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Architects fees for 2 storey extension

(12 Posts)
Hahainc Wed 14-Feb-18 20:44:47

I've just had a quote for fees for the whole project, of a timber framed 2 storey extension p, and am alarmed at the costs. The quote includes Site survey/development - £895, Design/planning - £2775, working drawings £2850, tender to contractors £995, construction stage £2685
Plusca few bits and pieces the total is almost £10,000 , which seems a lot? And a fairly complicated process - is this realistic?

Sensus Wed 14-Feb-18 23:09:32

Without knowing full details of how complex the project is, I'd say that, yes, that seems steep.

Having said which, you're obviously going for a 'full service'? Many people would handle the tendering themselves, and rely on the contractor to manage the project on site. Timber frame requires a rather different approach to the build programme, mind you, so you'd be wise to get someone with plenty of relevant experience.

Survey is not unreasonable at £895, but the design/planning and working drawings stages are not cheap.

I'm speculating, but it might be that your Architect is not all that comfortable with timber frame, and is loading their prices accordingly.

Are you going for 'stick build', or a factory manufactured timber frame?

If the former, then you'll need structural calculations for the timber frame, too; if the latter, they'll be 'built in' to the price of the timber frame 'kit'.

Where in the country are you?

PM me if you want a second opinion: I'm ex Design & Technical Director of a timber frame company, now running my own Architectural Design & Planning Consultancy.

OBface Wed 14-Feb-18 23:32:21

Your quote doesn’t seem to out there to me. We’ve just paid for stages 1-3 which came to £4500 plus VAT. The stages after planning are estimated to be £6000 plus VAT. This is for a single story extension and loft conversion to a Victorian house in the midlands.

whiskyowl Thu 15-Feb-18 07:44:58

Get rid of the project management. The builder will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, and provided you can deal with a bit of conflict and are prepared to have a lot of difficult conversations, you can save nearly £3k right there.

Hahainc Thu 15-Feb-18 09:26:33

Many thanks for all the advice - it seems they are offering 2 options as you all suggest (I hadn't read it through)so costs would be less if they don't handle the last bit. So we're left with a fee of about £6000.

whiskyowl Thu 15-Feb-18 09:42:18

That sounds normal! I think £6k is about what we paid for a similar job.

Hahainc Thu 15-Feb-18 10:32:15

Reassured by all your replies - just to add, we were hoping to build a timber framed extension, something with barn like elements, and I wonder if anyone has undertaken this, and whther it's feasible to get the timber frame company to design it rather than using an architect?

whiskyowl Thu 15-Feb-18 11:57:57

We are just finishing a timber-frame extension, but ours is contemporary so all the timber is hidden away.

You don't have to use an architect - you will need drawings, though. The company might be able to supply these using an in-house technician?

Sensus Thu 15-Feb-18 14:10:25

"we were hoping to build a timber framed extension, something with barn like elements, and I wonder if anyone has undertaken this, and whether it's feasible to get the timber frame company to design it rather than using an architect?"

So you're looking for a traditional oak framed extension, rather than a timber frame in the modern sense?

Yes, I've done them, but yes, it's certainly also possible (and far from a bad idea!) for the specialist timber frame company to undertake the design work for you.

If you chose to go down this route, I'd recommend talking to Oakwrights as a very trustworthy and competent contactor (no connection other than I've worked with them on past projects and have been impressed by their competence):
www.oakwrights.co.uk/

This is a specialist construction technique, with a lot of specialist knowledge attached to it, so make sure that whoever does the design work is genuinely experienced in it. And expect the fees to be quite a bit more than stated in your original post - sorry, I was assuming you were talking about modern timber frame construction.

For reasons I won't bore you with, it's getting very difficult to gain Building Regulations approval for new build properties in oak frame where you can see the fame both internally and externally, in the old traditional manner, but it's still just about possible with an extension, where lower standards apply.

Make sure you (and more importantly your Architect) understand issues like shrinkage if you're working in green oak, though you can minimise these using Glulam instead of oak... otherwise, you've got to recognise that the limitations are part of the character of the material.

Abiaug0888 Wed 21-Feb-18 11:16:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BuildingThings Wed 21-Feb-18 17:45:46

Hi!
The architects fee is usually around 10% of the construction budget divided into the RIBA stages. So, it depends on what your construction budget is, I don't think £10000 is a lot at all. Buildings are the most expensive things in the world and architects have insurance in case anything should go wrong. You might save a few grand in fees if you hire an architectural technician, but piece of mind is priceless. Hope this helps!

Sensus Wed 21-Feb-18 18:09:24

"architects have insurance in case anything should go wrong. You might save a few grand in fees if you hire an architectural technician, but piece of mind is priceless"

There seems to be a misapprehension on this forum that Architects carry insurance, but other design professionals (Architectural Technicians, Building Surveyors, etc.) do not.

This is quite simply incorrect.

The professional bodies for both Architects and Architectural Technologists have a code of conduct which requires that their members carry suitable Professional Indemnity Insurance.

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