Most of the projects that we complete are supported by a Full Architectural Service as defined by the RIBA Plan of Work. We will sometimes undertake limited design tasks, site assessment or technical assistance for a lump sum or hourly rate fee.
Three levels of service
Not all clients or projects require the same level of effort. Therefore, we offer three degrees of service.
I. Basic level: ideal for experienced clients, usually property developers. We provide drawings up to a reasonable level of detail, allowing approval from Building Control. We will also attend site visits to check and advise on the project's progress.
II. The Full Level is supported by a Full Architectural Service Contract defined by the RIBA Plan of Work. It includes specific architectural services and will provide the ideal support during all stages of the design and construction processes. Compared to the Outstanding Design Service described below, the client is more in charge of choosing and ordering finishes and some aspects of the relationship with the builder.
III. Outstanding Design Service
We consider all of our projects outstanding, but some have been more successful than others: featured in festivals, including the London Open House and Don’t Move Improve, winning or shortlisted for architecture awards. These cases witness a special relationship with our clients and a significant commitment in terms of hours and effort. In time, we have understood how an ambitious project should be set out from the beginning and decided to create a specific fee level that allows us to pursue exceptional results.
In our experience, outstanding design results in considerable added value to the property, a more exciting process, and a unique outcome.
Fees are always calculated in terms of the amount of work required, and our most popular way of calculating the final fee is as a percentage of construction cost. This method allows adapting the fees to the dynamics of the projects where things change very quickly. Having a percentage reference avoids the need to review the fees at every stage. The following scale helps us calculate Full-Service fees in relation to the net construction cost. The Outstanding service will usually cost an additional 2.5% of net construction cost, while the Standard about 2% less.
18% at £50,000
14% at £100,000
12% at £250,000
10% at £500,000
9% at £1,000,000
8% at £2,000,000
An additional 1-2% should be added for works to Listed Buildings, depending on the complexity of the services required.
The most common extension and refurbishment projects will require the input of several consultants. Here are a few of the most likely additional appointments.
Structural Engineer: About 0.5-1.5% of construction cost.
A ‘Full Plans application’ to the Council Building Control would take up to eight weeks to determine before issuing a ‘Full Plans Approval’. If you wish to instruct Council Building Control to deal with the Building Regulations inspections and issue the final Completion Certificate, either you (or your constructor on your behalf) will need to serve a Building Notice on the Council and the requisite fee.
Alternatively, you can instruct a government-approved Private Building Control Firm instead of the Council Building Control.
Party Wall Surveyor: When the extent of any work affecting the common wall with the adjoining property is determined, we can discuss the application of the Party Wall Act.
Professional Measured Survey:
We will appoint a professional surveyor to provide drawings of the existing conditions on your behalf. It is a small initial investment that provides the priceless advantage of certainty during the design stage.