10. Recommended Fees & Expenses
Table of Contents:
- 01. Defining Small Works
- 02. Building Operations
- 03. What are the stages of a building project?
- 04. Do I Need An Architect?
- 05. Employing An Architect
- 06. Architects Appointment
- 07. Architects' Services
- 08. Other Services
- 09. Conditions of Appointment
- 10. Recommended Fees & Expenses
PART 4. RECOMMENDED FEES AND EXPENSES
This part describes methods of calculating fees for the architect’s services and expenses. They are recommended and not mandatory. Fees may be based on a percentage of the total construction cost or on time expended, or may be a lump sum. This part should be read in conjunction with Parts 1,2 and 3
- SW4.1 Preliminary Services ( Part 1 ) are normally charged on a time basis and Basic Services on a percentage basis. Other
Services ( Part 2 ) are normally charged on a time or lump sum basis.
- SW4.2 The percentage fee scale shown in Figures 1&2 (below) are for use where the architect’s appointment is for the Basic Services described in Part 1 for new works having a total construction cost between £50,000 and £200,000. Where the total construction cost is less than £50,000 client and architect should agree an appropriate fee basis at the time of appointment
- SW4.3 Percentage fees are based on the total construction cost of the works; on the issue of the final certificate fees should be recalculated on the actual total construction cost. Where the client is the builder or supplies any material or labour, percentage
fees should be based on the architect’s estimate of the total construction cost of the works as if they had been carried out by a builder supplying all labour and materials on a contractual
- SW4.4 Buildings are divided into five classes for fee calculation purposes. For guidance only the building types most likely to fall into each class include:
- Class 1: Agricultural shed, stables.
- Class 2 Community halls; dormitory hostels; warehouses; workshops.
- Class 3 Factories; motor garages/showrooms; shops; offices; sports halls; clinics.
- Class 4 Food processing units; parsonages and manses; school buildings; health centres; churches; accommodation for the handicapped; surgeries.
- Class 5 Houses and flats for individual clients; dental surgeries.
Figure 1 – new works ~ indicative percentage fees*
Figure 2 – existing buildings ~ indicative percentage fees*
|Total construction cost||Class|
Time charge fee
- SW4.5 Time charges are based on hourly rates for principals and other technical staff. In assessing the hourly rate all relevant factors should be considered, including the complexity of the work, the qualifications, experience and responsibility of the architect, and the character of any negotiations. Hourly rates for principals shall be agreed. The hourly rare for technical staff should not be less than 18 pence per £100 of gross annual income. MBA time charge fees for small works are typically:
- director – £ 120/hr
- architect – £ 95/hr
- assistant – £ 45-65/hr
- SW4.6 The architect will maintain records of time spent on services performed on a time basis. The architect will make such records available to the client on reasonable request.
Lump sum fees
- SW4.7 The architect may agree with the client to charge a lump sum fee for any of the services described in Parts 1 and 2 in appropriate circumstances.
Works to existing buildings
- SW4.8 The percentage fee scales shown in Figure 2 (above) are for use where the architect’s appointment is for the Basic Services described in Part 1 for alterations or extensions to an existing building having a total construction cost between £50,000 and £200,000. Where the total construction cost is less than £50,000 client and architect should agree an appropriate fee basis at the time of the appointment.
- SW4.9 Where extensions to existing buildings are substantially independent, percentage fees should be as Figure 1 for new works, but the fee for those sections of the works which marry existing buildings to the new should be charged separately as Figure 2 applicable to an independent commission of similar value.
- SW4.10 Where the architect’s appointment is for repair and restoration work fees should be on a time basis; alternatively a percentage fee may be agreed.
- SW4.11 Where the architect’s appointment is in connection with works to a building of architectural or historic interest, or to a building in a conservation area, higher fees may be charged.
- SW4.12 By agreement the percentage of lump sum fee may be compounded to cover all or any part of the architect’s services and expenses. Interim payments
- SW4.13 Fees and expenses should be paid in instalments either at regular intervals or on completion of work stages of the Basic Sevices (Part 1)
- SW4.14 Where interim payment of percentage or lump sum fees is related to completion of work stages of the Basic Services the
recommended apportionment is as follows:
Work Stage Proportion
CD 35% 35% E 20% 55% FG 20% 75% HJKL 25% 100%
Interim payment should be based on the current estimated cost of the work. The apportionment of fees is a means of assessing interim payments and does not necessarily reflect the amount of work completed in any work stage. By agreement an adjustment in the apportionment may be made.
- SW4.15 Any sums remaining unpaid at the expiry of 30 days from the date of submission of the fee account shall bear interest thereafter, such interest to accrue from day to day at the rate of 8% per annum above the current base rate of the architect’s principal bank
- SW4.16 The architect may be required to provide part only of the Basic Services (Part 1)). In such cases the architect will be entitled to a commensurate fee. All percentage fees for partial services shall be based on the arhictect’s current estimate of the total construction cost of the works.
Suspension & Termination
- SW4.17 On suspension or termination of the architect’s appointment the architect will be entitled to fees for all work completed at that time. Fees will be charged on a partial service basis.
During such period of suspension the architect will be reimbursed by the client for all expenses and disbursements necessarily incurred under the appointment.
- SW4.19 Where the architect’s appointment is terminated by the client the architect will be reimbursed by the client for all expenses and disbursements necessarily incurred in connection with work then in progress and arising as a result of the termination.
Expenses & disbursements
- SW4.20 In addition to the fees charged the architect will be reimbursed for all expenses and disbursements properly incurred in connection with the appointment.
- SW4.12 The architect will maintain records of all such expenses and disbursement and will make these records available to the client on reasonable request.
- SW4.22 Expenses and disbursements may by agreement be estimated or standardised in whole or in part, or compounded for an increase in the percentage or lump sum fee.
Payment of statutory fees
- SW4.23 The client will pay all fees in respect of application under planning and building acts and other statutory requirements.
- SW4.24 Where the architect is involved in extra work and expense of reasons beyond the architect’s control additional fees are due.
Value Added Tax
- SW4.25 The amount of any Value Added Tax on the services and expenses of the architect arising under the Finance Act 1972 will be chargeable to the client in addition to the architect’s fee and expenses.
Indicative percentage fee scales.
These vay according to the type of project ( Class 1-5, see clause SW4.4 above), and the total construction cost.
These notes are based on the RIBA Architects Appointment Small Works 1990.
*Please note that recommended and indicative percentage fee scales were abolished by the RIBA in 2008.
For more general notes on architects fees, please see Marcus Beale’s lecture given at University of Cambridge in 2018. Downloadable here: 2018_Architects_Fees_Marcus_Beale_B.