It's important to know what you'll pay to have a professional take on your building project - here's the lowdown.
By Sarah Jagger
First-time developers Gary and Lesley Powell from Dorset have paid £5,000 in architect fees without a single brick being laid for their new home. But the couple, who are hoping to build a three-bedroom bungalow in Lesley's mother's back garden to accommodate their growing family, say it's been worth it.
'We don't have the time or experience to deal with it,' says Gary. 'Our architect's come up with the design, conducted site visits, met with local planners, dealt with a tree preservation order and submitted drawings for planning consent. We wouldn't have been able to get this far without his knowledge,' he says.
Richard Brindley from industry body RIBA agrees that using an architect can add far more to your project than the cost of fees. 'Your extension, renovation or new build will undoubtedly benefit from their creative design flair, technical experience and effective management of your development process,' he says.
Plus an architect can help save you money during the project by advising on financial matters, coming up with the best design for your budget and getting competitive building quotes.
'Over the longer term they can make your build energy efficient and so save on running costs,' says Brindley. A great design should also increase your property's market value and saleability, too.
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