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What are the Architect Fees for an Extension? Do You Even Need an Architect?

Architect fees depend on the firm you use and the complexity of your home extension project, but in general, you can expect to pay significantly more to use an architect for your extension than if you used a design and build company. Here’s how much an architect will cost and whether or not you need to use an architect at all.

How Much Does an Architect Cost for a House Extension?

In general, you can expect architecture fees to be 5-10% of the cost of your house extension. So, if your overall project is expected to cost £80,000, you should add an additional £4,000-8,000 for your architect. This is a significant fee that takes money away from your renovation and refurnishing your space, so it’s highly recommended that you get several quotes from different architects or use this cost calculator from our design and build company in London to get a clear idea of how much your extension will cost. 

The Different Ways in Which Architects Charge for their Work

Again, this varies depending on the firm you employ. Generally, an architect will charge you one of four ways:

  • Percentage of the project – This is a common charging method and, as we mentioned above, it will be 5-10% of the total project cost. As a result, it is very important to have a clear idea of how much your extension should cost to build this into your budget.
  • Fixed fee – Some architects charge a fixed fee, so no matter how much or how small your project costs, their fee stays the same. They will determine this fee based on how much work they think they will need to put into your project. The fee will be higher if you want them to take on additional roles in the project, such as project management.
  • Hourly fee – This is the way a lot of other professional services operate. For architects in the UK, you can expect to pay £50-90 per hour. In this fee system, it’s important to understand how many hours they expect to work on your project, especially if you need them to draw up different plans or project manage the extension. However, this is difficult to estimate because if it turns out to need more hours than the architect originally projected, your fees are going to be higher.
  • Mixed fee structure – This is a combination of fixed and hourly fees, where some services have a fixed rate and others don’t. For example, they may have a fixed fee of £300-500 for a site survey and an hourly fee for drawing up your plans.

What’s Included in an Architect’s Fees

Generally, the architect’s fee covers:

  • Up-to-date drawings of your existing house plan
  • Architectural drawings of the extension
  • Technical drawings for building regulations and construction
  • A planning package

Additionally, they may be able to offer you:

  • Sourcing of contractors
  • Project management services
  • Contract administration
  • Feasibility studies
  • Planning permission and permit applications
  • Historic preservation research

What Can Affect Architect’s Fees?

One of the biggest influences on an architect’s fees is the project itself, after all, a massive extension to a listed home in the heart of London is going to be very different in planning and execution than a small kitchen extension in a suburban home. Here are the main factors influencing the cost of having an architect:

  • Prestige – A very well-known, award-winning firm in London will charge you higher fees than a small, relatively unknown firm.
  • Location – For example, London is much more expensive than other cities or even outlying towns, so your postcode plays a big role in determining architect costs.
  • Size/scope – Architect fees for small extensions are naturally lower than for larger ones.
  • Complexity – A more straightforward extension will cost you less in architect fees than one that is more difficult, for example, if access is very difficult, it’s a listed building, if you need excavation, or if you are dramatically changing your home.

Do I Need an Architect for an Extension?

For most extensions, you don’t need an architect at all. It’s not even a legal requirement to hire an architect or get architect drawings in the UK for projects of any size. But unless you have a lot of building experience yourself, it’s good to have professionals assist you with designing and building your extension, even if it’s a small extension.

Hiring an architect can be very expensive and not always worth it if you have a look at the alternatives, which include a design and build company. Of course, it’s best to use a company that has a good track record and a team of design and construction specialists to make sure your extension is elegant, fits your lifestyle, and lasts a lifetime.

Read more about building regulations in the UK.

Using a Design and Build Company for Your Extension

If you want the same quality and design focus as an architect-driven build combined with greater affordability and a faster timeline to completion, it’s time to give the Plus Rooms team a call. We are an experienced, full-service design and construction business in London, handling every aspect of your construction project from start to finish – quickly, cleanly, and ensuring the highest quality design and build results at every step.

You can use our cost calculator to get a clear idea of how much your home extension will cost and where those costs lie.

We have an exceptional track record of completing over 1,400 projects in homes throughout London to world-class standards. In addition to handling small home extensions and kitchen extensions, we also specialise in single storey, double storey, and loft extensions. Contact us today or visit our gallery to see how our talented and experienced design and build company delivers exceptional results – for less.

Inspirational Open Plan Kitchen Design Ideas – Bringing in Light and Space

Versatile and functional, the open plan kitchen isn’t going anywhere. The best news is that this design can be achieved in almost any home, regardless of the current kitchen size. In this guide, we’ll chat about the benefits of this design, how to best achieve it, and give you creative tips and open plan kitchen design ideas – all from an experienced, leading design and build company in London.

The Benefits of an Open Plan Kitchen

Let’s start with why an open concept or open plan kitchen design is such a favourite. Whether you’re living on your own or have a family, your home is modern or traditional, or your style is classic or eclectic, open plan works for them all. Here’s why.

Interaction – The kitchen is the heart of the modern home and open concept designs ensure that it functions this way. When you’re in this type of kitchen, you’re not isolated. You can socialise with friends and family, keep an eye on the kids as they play or do homework, enjoy music and TV, and simply stay part of your daily routines. This Kew kitchen renovation is great inspiration for creating a social space.

Open plan kitchen design in Kew, London.

Natural light – These designs allow for a better flow of light through the home, which is often a massive challenge in traditional and terrace homes. By moving your living, cooking, and entertaining space into one area, you take out walls that are blocking light, bring in sunlight from different sides of the space, and get great views too. You can also maximise this further with glass folding or sliding doors, large windows, and skylights, like this kitchen renovation in Tooting Bec.

Open plan kitchen design in Tooting, London.

Easy traffic flow – The kitchen and living areas are busy spaces and open plan kitchen design is a great way of keeping everyone from standing on each other’s toes. In this East Dulwich kitchen renovation, a small wraparound extension and the elimination of unnecessary interior walls make a mid-terrace home much more spacious, efficient, and easier to move through while still keeping functionality at your fingertips.

Open plan kitchen design in East Dulwich, London.

More space – Open concept design doesn’t just feel more spacious – it is more spacious. In this kitchen renovation in Ealing, a traditional terrace home is given a small wraparound kitchen extension as well as a design that creates plenty of functional space, including a large designer kitchen, new WC and coat space, utility room, and more.

Open plan kitchen design in Ealing, London.

Things to Consider When Designing an Open Plan Kitchen

If all that sounds great to you, the next step is to think about what to include in your design and how to do it. Of course, our design and build team is here to assist you every step of the way, but here are some key things to think about while you’re looking for inspiration.

How you want to use the space – Consider your lifestyle and what your future plans are to determine what goes into your open plan space and what your priorities are. Your most important features will get the most attention and features that will focus the design. For example, you may want a chill-out TV area where kids can play or you can relax. Or you may prefer a glamorous dining table space or a simple, chic kitchen island diner.

Open plan kitchen design with TV area in Ealing, London.

Make the most of your view – Maximising light and spaciousness come with great views of your garden, so plan your design to make the most of it. Create a flowing indoor-outdoor living environment like this kitchen renovation in Stoke Newington and make the most of nature and your views like this project in Strawberry Hill.

Open plan kitchen design in Twickenham, London.

Create zones – Because these are multi-use spaces, the kitchen design and furnishings rather than walls will be used to create zones. Some great kitchen design ideas include using a kitchen island to zone off the cooking area from the dining space, bookshelves or cabinetry to zone off eating and lounge areas, or leaving elements of the structure in place to create broken-plan living spaces.

Open plan kitchen design in Barnet, London.

How to Make the Most of a Small Space

Open plan living is very effective in small spaces, giving you more useful floor area by removing unnecessary walls and doors. Here are a few things to consider when designing small kitchen spaces.

Extensions – Add more floor space by extending your open plan design out into your garden or side return. Just 1.5 metres worth of extension like in this East Dulwich project can transform a small kitchen space.

Kitchen extension in East Dulwich, London.

Go up with a vaulted ceiling – Adding space vertically with a vaulted ceiling immediately adds light, drama, and spaciousness to small kitchens. Take a look at the results in this Southwark open plan kitchen design.

Kitchen in Southwark with vaulted ceiling.

Galley layout – Galley kitchens are highly efficient and well-suited to small kitchen spaces, creating a chic, simple, yet practical result like in this East Dulwich home.

Galley kitchen in East Dulwich, London.

Incorporate a kitchen island – A slimline kitchen island like the one in this Wandsworth terrace renovation is an excellent addition to a small kitchen, giving you counter and dining space, storage space, and supporting traffic flow.

Open plan kitchen design in Wandsworth with kitchen island.

See more kitchen design ideas here.

Choose a Leading Design and Build Company in London for Your Open Plan Home Renovation

At Plus Rooms, a design and build company in London, we’ve worked on over 1,400 freestanding homes, terrace homes, and other residential properties to deliver bespoke kitchen extensions in the UK. We will lead you through the process from start to finish, helping you get the best floor plan, features, and quality for your budget whether your project is large or small. Contact us today to start the journey to your dream home.