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Arizona Architect BlueprintFees are always a concern when beginning a project. There is no set fee arrangement for a particular type of project. Fees are established in a variety of ways depending on the clients diverse building situation and the extent and nature of services required from an architect.

Common methods of compensation include: hourly rates, a percentage of construction cost and a negotiated flat fee.

•  Hourly Fees - An hourly rate is agreed to between the architect and client. This type of fee is usually applied to renovations, small or preliminary designs or administrative services. The total fee can be difficult to estimate for a large job and hourly fees can be contentious if the number of hours becomes controversial. Engineering and other fees are not included in the architect's hourly rate.

•  Percentage of Construction Cost - Many firms base their fees on a percentage of the cost of constructing the house. The percentage varies depending on the type of services rendered but can range between 5 and 15 percent of the total cost of construction. If the cost of building materials goes up, then so will the architect's fee. Each architect sets their own fee and most engineering costs are covered in this type of fee.

•  Negotiated Flat Fee - This type of fee is negotiated between the architect and client usually after the initial meeting. Factors that affect the fee; include the scope of the project, the level of quality and detail and economic conditions. The architect provides most of the engineering costs. The fee is not dependent upon construction costs and will only change if the program changes or if there is a change in the scope of services provided by the architect. The negotiated flat fee is the type of agreement generally used by KCB&A.

Reimbursable expenses are out of pocket expenses incurred by the architect on behalf of the project that usually cannot be predicted at the outset, such as long-distance telephone calls, out of town travel, reproductions of construction documents, models, soils engineering, boundary surveys, topographical surveys and native plant list inventories. The owner is also responsible for plan review fees, building permits, impact fees, and design review fees required by some governing jurisdictions or homeowners associations (these fees can easily exceed $10,000.00 in some jurisdictions). Detailed in the owner-architect agreement, they are usually outside the stipulated sum or hourly billing rate and normally billed as they occur.

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