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How much do Architectural Services cost?

Average Price

How much does an Architect charge on average?

Need an architect to transform your design dream into a reality but unsure how much it’ll set you back? Our handy price guide tells you how much your expert will charge based on your design aims, the type and size of the property, and more.

What does an Architect do? 

However big or small the project, you’re going to need an architect if you are planning on renovating your home or development. A trusted architect can manage pretty much everything in the lifecycle of your project, starting with surveying the property to designing the renovation plan, getting materials, and supervising the project build. 

Your architect will have the knowledge and experience to know what works for your budget, taste, and space you’re working with. They’ll also ensure it meets safety regulations. It's an important job which requires years of training and experience. 

How much does an Architect cost? 

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to architect costs. There are three main pricing structures that architects use to charge for their services: 

  1. Lump-sum fee - A fixed amount that is set when the exact requirements of the architect’s roles are agreed upon with the client. This is common for smaller projects and private customers, like home extensions. 

  2. Cost per hour - What you see is what you get - clients pay per hour. 

  3. Percentage fee - The architect will charge a percentage of the total construction costs. This is common for larger projects. 

The total cost can vary depending on several factors, but as a general rule of thumb, hiring an architect should make up around 5-20% of your overall project cost. Here’s a rough breakdown of average costs for hiring an architect in Canada:

Average cost (in total) $16,000
Minimum cost (in total) $2,000
Maximum cost (in total) $30,000+

You should agree to the final price at the start of the project to avoid any unexpected costs. 

Factors influencing costs: 

The biggest factors influencing the cost of an architect are given below: 

  • Project complexity

  • Project stage

  • Architect’s experience

  • Location

Project complexity 

By far the biggest cost driver when it comes to hiring an architect is the complexity of the project and how long it’ll take to complete. A large factor is whether you need to change or add additional floors. For example, look at the differences in price between single and double-storey planning submissions: 

Extension type Average cost (in total)
Single storey $15,000
Double-storey $25,000

Another example of a complex project would be working on a historic building, as the project will require consent from a local planning authority. 

Project stage 

The cost of your architect will also depend on whether you need them for a small part of the project or every step of its life lifecycle. It’s ultimately up to you whether you want to hire one for the entirety of your project or just part of it. There are lots of different stages of the process when it comes to architectural design, and each comes with a price. 

  1. Initial design 

  2. Planning submission 

  3. Design development

  4. On-site management 

If you want a full service, expect prices to jump up considerably.  

Architect’s experience 

An architect who is fresh out of university will charge less for the same service than someone who is super-experienced, as anyone junior will be keen to build their portfolio! 


Like most services, architects tend to charge more in major cities to reflect the higher cost of living. Here’s a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay on average in three major Canadian cities: 

LocationAverage cost (in total)
Vancouver $5,500

Keeping Architect costs to a minimum 

As architects are highly specialized professionals, their services can be pricey. If you’re on a budget, don’t despair! Read on for some handy tips and tricks for keeping costs to a minimum. 

  • Cut the number of corners - If you’re on a budget, try to reduce the number of corners for exterior walls, as these are notoriously pricey. 

  • Decide if you need a full service - Lots of the time, people don’t need an architect for a service. If you only need someone for initial sketches and planning permissions, you could save yourself a lot of money. 

  • Check your architect’s credentials - If you choose a high-quality architect you’ll get a high-quality result, and this means you’ll avoid hefty repair costs later down the line. The best way to check this is to ask for a reference from past clients.

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