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How much does an Architect cost?

$50 - $250 per hour

    How Much Does an Architect Cost?

    The cost to hire an architect can vary drastically as a site inspection is essential to get the best quote. An architect can cost anywhere from $800 to $4,500 to design renovations for a home, building, or development project.

    Below is the average cost of an architect job across different Australian states.

    State Average Cost
    NSW $3200
    VIC $4400
    WA $2300
    SA $3500
    QLD $2000


    How Do You Get Started?

    Schedule a meeting with an architect and have your budget ready and as thorough as possible. Your budget is a core focal point to understand whether an architect can meet your vision with your proposed budget. 

    Comparing your budget to your architect’s quote is significantly important. When the architect begins their work, they should send you progress reports such as detailed design plans and 3D rendering that will illustrate what your home or building would look like from different angles.

    Hiring an architect is a collaborative effort between you and the architect and requires clear communication. Deciding on your payment option is a necessary step during the beginning of your journey with your architect. This will ensure you receive your architecture plans and support from your architect.

    Council approval is your next step. You will need to supply the council your architectural plans before finding the right contractors to bring your vision to life. Once you have received council approval, have your contract with your architect organised, plan a date to start the build, and ask the architect for any advice that you will need during the build. Your architect will either begin to support your contractor and watch over the build or only be part of the design stage of your renovation or build.

    Different Types of Architects and Fee Structures

    Types of architects

    The main types of architects include: 

    • Residential: These architects design homes and houses within neighbourhoods and provide clients with spatial and functional requirements, design plans, estimate the cost of materials and services and the time needed for the construction.  
    • Commercial: Commercial architects specialise in non-residential buildings that require construction and engineering skills and a creative eye. These architects require full awareness and understanding of building codes and safety regulations.
    • Landscape: The main focus is on outdoor spaces such as public spaces, parks, and gardens and creates engaging and efficient environments for the public.

    Other types of architects include city planners, environment or green architects, urban and industrial. With such a range of industries architects can cater to, this makes it difficult to develop price estimates without a site inspection first. Also, the pricing can change if you are needing designs for the internal and external areas of your home or building.

    Types of fee structures

    • Fixed fees: Are set before the job even starts. You may be asked to pay for the project upfront or make a split payment of a deposit and the final payment once the work is complete.
    • Percentage fees: Are a percentage of the estimate of the total cost of the project and can range from 5% to 20%. This option allows for flexibility for the architect to make changes during the progression of the design and build.
    • Hourly fees: Are charged when the architect simply charges you for their time by the hour. This may be the best option if you have a smaller project.

    The more intensive the project, the more time an architect will require to complete the project.

    Front of a house with curved architecture surrounding windows and front door.

    The impact of architecture. | Source: Ezer Styles Architecture

    Architect, Drafter or Building Designer?

    You may have come across a drafter and building designer when searching for an architect online. These professionals have varying roles and responsibilities and understanding these can provide insight into why often architects have higher fees.  

    An architect creates a full design of your building including everything from every single door in your home to the setup of the infrastructure. Within Australia, architects must be Board-registered with a recognised University degree and at least 2-years on-job experience. With higher qualifications and experience, this is one reason why architects can often charge higher prices.

    A drafter has similar role, with the ability to draw and design buildings. Professionals in this role often study at TAFE to gain experience. Drafters can dedicate their career to focussing on their drawing abilities and reflect this in their architectural designs. 

    A building designer also has formal licensing and education with their work varying from individual homes, public buildings or apartments. Drafters can become a building designer from the licensing process.

    White timber table dining setting in a room with dark walls, floors and white ceiling with hanging circular lights.

    Residential architecture. | Source: In Design International Pty Ltd

    Does the Cost Vary Based on Location?

    Architects prices can range significantly depending on the region you are located, for example within larger cities fees may be higher as architects need extensive knowledge of building codes and safety regulations. Costs can also vary depending on if it is remodeling or new construction project.

    Based on previous Oneflare data, businesses in Sydney have charged approximately $800 to $1,200 to design renovations for a kitchen, bathroom, and laundry within an existing home. While in Brisbane architects have charged approximately $2,000 to $4,500 for a full design of a property with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, laundry, and kitchen. 

    Ultimately, the pricing is very dependent on the complexity and time needed for the project.

    Street view of a half red brick, half dark grey rendered house with unusual architecture.

    Modern-day architecture. | Source: Architest

    Tips on How to Create an Accurate Estimate

    Tip #1: Your Budget

    Getting the most accurate estimate requires having the most thorough budget as possible. Having a clear budget can allow architects to understand whether or not they can design your vision. The estimate of your budget should also include building works and setting aside funding for emergencies. 

    An accurate estimate should account for every detail you can think of within your home or building. You should share these ideas with your architect so they can provide you with the most accurate quote.

    Tip #2: Multiple Quotes

    Meet with as many architects as you can, particularly if the build is a large and complex project. This will allow you to determine how different architects see your vision and receive different quotes. Architects also have a code of conduct they must follow, including baring your budget in mind.

    How to Hire an Architect

    When meeting with multiple architects, this gives you the opportunity to see their previous work and track record. Pick the architect that understands your vision but doesn’t neglect your budget. Developing a good relationship with your architect is important to create a positive experience.

    You should also clarify whether your architect will be with you through the whole process or only to complete the design of the building. You should prepare questions for meeting with your architect to develop an overall understanding of how they work, their designs and whether they are the right fit for you.

    Tips on How to Save Money when Hiring an Architect

    Tip #1: Have a clear vision and budget

    Develop a clear vision and budget for your project that you can run by your architect before you get started. This will allow you to be on the same page with your architect from the beginning of the process straight to the end of your interaction.

    Tip #2: Be on the same page for the payment option

    Having a clear agreement of the payment option with your architect is important to keep costs as close to your budget as possible. The budget should also be outlined in your contract and agreement with the architect, as architects have a code of conduct they must follow which includes respecting your budget. You can refer to the NSW Government ‘Working with Your Architect Consumer Guide’ for more information.


    * The cost data is based on Oneflare and third-party sources

    Real Oneflare Customer Quotes

    Vanessa's Architect Job

    Location PinInner South West Sydney, NSW
    Job type

    Architect plans




    Kitchen, bathroom and bedroom extension

    $800inc. gst

    Quoted by VNdraft PTY LTD

    Ali's Architect Job

    Location PinSydney, NSW
    Job type

    Architect plans

    Number of rooms

    4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms

    Size of project


    $3500inc. gst

    Quoted by Cactus Design and Drafting

    Steve's Architect Job

    Location PinSunshine Coast, QLD
    Job type

    Architect plans

    Number of rooms

    1 bedroom and 1 bathroom

    Builders required


    $500inc. gst

    Quoted by Arise Design And Drafting

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