Processes & Fees

We are a Registered Practice with the RIAI in accordance with the Building Control Act 2007. By education, training and experience we are equipped to advise on all matters related to building, to assist you in all stages of the building project and to administer the building contract impartially between the employer and the contractor. By engaging our services, you will have a project custom-designed to your specific requirements, making the best use of your budget.

The interactive diagram, to the right, explains the specific process that we follow for domestic projects to help our clients get the best results. Please click on each stage for more details.

For commercial projects please contact us for a quote.


architectural fees

Stage 1

1. Preliminary Project Report

Aim: Professional advice to get you started and moving in the right direction from day 1. It will become a guide for you which assesses the potential of the scheme with the view to aligning the scope of your project with your budget and timeline.

What we need form you: There are many possible design solutions for each project and a detailed brief will enable us to identify the most appropriate for your needs. If you wish to proceed please download our briefing document (here). It will assist you with clarifying your priorities, objectives and budget. This document will become the basis for our initial meeting.

Likely scope of work: Initial Client meeting & review of Client’s Brief and Budget. Site visit & outline survey. Desktop study & research with sketches for the report document.

Deliverables: The result of our work is a Preliminary Project Report, which summarises the scope of the project based on the previously agreed brief, impacts of decisions on the further development of the project, statutory obligations, energy efficiency advice, order of magnitude costs, grant availability & indicative timeframe. Order of Magnitude costs are derived from an indicative sketch design based on the brief. Further design development & detailed design will only be progressed once we have been engaged to develop the project (see stage 2)

Architects Fees: fixed fee €495 + VAT

Timeframe: completion of the report is usually 10-12 working days from the first site visit.

Stage 2

2. Concept Design

Aim: Clear design direction for your project.

What we need from you: Based on the report if you wish to proceed with your development you will engage us based on the standard RIAI conditions of engagement to develop your design. We will ask you to share any other design ideas, styles and requirements you may have. At the end of this stage we will agree on the design direction for your project with you.

Likely scope of work: Using our sketches, drawings, photomontages, 3D visualisations or miniature models we will present a design idea for your project. To achieve the most desirable results we encourage a close involvement in this process from your side. Finally we will agree the final design concept which takes into consideration the specific project constrains.

Deliverables: A set of study drawings will be produced at this stage which usually include plans, elevations, sections, diagrams and sometimes 3D visualisations which illustrate the agreed design concept for your project and include spatial relationships, scale, massing, form and materials.

Architects Fees: 20% of overall fee*

Timeframe: Varies, depending on the scale & complexity of the job, typically for a domestic new-build scenario: 4-6 weeks.

* Architects Fees for stages 2-4 explained: 8 -12% of the construction budget depending on the scale and complexity of the project


Stage 3

3. Developed Design & Statutory Compliance

Aim: Develop the concept design to a more detailed level to ensure compliance with planning & building regulations and to develop a more detailed cost plan for the building.

What we need from you: Appoint the recommended design team which may include a Quantity surveyor, Structural Engineer or other specialists as required. Although it is all in our hands from now on we will give you regular updates on the project development. We will arrange meetings to review some design elements such as finishes, windows etc.

Likely scope of work: We will be working on more detailed drawings and reports to ensure our design complies with building regulations. A more detailed cost plan will be prepared and analysed against the Client’s budget and expectations. We will coordinate the works of specialists consultants. Depending on the job’s complexity we will be working on elements like: universally accessible design, fire safety, sustainability, conservation issues, health & safety, landscape assessments, etc. For more complex projects we will meet with the Local Authority for a pre-planning meeting to review the proposal against the development plan before lodging the planning documentation. At the end of this stage we will submit any statutory consents required for the project (planning, Building Control etc))

Deliverables: Developed design drawings & documentation for a Planning application, Design and Assigned Certifier documentation and other relevant reports as required by the Local Authority.

Architects Fees: 30% of overall fee*

Timeframe: Varies, depending on the scale & complexity of the job, typically for a domestic new-build scenario: 6 weeks for the documentation plus statutory timeframes (click here for our guide to the planning process)

* Architects Fees for stages 2-4 explained: 8 -12% of the construction budget depending on the scale and complexity of the project

Stage 4

4. Tender

Aim: To provide detailed construction documents (drawings & specification) for tendering to builders that are easy to read, cost effective and minimise the chance of variations as well as specifying the quality standards to which the project must be constructed. The Contractor and the Client understand their contractual obligations, the full scope of works, the quality of the works, the timescale and the cost.

What we need from you: Some decisions on the final details of the design work may need to be done. Hiring a competent contractor at the end of the tender process.

Likely scope of work: We will develop the detail design and specifications for the project, including construction details, site works, finishes and fittings as appropriate at this stage of the project. We will further incorporate the detailed work of any consultants and incorporate statutory requirements and any changes as required under a Grant of Planning Permission as appropriate at this stage of the project. Forms of Tender will be prepared for the main Contractor and any specialist subcontracts and materials circulated to tenderers. After tenders have been completed & returned we will, together with Quantity Surveyor, review all of the competitive tenderers, negotiate and advise the Client on the competency /suitability of builders. We will advise on the form of construction contract to use. If you do not wish to tender the project and have a contractor in mind, we can assist in the price negotiation process. Some adjustments to the specification and scope of works may be necessary to keep the project within your budget limits. All relevant Certification and documentation for the Assigned Certifier will be produced for approval.

Deliverables: Detailed set of drawings, specifications and relevant reports which precisely describe the scope, details, materials, timescale of works. Standard RIAI contracts are drafted for signing by the Client & the Contractor.

Architects Fees: 50% of overall fee*

Timeframe: Varies, depending on the scale & complexity of the job, typically for a domestic new-built scenario: 8-12 weeks of production of the documentation plus 5 weeks for tender return, review and negotiations.

* Architects Fees for stages 2-4 explained: 8 -12% of the construction budget depending on the scale and complexity of the project

Stage 5

5. Site works and completion

Aim: Your ambitions realised to the highest quality, within the budget and on programme.

What we need from you: Make other statutory appointments as required for the construction stage such as Assigned Certifier, PSDP etc. Complete the Client section of the commencement notice prior to starting works. During construction it is best that you do not give instructions directly to the contractor, a simple change may have cost and time implications which are not easily foreseen. If you think you do need to make changes, discuss these with us to make sure that they are necessary and so that any additional cost can be established and controlled. The Client will make regular payments to the contractor based on the Architects certificates for completed works.

Likely scope of work: During the construction stage we administer the building contract between you and the Contractor. We will  liaise with the builder but be independent of him, inspecting the work at intervals on your behalf to ensure that that the contractor is fulfilling his obligations to you as the Client. The inspections seek to confirm that:

  • works are carried out generally in accordance with the contract documents,
  • the workmanship is of a good standard,
  • the works are proceeding diligently and in accordance with the programme.

When construction work accords with the contract documents, issue the client with certificates of payment due to the contractor. Different situations may require the architect to alter elements of the design, details or specifications to complete the project as the project evolves. We document & notify the Contractor of any defects that require remedial work and inspect the making good of defects during the works. With the completion of the building works the architect issues a certificate of Practical Completion and along with the QS, establishes the final account. The contract may define a defects liability period when the contractor can be asked to come back and make good any defects that might arise due to their construction work. We may be involved in inspecting the work at the end of the defects liability period (normally 6 – 12 months after the completion of the project).

Deliverables: Issue site inspection reports, Advise on changes & cost implications, Administer the Building Contract, Issue Payment Certificates, Coordinate the handover of the completed building with ‘as built drawings’ manuals and opinions on compliance as required.

Architects Fees: will be calculated per site visit of €285 + VAT. Additional works resulting from client initiated changes to the agreed scope of works will be charged at a rate of €65 per hour + VAT as well as any additional inspections required.

Timeframe: Varies depending on scale, complexity and construction technology used.