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RE: Architectural Fees for Residential projects

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This is an extremely volatile number you are looking for.  There is a very large degree of “involvement” that an Architect could invest time and energy over, so it’s nearly impossible to give you a number that wouldn’t be anything more than a guess.  That said, I’ve designed very simple houses with minimal involvement for as little as about $6-$8/sf (not counting the dreaded “I got a friend of mine that needs just a really simple drawing…blah blah…..” client where I inevitably lose money and gain grey hair ), but for a “total” involvement (whatever that really is) of tricked out design, if someone came to me and said, “Take it from conception to keys to the front door”, the 10% of construction cost is not out of line. 


Clear as mud now, eh?


From: Dennis Wish [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 11:22 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Architectural Fees for Residential projects


I’m trying to get a feel for a friend who is an architect from New York and who is licensed in California. I’ve lost track of the fee’s that Architects charge for custom homes (one story – non-tract) in Southern California. It used to be that Architects charged a percentage of construction, but I think that this is no longer the case. I tried to charge on a square foot bases and compared it against a projected 1.5% of construction cost for structural and lost each of the jobs I bid.


For those of you in Southern California (preferably the desert areas - Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties) can you “guestimate” the range of fees that a full service architectural firm will charge with E&O coverage? I don’t care if it is in square foot price or percentage of construction cost – but it should be a full service architectural firm that is specifying all finishes and will participate in construction to coordinate with the contractor and engineers.


Use a one story custom home of about 5,000 square feet as an example. I would appreciate any information those of you who do architecture as well as engineering can share as to your competition and what it takes for residential design fees.




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