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How much does it cost to work with an architect?

Last modified: 2022-05-03 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Whether building a new home or taking on a large renovation project, the novice might have no idea where to begin. Most know that when taking on any home renovation, the potential for problems and things going awry is high; your expectations might not match the outcome.

Of course, you’d like home renovations to go as smoothly as possible as the changes you make should ideally last a lifetime. With these points in mind, have you considered hiring an architect?

An architect can help you during every stage of the renovation process, including buying materials, drafting plans for permits as well as seeing that the renovation happens in an orderly and thorough fashion. The cost of this type of work is always a concern, especially if you’re working within a budget. Luckily, we’re here to lay out the average costs involved as well as what to look for when choosing the right person for the job!

Here’s how much it costs to work with an architect in Canada

Choosing an architect

Femme architecte au travail_woman architect at work

When it comes to choosing the right architect for the job, this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. Not only will you need to hire someone who meets your stylistic needs, but you’ll also need someone who demonstrates problem-solving and listening skills as well as rates that fit within your budget.

So, where do you even begin when it comes to choosing someone? You likely have an idea of what you’re looking for in terms of your ideal renovation or home. You can narrow down the right person for the job by both considering and asking the following questions.

How will the architect approach my project?

Of course, a beautiful portfolio, as well as wide-ranging references, are important. However, that doesn’t mean that every architect who comes with these credentials will know how to approach your project. When interviewing potential candidates, ask how they see your renovation playing out. Consider using the following questions as a guideline:

  • How will the project interact and blend with the current structure?
  • What is most challenging about this project?
  • Where is the improvement necessary?

During conversations with potential architect candidates, make sure that your personalities mesh well together. This is someone who you will need to trust closely and will be working with for a lengthy period, so having a good rapport is necessary.

Tell me about your signature style

Although the architect you choose should be adaptable, they’ll likely have a signature style. This specific sensibility is paramount to how your project will play out. You’ll be able to get a sense of what they’re about by checking their portfolio. Take note if they lean towards modernism, a more rustic look or traditional design insights. Asking them about the specifics of their signature style will give you a better idea as to whether or not they’ll be the right one for the job.

Will there be a different designer?

In some cases, meeting with an architect doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be the sole individual looking after the job. If there will be another person designing the project, it’s good to get your barring on what that will entail. Excellent communication between yourself and the people involved in your renovation project is crucial to how it’ll turn out.

Architecte qui travaille dans maison_architect working in a studio

What services are provided?

Again, getting this information upfront is pretty important as it will help you determine if you need to hire a separate contractor. Ask your architect if they will be

  • Managing the project;
  • Hiring a contractor;
  • Checking the state of the contractor’s work;
  • Design adjustments or workload adjustments;
  • Dealing with invoices, payments and so forth.

These services will likely affect the cost of the overall project and since this article is all about the prices, it’s best to understand how these figures will affect your budget.

Looking for an architect for your construction or renovation project?

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The average costs for architectural projects

Plans architecte_architect plans

Prices for working with an architect will vary from project to project and will be dependent on the services provided, the complexity of the renovation and how well the architect is known. In some instances, architects will charge between 5%-20% upfront, but again this will come back to the services they are providing as well as the individual.

During the project, some architects will charge by the hour while others will charge a fixed monthly fee. Always lay out budget costs upfront so you'll be able to completely understand the way that prices and payments are handled before, during and following the project. This will avoid any major or minor misunderstandings. 

The average hourly rate for architects by province

Province Approximate hourly rate (intern to expert)
Quebec between $55-$200 per hour
Alberta between $50-$250 per hour
Nova-Scotia between $120-$240 per hour
Ontario  between $60-$200 per hour

These average prices include consulting times, preparing sketches, documents and project renderings as well as overseeing how the renovation plays out. Again, these are average rates and some architects may charge more upfront depending on some of the aforementioned factors. 

Get quotes for your architecture project can help you get quotes for your home construction project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from companies that are specialized in home renovations.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.


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