Architects are often considered experts whose services are very expensive. As a result, many homeowners give up using them when they want to build their homes, but this is actually a big mistake.
It’s true, the technical services and support of an architect do come at a cost. However, the cost is not as high as you might think, and in most cases you save money and time in the realization of your project when it is conducted and executed by a competent and highly qualified architect.
Why use an architect?
There are many reasons why you may decide to call upon an architect for the construction of your home. The first reason is of a legal nature, while the others are technical or financial.
The legal obligation to hire an architect
In France, it is mandatory to use an architect if :
– You want to build a house of 170 m2 of surface or more
– You want to renovate or extend your house so that the total surface area at the end of the work exceeds the limit of 170 m2.
In the rest of the cases, the intervention of an architect is not mandatory, but it is recommended because it simplifies the procedures for obtaining a building permit.
It even happens that the owner or the private individual entrusts the architect with the entire procedure. He therefore pays a flat fee for these related services that he no longer has to worry about.
The technical advantages related to the intervention of an architect
The first great advantage is the possibility of having an original and comfortable home that not only meets the new energy requirements, but also corresponds to its needs.
Moreover, the architect also carries out his work in such a way as to allow his client to control the charges and his construction budget. In a concrete way, the intervention of an architect makes it possible to have at a good price the sustainable and ecological dwelling that one wishes to have.
The second technical advantage concerns the realization of plans and consulting. The architect has the duty to provide clear and complete plans of the housing that will be built.
In addition, he can advise his client in the choice of materials and the different construction styles that can be adopted for the realization of the house. He can also help him in the choice of the interior design, colors, shapes to give to the different rooms, etc.
Financial advantages of working with an architect
With an architect, you are sure to spend exactly what you need to build your house. His estimates and quotes are always balanced, never under or over budget.
In addition, if he also assumes the responsibility of builder and project manager, the architect reduces expenses by carefully selecting the various professionals who will be working on the construction site. This option is less expensive than the option of picking up the workers or craftsmen one after the other to carry out the various stages of construction.
Moreover, the intervention of an architect in his construction project is a determining factor in obtaining financing or a subsidy. Within the framework of the aids offered by the ANAH for the improvement of the comfort of homes, it is often recommended that the construction file be drawn up by an architect. The same is true in the case of renovation or energy improvement work on a building.
How much does the service of an architect cost?
It all depends on the task you want to entrust to the architect.
Some owners opt for a complete project management, i.e. a follow-up and execution of the construction, in addition to the drafting of plans and administrative procedures. In this case, architects take between 8% and 14% of the total project cost.3 FREE QUOTES
This rate is not fixed and varies according to the complexity of the project and the size of the house. In general, the larger and wider the house, the more likely the architect is to grant a small discount on the cost of the service.
The second possibility is to ask the architect to do only the plans, most of the time in order to obtain the building permit. From this point of view, the architect can invoice in 2 ways: either he will ask for a flat rate of 1,000 to 1,500 euros if it is a simple and non-complex file, or he will ask for an average of 100 euros per hour.
How to find a cheaper architect?
The first trick is to search for your architect on the internet. According to some specialists, architects who offer their services online apply rates that are sometimes 40% cheaper than those of a conventional architectural firm.
You should therefore take the time to search the networks of architecture professionals to find one who lives in your region, who knows the local standards of architecture, and who can work at a good price.
The second trick requires a little patience, but is also very advantageous: it consists in getting along with your close relatives (neighbors, relatives who want to build) to contact an architect together. Under these conditions, the architect will make a grouped offer for all his clients, which is cheaper for each client, compared to the price to be paid in individual mode.
Finally, the third method known to all, one must always take the time to compare the quotes and proposals of 3 to 5 different architects. Then, you have to meet them, exchange with them, negotiate… All this allows you to know more about the architect, and why not establish a relationship of trust which will be a determining factor in the continuation of the collaboration.
To sum up: it is good to use an architect, and it doesn’t cost a fortune.
It is high time to forget the idea that the architect is intended for a wealthy clientele. He is a qualified professional to help each owner to have a chic, personalized, low-energy and as comfortable as possible home at the lowest possible cost.
The architect is not only a craftsman, a designer, but he is also a guide and an assistant consultant to whom one can entrust all the administrative procedures, and on whom one can count for the support of his file in the case of loan or grant applications.
In terms of price, the architect receives a commission of at least 1,000 euros, if not 8% of the cost of the project.