How much is an architect?

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This post may be of interest to many, many people. But as it is directed at you, inexperienced promoter (pardon me), I will tell only the four or five things you should know. Also, if you read the post Prostitution in architecture, you have another few ideas that haunt my mind personally, and I have the security that many other architects too.

First, I think you should know that there is no set price, if you do not know already. Normally the architect charges a certain percentage of the P.E.M, very variable, because competition in recent times between architects has turned into a fierce battle for orders, with their pros and cons for all parties.

high quality and low cost

Thus, the architect charges what he thinks proper, what he is allowed, or what people push him to charge… an absurdity what, in this post, I will not deepen.

Then let see an example of how most architects calculate their fees for your project, say, a house.

The architect must calculate the B.M.E (Budget of material execution) in order to put a price on their fees. This B.M.E will be an estimate and depends mainly on:

– The type of house (single family, detached…)

– Surface (m2)

– Qualities (affects the price of m2)

– Constructive difficulty (affects the difficulties of construction management and consequent responsibility that is acquired).

Continuing the example, say:

– A detached house.

– 200 m2

– About 1,000 € / m2

– Medium constructive difficulty.

We would have a B.E.M of 200,000 €.

And now it is when the surprises come, depending on who you ask, percentages of fees can range from 4% to 11 or 12%.


This would be for the preliminary, basic and execution projects and Construction Management:

– Cheaper Architect: 8,000 €. You can find it for less, but  please be very careful. (note at the end of the post)

– Most expensive architect: € 22,000 – € 24,000. you may find out there even higher. Moreover, many people who have lived the time of the scales in the architect’s fees, that prices will seem the most reasonable thing in the world, and indeed, they are.

Needless to say, between both of them you will find most of the architects, the majority closer to the second option.

And someone, with the next image in mind, say, GOD! ¿€ 20,000 for doing four drawings?


And I understand you, because you do not have to know or have taken into account the following:

1. The hours and dedication that you have to put on the project and construction management to do it properly, always many more than you would think.

2. The costs incurred by an architect: Insurance, (one for each work running), College (the college costs money but it’s required to sign works), Brotherhood of architects, autonomous quota, salaries (if the architect has any employee, what is more than convenient for taking good care of the project), office rent. In sum, € 2,000 monthly expenses aiming very low. That, without counting all other expenses that anyone could have.

3. Needless to say, training and hours required to become an architect has to be charged, as in any profession with big responsibility (see last point).

4. Finally, my favorite being the most important and, at the same time, the most neglected: The responsibility acquired by the architect with every building firm: 10 years. It’s easy to say, 10 years waiting that nothing bad happens to the structure or other defects attributable to the architect. And, by God, that no untoward happening during the work, or directly, the architect could find himself in jail.


I can not think of many more professions with this level of stress and responsibility. Of course, you never go to a dentist 10 years later because it hurts the wheel that you pasted, and yet, he never haggle his fee. You just go, get the service, and pay € 50 (to say something) religiously.

Finally, for those not familiar with the obsolete scales of architects, you would like to know that until a few years ago, architects prices in Spain were regulated by law and aimed the second option that I have raised.

Fortunately or unfortunately things have changed and you can find everything, so I leave you with a thought:

In architecture the cheap can be infinitely expensive, but you can also be lucky enough to find a huge professional who do wonderfully his work with enthusiasm, and also charging below the “normal range of prices,” perhaps there is, but as we say in Spain, its’s strange but it may exists.

And you, how much did you pay to your architect? ¿what do you think about their fees? ¡Tell me in comments!

I am Architect, I started my career in Marbella (Málaga) and I set up my second study in Fuengirola. Currently I help people all around Andalucía to design and build the house of their dreams, accompanying them until the end in this small jungle that is the world of construction.
I will give you all my experience, not only in house designing, but also in the search for construction companies and other professionals that involve most of your budget and I’ll help you choose the best for the best price, for you to save big money.

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