3 May 2024

Can an architect give me an accurate cost for a full project, and if so, are they obliged to stick to this?

Please share…

Architectural Associate Lewis Shares his thoughts…

“Architects are not cost specialists, however we are aware of the average construction costs for different types of building from experience of working on similar projects. At best an architect’s estimate for construction cost would be a ball park figure to help guide you at early stages, it is not a construction quote that they can be held to.

At RA Architects, if projects are cost sensitive, we recommend that a Quantity Surveyor (QS) is contracted into the design team. A QS will provide cost advice at all stages of a project as their specialism is estimating and managing construction cost. A QS will produce a budget cost plan based on early stage designs and can update this when more detailed design and information is available as the project moves forward.

The true cost of a project is often not fully established until the designs have been put out to tender. Where a number of different building contractors are invited to quote for the works based on the detailed designs and tender information that we produce. If after the scheme is put to tender, the project is over budget, we can work with the building contractors to remove or change specifications to get the costs where they need to be for your project.

If the contractors tender price is acceptable, we can then form a contract between you and the builder, which will fix the construction costs, time frame for the project and other contract particulars. In short the building contractor will sign the contract to say that they will do all of the work shown on the drawings for the fixed price stated and the customer accepts that if they make changes to the work shown on the drawings then they can expect to pay additional costs.”

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