How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Architect in New Jersey?

Posted on:  February 20, 2021

Executing an efficient and rewarding home remodel in New Jersey doesn’t happen by chance. It’s the byproduct of careful planning and design.

For this part of the process, homeowners have traditionally relied on the help of an architect, interior designer, kitchen designer, or all. A builder is then brought on for the actual construction portion of the home renovation. If you decide to go that route for your upcoming project, it’s important to include architect fees in your budget, along with your other expenses.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Architect in New Jersey for Your Home Remodel Project? | JMC Home Improvement Specialists

How Much Does an Architect Cost for a Remodel?

It can be difficult to know just how much to set aside for an architect when embarking on a residential renovation. Fee structures and costs vary between firms and individual professionals. It also depends on the type of home improvement you’re aiming for. More complex projects like whole home remodels or expansions require more time and effort than designing a bathroom or kitchen remodel. The cost also may vary depending on whether you hire an independent contractor or go through an architecture agency.

In general, most professionals charge using one of the following pay structures:


1. Percentage of Construction

Some firms offer their residential architectural fee as a percentage of your overall construction cost. You determine at the start of the design phase what that set percentage will be. Often, it ranges between 10% to 20% of your total project price. For a minor kitchen upgrade of about $35,000, you would pay approximately $3,500 to $7,000 in architectural fees, while a lofty $150,000 whole home remodel would run closer to $15,000 to $30,000. On one hand, this approach helps ensure your architect fees are proportionate to the size, scope and price of your project; you can scale up or down depending on your budget. However, it also means your architect fees may be higher than you expected if complications arise during the construction phase and spike your total project costs.


2. Hourly Fee

Another fee structure occasionally used by architects is to charge you by the hour. This method is fairly straightforward: The firm shares with you hourly rates for architectural services, which tend to run between $150 and $250 per hour. You will then be billed for the number of hours completed throughout the project or at the end of it. However, the overall cost you will pay to hire the architect is more convoluted. You have no way of knowing in advance how many hours of work are required or that the architect will invest into your remodeling project in New Jersey. If the design plans take longer than anticipated to complete, this could end up being a much larger expense than you originally budgeted for.


3. Flat Rate

If you want to know exactly how much you’ll pay for your architect upfront, you should look for a firm that offers a flat rate for its services. This method establishes a shared expectation from the start, giving both you and the architect a solid number to work with. To derive a flat rate for you, the company will first conduct a thorough evaluation of your project. You then may pay the fee in installments as various milestones are met during the course of the project, or you could pay a lump sum once the work is finished.


4. Price Per Square Foot

Finally, there is the option of charging architectural fees per square foot. This enables you and the firm to base your cost on the scope and complexity of the project. However, it doesn’t always translate well for expansions. You may decide to add a couple hundred square feet onto your kitchen, but enlarging a space is much more complex than simply redesigning one. For this type of fee structure, you should expect to pay about $5 to $10 per square foot.


Using Design-Build for Your New Jersey Remodel

While using an independent architect or firm to design your residential remodel in New Jersey may seem like a no-brainer, it also gives you one more contract to manage that is separate from your builder. Plus, there’s always the risk that the design could be more difficult to construct than you imagined and, subsequently, more costly, forcing you to revisit the plans with your architect and make adjustments to get back on budget.

In contrast, the design-build remodeling approach provides you with all the professional services you need for your project—including an architect or architectural drafter—under a single source. This one-source-accountability approach streamlines the remodeling process and helps prevent potential miscommunications between the architect and builder.

You have one project manager overseeing your home remodel from start to finish. The person actually handling construction also has the ability to provide valuable, first-hand knowledge and insight to ensure the plans are feasible and cost-effective. Your team can implement value-engineering during the design phase without cutting corners or creating potential issues that could crop up onsite during construction.

If a problem arises, you don’t have to deal with finger-pointing or trying to track down who is responsible. Your whole design-build remodeling team will work together to develop a creative, cost-effective solution to keep the project moving forward.


Designing Your Home Renovation in Morristown, New Jersey

Going with a design-build approach doesn’t mean you won’t have access to architectural services for your home remodel in Morris, Essex, or Union county. It simply means you’ll have access to a whole lot more. With JMC Home Improvement Specialist, your architect is working as part of a team, rather than independently. This enables us to have control over the schedule, the quality of work performed in your home, and the outcome. It also streamlines the budgeting process so you’re not having to manage two contracts or plan for separate architectural fees.


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