Build It - - EXPERT HELP -

The idea that ar­chi­tects are al­ways ex­pen­sive is a myth. There are a few top in­di­vid­u­als who com­mand daunt­ing fees and are only ap­pro­pri­ate for wealthy clients. How­ever, the re­al­ity is that most of us make a mod­est liv­ing.

To put it into con­text, sur­veys of av­er­age in­come con­sis­tently show that or­di­nary mem­bers of the pro­fes­sion earn less than many other con­struc­tion spe­cial­ists – 10% less than a brick­layer or scaf­folder and around £10,000 less an­nu­ally than a plumber. Ar­chi­tects could seem ex­pen­sive be­cause you’re not buy­ing some­thing solid that goes into your home, like bricks or a boiler; in­stead you’re get­ting time and skill, which are hard to quan­tify.

A po­ten­tial client re­cently ex­plained to me her doubts about how to choose a de­signer be­cause she wouldn’t know if she was get­ting good value for money un­til the work was well un­der­way. All I could say is that she should look at pre­vi­ous projects, talk to the peo­ple who com­mis­sioned them and then de­cide who she con­sid­ered the most com­pe­tent and trust­wor­thy. Ob­vi­ously, the fee has to be com­pet­i­tive, but cost ef­fec­tive­ness will de­pend on how well the cho­sen pro­fes­sional does their job. The right firm for her will eas­ily cover the costs, as well as de­liv­er­ing a won­der­ful home.

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