How much does it cost?

You can select all or part of the services offered by architecture Barnes Collie Fischer. If you want only an hour's general advice then that is all you will pay for. If you need just the detailed drawings, or want the scheme to be guided to the planning permission stage and no further, then that is fine too. architecture Barnes Collie Fischer publishes standard appointment documents from which you can select the precise services you need.

Working out the bill:

There is no fixed fee scale, but, depending on the nature of the scheme, architectural fees for the full service should come to between eight and fifteen percent of the total building cost depending on the complexity of the project. A simple building which requires less attention to detail will usually attract a smaller percentage fee. Some services are charged for on a time basis.

Can an architect save you money?

Yes. Not only will architects provide better value for money, in many instances they will save their clients at least the equivalent of their fees. Professional attention to detail will save money both immediately, through the most efficient use of space and the careful selection of materials and finishes, and in the long term through environmental sensitivity, energy efficiency, low running and maintenance costs.

There are formal safeguards too. The contract your architect recommends for the builder may contain a clause that allows you to claim damages for every week the project unreasonably overruns and disrupts your home or professional life. This is doubly important because a project which runs over time will often run over budget too. As work proceeds, your architect will save you time by dealing with problems and disagreements as they arise, leaving you free to concentrate on your own life and work.

After the building is complete, a percentage of the builder's account will be held back for six months (or a year on larger projects as security against any problems that may arise). This is known as the defects liability period.

How to find the best architect for the job:

Choose an architect whose previous work you like. Listen to recommendations from friends and neighbours. Ask to see a portfolio of work, or to visit finished buildings. Above all, talk to your intended architect. It is important to ensure that you are compatible, that you feel that your architect listens to what you say and that you respect each other's views. He or she must convince you both of their creativity and their ability to get things done.