DESIGN SERVICES & FEES

The office of residential architect John Milnes Baker

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John Milnes Baker's philosophy is simply this: "There should always be a place in our communities for comfortable, livable houses that express the character of the region, the site and the people who live in them...above all, let's build houses that live comfortably with their surroundings, are courteous to their neighbors, and are deferential to the environment."

Mr. Baker will gladly provide prospective clients with a list of representative former clients and references but only after an introductory meeting.

If you have an architectural question, give a call...I go anywhere once for a cup of coffee. -- JMB


HOW IT WORKS 

INTRODUCTORY CONSULTATION

The first step in any residential project is a meeting to discuss the clients goals, program, and the scope of the project. This meeting often includes a site visit to the property whether it is a new house or an existing house to be remodeled. The architect usually shares his portfolio with the perspective clients at this meeting, but more importantly, the architect should state how he would approach the design of their specific program. There is no charge for the Introductory Consultation.

INITIAL DESIGN STUDIES

Before "getting married" it is prudent to "get engaged." The architect may be retained by the prospective clients to proceed with Initial Design Studies. These take the form of exploratory designs complemented with numerous thumbnail sketches conveying a feeling for one or more possible design solutions. If the architect and the client are on the same wavelength and the relationship promises to be a fortuitous one, the project can then be formalized with a standard Owner/Architect Agreement form. The charge for this phase should be an agreed upon fixed fee and, though non-refundable, will be credited as payment-on-account toward the agreed upon architectural fee.

SEMI - STOCK PLANS

Mr. Baker also has a portfolio of house designs that are available to builders, developers, as well as individuals, where cost and time are of particular concern. He performs the same services that he would for any project, but the architectural fee is considerably reduced.


Whichever route one chooses, John Milnes Baker provides personal design services that includes working closely with his clients and with the contractor throughout the entire building project.


THE ARCHITECT'S FEE

NOTE: The following passage from an earlier AIA Web site was based on an Appendix in How to Build a House with an Architect. New York: Harper & Row, 1988 by John Milnes Baker, AIA

The architect's fee is usually a relatively small part of the cost of the entire building project, including the estimated construction cost (on which the architect's fee is computed), the furnishings and equipment, and the interest paid on the mortgage.

If you consider the cost of a house over a thirty year period, your actual expenditure is probably two and a half times the initial price tag. See a simplified hypothetical case for a new house:

Land Purchase Price $200,000
House Construction Cost $800,000
Landscaping, Driveway $  20,000
Architect's Fee @ 12.5% of Construction Cost $  75,000
Miscellaneous Closing Costs $    6,000
Interest on $500,000 Mortgage @ 4% x 30 years $859,320
Taxes @ $10,000 per Annum for 30 Years $300,000
TOTAL $2,260,320

 

The architect's fee, a one-time expense, is actually approximately 3.3% of the cost of the house over a thirty year period, not counting maintenance costs, which would reduce the architect's percentage even more.

If the mortgage accounts for 75%, instead of the 50% indicated in this example, the architect's percentage, overall, would be reduced to around 2.8%. It is also worth noting that, even with a tight set of plans and specs, the range of prices in competitive bidding often varies by more than the amount of the architect's fee.