£6000 for award winning architect or £3000 for local architect...

(20 Posts)
classof2017 Wed 31-Aug-16 17:20:00

who will draw a run-of the mill box standard dining and kitchen extension.

The £6000 had some amazing ideas, cost-saving and smart space ideas. The £3000 - hasn't tried to understand what I want but has a preconceived extension and said that my requirements were pretty standard. He will also do the structural design, whereas with the dearer one there is added costs.

The extension is circa £80,000 and I am in London.

What would you do? I think a well-designed building even with less expensive fittings, will look better than a poorly designed building with really expensive fittings!

I have my eye on a very expensive kitchen. However, more expensive architect says he has found that they are not worth their cost, and using Ikea as a base as they are all made of laminate and using a more expensive top is a better option??

JT05 Wed 31-Aug-16 17:22:58

I think in this case you get what you pay for. You can't change an ok building design ( without further cost ) but you can add internal fittings to a great design, at a later date.

Involvethechicken Wed 31-Aug-16 17:59:19

Never been in this situation but it sounds like the 3000 person doesn't offer enough to distinguish them from an architectural technician or design minded builder.
In my opinion the point of an architect is smart ideas and good advice spend the 6k and I think you will be happier in the end

suit2845321oie Wed 31-Aug-16 18:08:26

I've just had fabulous plans drawn up for various things and paid £2.2k with really contemporary upmarket architects. No doubt it's because they are hoping that I'll use them as project managers afterwards but I'm under no obligation. £8k sounds dear. Why not get a 3rd opinion?

PikachuSayBoo Wed 31-Aug-16 18:12:04

I agree, third opinion.

Or the more expensive one. I wouldn't pay 3k for something a decent builder could probably do.

ChablisTyrant Wed 31-Aug-16 19:16:10

When we were meeting architects I was amazed by the differences in advice and ideas between the most experienced/well-regarded and the rest. I really do think it is one of those professions where it is worth paying for the best.

DustOffYourHighestHopes Wed 31-Aug-16 19:32:26

Our architects were more expensive than local ones, but have great ideas. I'm talking about moving space usage around, storage in places we'd never thought about.

classof2017 Wed 31-Aug-16 21:11:30

Thanks for all the replies. I was leaning toward the more expensive one but will try and get a third opinion. If you were happy with your architects, would you mind recommending them?

DustOffYourHighestHopes Wed 31-Aug-16 21:19:33

We also had a quote from an architect firm that does amazing extensions, featuring in architect blogs etc. But their price was sky high.

I can pm you the different quotes if you like. London-based.

classof2017 Wed 31-Aug-16 21:37:30

That would really be appreciated DustOffYourHighestHopes. Thanks!

Ktay Thu 01-Sep-16 08:26:31

We used an expensive, acclaimed London architect. He came up with a great idea for our extension that was obvious in hindsight and gave us lots of valuable extra space. He was also skilled at getting it past planning.

Unfortunately he was more of an arty type and it was hard to pin him down/get a straight answer to straightforward technical questions, which infuriated engineer DH no end. And errors in the measurements came to light after we'd parted company with him (DH project managing) which means the extension and DD1's new bedroom are a fair bit narrower as a result.

Not sure where I'm going with this really other than to vent grinbut I guess the moral of the tale is whoever you pick, make sure it's someone you get on with and trust. Good luck!

specialsubject Thu 01-Sep-16 18:01:02

the cheaper one has already demonstrated that he doesn't listen. Forget that.

Make sure the expensive one understands budget and timescales, and also doesn't disappear off on his own broom with arty but impractical features. Skylights that can't be cleaned once covered in pigeon crap, silly rectangular door frames that stick out like a sore thumb, all the rubbish you see on the TV.

obvious, you would think - but not always.

the comment about expensive kitchens being just the same is promising though!

EnquiringMingeWantsToKnow Thu 01-Sep-16 18:06:09

Given the relatively apart proportion of your total budget I'd definitely go more expensive architect and go for cheaper spec materials (which don't have to be shoddy but eg stainless steel rather than Corian sink, ceramic not glass tiles) but subject to references from similar clients - as a pp said, he may be clever but can he produce the exact designs requires in the precise format required to time pressure.

EnquiringMingeWantsToKnow Thu 01-Sep-16 18:07:01

(That should be "relatively small" - bloody autocorrect)

bakingaddict Thu 01-Sep-16 18:44:22

Ask however is doing the extension for suggestions regarding cheaper base they can source them from trade places . My brother does kitchen extensions and won't fit IKEA kitchens as they are just too much trouble he uses a reputable local supplier

Itscoldouthere Sun 04-Sep-16 20:04:09

We had a similar problem and as we are designers decided that we would go with the cheaper one but actually we have always regretted it. We have done a big barn/house renovation spent a lot of money (200,000 +) but some of the detailing really isn't as good as it could have been and I put that down to to architect.
It really helps to have a good architect who will insist on detailing all the little things like the skirtings/ doors/ Windows and not just draw the bog standard stuff, these things really do make a massive difference in the end result.
We had to fight for all those things as they weren't detailed in the drawing package, so things like not wanting skirtings, were compromised and we have had lots of cracking issues, also getting some of the finishes were made more difficult as the builder was often thinking about what was easiest for him rather than what would look best for us. Our cheaper architect just did not come up with good solutions when we encountered problems and we ended up bypassing him and drawing stuff ourselves.

classof2017 Thu 13-Oct-16 11:14:56

Thank you, for all your comments. Have decided to go with the more expensive one, because even before I had indicated I would appoint him, he had taken the time to send me links to the suppliers of certain finishes, kitchens and ideas that we had spoken about and seems to really "get" what I am after.

I also tested him to see if he understood what I liked by showing pictures of open plan kitchens that I liked and didn't like and he was able to discern with my tastes so that is promising.

Will see if it all pans out in six months time!

OnePlanOnHouzz Thu 13-Oct-16 11:21:29

Fingers crossed for you !

johnd2 Thu 13-Oct-16 16:48:41

We had almost exactly the same situation with the same architect cost in London and the same overall build cost although we're buying and fitting the kitchen afterwards ourselves. We went for the most expensive architect and everything is going well so far.
The building part is the bit you can't redo as it's the expensive bit, you want to be completely certain what you're getting is right (for just an extra 4% of your overall cost) the structural engineer charged around 3% in the end. Hope they can save you more money than you spend!

shovetheholly Thu 13-Oct-16 16:56:00

Good choice! I think you're bang on about it being better to have an amazing space with cheaper flooring (etc) than a compromise in the actual physical structure.

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