How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Architect?


(for a residential construction project)
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Architect Costs

Professionals & Services Cost Guides      Architects      Architect Costs

Hiring an architect is a necessary step in constructing any new structure or performing a major renovation of an existing structure. Both residential and commercial construction projects that involve a newly-constructed addition, house, building, garage, or other structures require an architect to draft and approve the site blueprints. Some may also assist with designing a custom building, which can add to the cost of their service.

The cost of hiring an architect for a construction project depends largely on the region, architect job-specific duties, and the size and scope of the construction that is taking place. Homeowners have the choice to hire a draftsman for basic construction blueprints, but they still need approval from an architect and a structural engineer, so the extra steps might not be worth the cost for some.

An architect may charge hourly rates, square footage rates, or a percentage of the project cost, depending on their fee structure.

Architect services: for a residential construction project.

Item Cost
Blueprint review and approval $800-$1,000
Administration: managing plans and overseeing contractor and structural engineer’s adherence to building plans. $800-$1,500
Blueprint/project design: can easily exceed the high average for custom plans or intricate designs. $1,200-$2,500
Total Cost $2,800-$5,000


Hiring an architect: average hourly rates for architect services based on role/level/technical expertise.

Item Cost
Draftsman: can draft basic plans, used instead of architect for smaller jobs or budgets. $100-$130 per hour
Principal architect: oversees the entire firm. $135-$175 per hour
Project manager: 10+ years of experience, responsible for managing multiple projects and teams. $95-$125 per hour
Intern architect I: 3-5 years of professional experience, work managed and delegated by higher roles within the firm. $60-$75 per hour
Intern architect II: 6-8 years experience, usually responsible for daily design and technical developments, still overseen by others. $80-$85 per hour


Other considerations and costs

  • For the most part, architects prefer to work on a percentage basis. However, if the full scope of the project is unknown, hourly rates are an easy way for architects to charge for their services.
  • Regardless of the rate type, you should never spend more than 15-20% of the total project budget on an architect for a remodel. For new construction, their rates average between five and 15 percent.
  • On the high end, you can expect to pay upwards of four times the averages listed in the first table. This will be the case in larger projects and custom home designs.

DIY considerations

  • A construction or renovation project requires structural blueprint drafts that need to be drawn up by a draftsman or an architect using CAD software and other technology tools. Although you may be able to assist them by providing a sketch of your ideas, only a licensed draftsman or architect can actually design and approve residential and commercial building plans.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to hire an architect in your city?
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Cost by city

(for a residential construction project)
  • New York, NY$6,265
  • Bronx, NY$5,148
  • Brooklyn, NY$4,291
  • Philadelphia, PA$5,353
  • Washington, DC$4,645
  • Atlanta, GA$4,202
  • Miami, FL$3,822
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$4,004
  • Minneapolis, MN$4,697
  • Chicago, IL$5,472
  • Houston, TX$5,644
  • San Antonio, TX$3,789
  • Austin, TX$4,290
  • Denver, CO$3,625
  • Phoenix, AZ$3,824
  • Las Vegas, NV$4,197
  • Los Angeles, CA$4,729
  • San Diego, CA$4,292
  • San Jose, CA$5,184
  • Seattle, WA$3,795

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours:

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