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Setting Expectations for first-time remodelers: Cost, Quality, and Time

Updated: Apr 17


Navigating the Architect Selection Process:


So, you're diving into the exciting journey of building or remodeling your first home—congratulations! Now comes the crucial step of finding the architect who can bring your Pinterest dreams to life. My advice? Start local and seek out architects whose portfolios align with your style. If you're in a bustling city, consider gathering a few bids to compare.


Understanding Architectural Fees:


As you review architecture contracts, you'll likely notice fees ranging from 8-12% of the construction budget, sometimes more, especially for remodels. Understandably, this might raise eyebrows—why should fees correlate with the construction budget? Well, take a deep breath, and let's break it down.

The 8-12% fee range is an industry-standard, reflecting the time and effort architects invest in your project. Each firm may have a different approach to fees, but the goal remains the same: cover costs while delivering quality. If you're comparing bids, it's essential to ensure you're comparing apples to apples—scrutinize each proposal to understand what's included and weigh those services against the cost. Ask the architect to go over the contract with you.


Exploring Fee Structures:


If the percentage-based fee structure feels uncomfortable, you can opt for an hourly fee arrangement with both the architect and contractor, capped at a fixed amount. This allows for flexibility and transparency, with a focus on your best interests and project quality. However, in my experience, these fee structures often balance out in cost and may introduce added administrative complexities.


Setting Realistic Expectations:


Before diving in, it's crucial to set realistic expectations. Every project involves a delicate balance of scope, time, and price. Altering one aspect without adjusting the others can compromise quality and lead to headaches down the road. Remember, quality is paramount—choose wisely, trust your architect and contractor, and rest assured they'll deliver on your dreams.


In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." Let's ensure your project leaves a sweet taste for years to come. Good luck, and don't hesitate to reach out if you need guidance along the way!

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