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Architectural Technician: How much would you pay?

(18 Posts)
Lassa Tue 18-Nov-14 11:54:02

Quick question much would you say was reasonable?

The chap quoting for me says:
"We will prepare existing and proposed drawings which include Floor plans, Elevations, Cross sections, site plan, location plan, construction notes and a specification detailing building works. There will be enough information on the drawings to submit a planning application or permitted development and building regulation application"

How much would you expect to pay for this?

£300? £400? £500 ?!?

I actually have no idea what's "normal", and am trying to address my naivety (and not be taken for a mug!).

Quick fire responses or ranges would be much appreciated. Thanks! x

brumeye Tue 18-Nov-14 12:28:15

It depends entirely on the size of the job. What are they designing for you? A porch? A new-build house?

You should get quotes from two or three firms - that'll allow you to compare costs, as well as gauging how well you get on with each one (which in my experience is at least as important as the price they charge!)

Lassa Tue 18-Nov-14 13:24:33

Oh, sorry I forgot to include that:

They are plans for re-configuring a 3 storey town house (particularly the ground floor)- including the addition of a rear extension (9m sq) and porch (2m sq).

I am getting quotes from several people- the problem is, when I say, "ideally I'd like to not pay more than £x"...all of them quote for x on the dot.

And I have no points of reference, to know whether the quotes good value or not (apart form comparing them to each other).

I totally take your point that how well we get on is key.

celestialsquirrels Tue 18-Nov-14 13:43:34

I would hire an architect.

msmorgan Tue 18-Nov-14 14:10:39

My husband does this and charges from around £300 for a small job like a porch, £500 for a 2 storey side extension, obviously more for bigger or more complicated jobs. We are in the north east and those prices are lower than what most the other companies charge.

msmorgan Tue 18-Nov-14 14:13:38

Also if you know any good builders they can often recommend someone to draw the plans, or look through planning submissions on your councils website. Its often the same design companies or architects who submit the plans.

ThunderboltKid Tue 18-Nov-14 16:30:44

I've just had two quotes from architects for's for a loft conversion & a rear extension. One was £3500 the other was £2500 (the lower of the two is a much younger architect taking on only a few jobs in her sole practice)

Both quotes include what you have specified, allow for us to make changes at least once, and they manage the building regs process and application for lawful development certificate.

ThunderboltKid Tue 18-Nov-14 16:31:20

I think the costs are based on our (anticipated) total build price of (£70k)

MillyMollyMama Tue 18-Nov-14 17:19:39

RIBA suggests 6% of build costs for conception of the project through to appointing a builder. A technician should be less as they are not a qualified architect. Therefore both the quotes mentioned above are good but the higher one reflects the professional breadth an experienced practice can bring, as opposed to someone working alone. Several hundred pounds is not a feasible figure for the work you want done OP.

Lassa Tue 18-Nov-14 18:06:29

Thanks for your responses- all very helpful!

I was going to submit the building regs application myself after I get the structural engineer's report (everything I intend to do is allowable under permitted development, so I don't anticipate the council refusing).

I do not have the funds to hire an architect (to draw the plans, talk less of project manage); so that unfortunately is out of the question.

The architectural technician I am considering has a great reputation, has received brilliant feedback, examples of his work look excellent and is willing to provide a personalised service, as well as incorporating the ideas of my desired layout into the finished plans. He is also local...which is a bonus.

My structural engineer mentioned that as long as the plans are accurate (measurement wise), clear and documented to a professional standard (qualified ATs are professionals after all); they would be appropriate for planing applications and any reputable structural engineer or builder would be able to work with / from the plans to make them a reality.

MuscatBouschet Tue 18-Nov-14 18:19:51

One way to think about it is that I seem to remember that ATs charge half the daily rate of experienced architects. So think about likely cost in relation to your £2.5k quote for a fuller service.

I agree do building regs/control yourself and don't bother with a lawful development certificate if it is bleeding obvious it is allowed. Our architect tried to force us to apply for one saying it was required when it isn't. We got a simple email from planning confirming that planning permission isn't required for the two things we wanted to do.

msmorgan Tue 18-Nov-14 19:37:39

For what you are planning I would definitely just use the AT. It sounds quite straightforward and like you know what you want doing. My dh makes any amendments asked for, submits the plans,deals with the planning dept and the builders if necessary.

msmorgan Tue 18-Nov-14 19:41:12

One thing I'd check is if your AT does steel beam calcs (if any beams are required) as not all do, or will the structural engineer do those?

catellington Tue 18-Nov-14 20:29:00

Our AT charged £1,200 for drawings for a loft conversion with double rear dormer and en suite and a single storey 4.5 m long extension to the rear. He will get lawful development certificate. Our house is a 3 bed mid terrace 1948. He charged £150 for pre planning application and if required submission of planning app. Council fees are on top.

He sub contracts to the structural engineer once that is required, he gas quoted us £400-500 for that.

Lassa Tue 18-Nov-14 20:30:27


He does actually! Ha, it's my lucky day.

I plan to get a formal structural engineer's report anyway- as calculations are their bread and butter (whilst I want to be as frugal as is safely possible...I have no intention on being cavalier about safety issues).

catellington Tue 18-Nov-14 20:30:45

Ps our AT has been doing this for decades and is highly recommended.

The architects I contacted charged a percentage of build cost, c 3% average, so would have been over £3k based on quotes. They were also fully booked for months in advance.

msmorgan Tue 18-Nov-14 21:24:36

He sounds like he knows what he's doing. I would only use an architect if I wanted someone to design something or for a complicated build.

DH does basic calcs but uses an engineer for more difficult jobs. We've just finished a 2 storey side and single rear extension and I'd imagine there could be problems if you use an inexperienced AT who then can't help/advise the builders if there are any issues.

froggies Tue 18-Nov-14 22:48:39

Is the guy chartered? CIAT guidelines to chartered AT's have pricing on the same basis as RIBA for architects. A qualified Architectural technologist is as capable of doing plans for you as a qualified architect, but expect to pay a similar price if they have the same experience, even if not chartered. (An architectural technician is not the same as a technologist, they do not have the same level of qualification, they cannot sign off buildings, and they cannot gain chartered membership)

Anyone can submit plans, you don't need the qualifications to do the drawings, but professionals don't spend years doing a degree, and then showing the required experience for chartered membership for nothing, you get what you pay for.

I would make sure that he has adequate public indemnity insurance in place before you agree to him doing it, no matter what the price of his work is, and no matter what his experience or reputation is, sometimes things go wrong.

I am glad you intend to get a structural engineers report. I don't know about where you are, but the council here frequently won't approve building warrants without structural engineers reports, even if the AT or Architect is capable of doing the calcs themselves.

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