "You get what you pay for", has more meaning when you consider these factors. Construction costs are where most of your up front expenditure resides. A good architect can help design an efficient home, that functions well, is aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly, energy efficient and site responsive. They can help control construction costs and obtain good competitive bids. These are values not easily perceived when just looking at fee structures. However not all clients require the comprehensive services provided by architects. Read further on and we will get to this.

Other factors we did not list above that can add to the cost of owning the home are maintenance like landscaping/ gardening, operational costs, upgrades over time, etc. All these significantly lower the first time costs of an architects fees. Yet if designed and built right, their services can result in significant savings over the life of the building. In some cases, profit from the sale of a well designed home, especially if it was published in a design magazine or if it had won an award can be comparatively generous. Yet the architect does not have a clause for royalties on the design.
An energy efficient sustainably designed home can reduce the overall life time maintenance and operational costs of a home. Factor innovative design solutions, alternative construction materials & methods,personalized service and many other benefits, the return on investment for the use of an architect's design services is more than made up for during the life of the building.

1 project budget 1 architectural fees 1 example "A" 1 scenario 1 1 scenario 2

Copyright © 2010 Gerard Lee Architects, Inc. All rights reserved.

-last updated March 28,2010