How much does an architect cost?

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Price guide

£1,000 - £8,000







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Planning to build or renovate a house is trickier than you think. Architectural designs are not just made for commercial buildings but can also apply to our home designs. After all, going home to an aesthetically pleasing house is a stress reliever from a long, tiring day at work.

Architect costs in the UK depend on how the architect wants to charge you: percentage or fixed fees. They can charge through a percentage system, asking for 5% to 12% of the house’s total cost. An architect's cost can range from £1,000 to £5,000 and depends on the project you need. 

For example, a loft conversion architect costs £1,000 to £2,500. However, this rate doesn't include building registration and blueprint creation. The cost of architect plans for an extension is £1,000 to £4,000, and this includes planning permission only. If you want to include building registration and blueprint creation, expect to pay £3,000 to £8,000.

Are you building your dream house or planning renovations? This price guide will tell you how much to set aside. 

How much does it cost to hire an architect in the UK?

An architect’s professional fees depend on the project. The most common types are loft conversions, one-storey extensions, two-storey extensions, and entirely new houses. 

Your architect might charge you for the planning application but can also work on the building registration and construction drawing. Some also decide to charge you a percentage of the total cost of the house. You might encounter architects with hourly rates. However, this is rare. Hourly rates range from £50 to £100.

You can pay £300 to £500 for a site survey or hire a surveyor for this. See the price list below for architect costs in the UK:

Project type



Loft conversion



One storey extension



Two storey extension



New house




Loft conversions

If you're longing for more space but can’t have horizontal extensions, there's no way but to go vertical. Converting your space into a loft is ideal. Planning permissions for lofts cost £1,000 to £2,500. 

Article plans for extensions

If you want a vertical extension, ask your architect to plan for a one or two-storey extension.  A one-storey extension with planning permission costs £1,000 to £3,000 and an extra £2,000  for building registration and blueprint creation. Two-storey extension planning costs £2,000 to £4,000 and an additional £2,000 for building registration and construction design.

New houses

A new house that needs planning permission, building registration, and construction design is expensive because of its many processes, so architects usually ask for a percentage fee. 

How does this work? Your architect will simply charge a percentage of the project's total cost. See table below for sample computations:

Overall build cost

5% fee

8% fee

10% fee

12% fee





















a female architect looking at a tiny house model

Factors affecting architect costs

Aside from your project type, other things determine your architect’s fees:

Project complexity

Suppose your project only requires development application or permission in a limited area. In that case, your total cost will not be as high compared to a new house requiring building registration. You might only need a construction drawing, which won’t cost you much.


Architect fees in London or Southeast England can be higher than in rural areas. If you want to save money, consider hiring an architect near you to avoid transportation costs.


The longer an architect stays in the industry, the higher their pay. Newly qualified architects offer lower professional fees than someone experienced. It is best to check their portfolio whenever you ask for a quotation. You can also hire an independent contractor from a large firm if you have a budget.

Local authority fee

You might have to pay a fee of £172 when processing your planning application. Consult your local authorities so that you can prepare well.

Other people you need for the construction

Aside from hiring an architect, you might want to hire a draftsman. Architects are involved in planning, designing, and documentation. On the other hand, draftsmen can provide you with construction and technical drawings. Also, consider hiring an electrician for your home's wiring needs.

a female architect writing something on a clipboard

How long is the planning process?

When building your home, you shouldn't rush the planning stage, as it is the most crucial part. Besides, you won't be paying your architects on a per-hour basis most of the time. Here are the steps to building an extension or a new home:

  • Initial consultation: Meet your chosen architect, lay out your plans, and gather their input. Explain your expectations, from your budget to your timetable.
  • Site visit: Your architect needs to know what they will be working on. It might require visiting your area and hiring other people like engineers and local inspectors. This step can take weeks or a month to complete.
  • Data Compiling: After finalising your expectations and visiting the site, your architect will check what's feasible and make the necessary changes to bring your plans to life. They can also present drawings or images to give you a better idea of what's to come. This step takes a month or two, depending on your satisfaction with the designs.
  • Permits: This is probably the most rigorous step, as its duration is out of your hands or your architect’s. Your architect will submit a proposal to your local authority. If it doesn’t affect any local development plan, approval won’t be a problem. 

How do I find the right architects near me?

Before you get to the crucial part of planning, you have to go through one of the most challenging steps: hiring an architect. Here are some helpful pointers:

  1. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. This way, you might have a finished product to check and get honest reviews.
  2. Determine the design you want for your project and what the architect should do for you.
  3. Check their licences; are they part of the Royal Institute of British Architects? The Architects Registration Board has the information you need.
  4. Find professionals associated with the Chartered Institute of Architectural technology, which regulates training courses and proves accreditations.
  5. Ask for their portfolio or website. Each architect has a specific style, so it's vital to see their products to understand how they work. 
  6. Post a task on Airtasker and let us help you find the right architect for your budget. 

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Most architects give free consultations, especially if you’re considering hiring them. But it’s always better to be upfront whenever you are inquiring!

An architect’s job is to make sure that the design you want is feasible. They are also good consultants for the legalities of your project. You don't need one, but you need to ensure the safety of the people in your house. 

For areas needing an extension of up to six metres, there’s no need for planning permission. However, it’s best to consult your architect and local authorities.

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