Architect costs

How long is a piece of string? We’re looking to buy a small house, where we probably want to build an extension (probably just a 1 storey room at the back of the house, nothing too fancy). Before we put in an offer, we have to contemplate the costs of an architect. Because the house is close to a monument, we probably have to deal with Batiments de France for the permit, so we really do have to work with an architect (as far as I understand). My question is: What is a ball-park figure for an architect? Do they normally charge per hour or per project? Anybody out there who wants to share their experience? Thanks.

Hi Henriette

Just noticed the Batiment de France bit. I am involved with a renovation in the Charente, which involves BdF and have found they are helpful… but they know how they want things done and thus there choices are not not necessarily cheap.

If you are seriously interested in the purchase… a quick chat at the Mairie (with the person on charge of Buildings/Renovation or whatever)… in conjunction with BdF… might be helpful/useful for you… outline your thoughts and see if they come up with anything that might give you pause for thought. Better to be fully aware in advance… rather than finding it all too stressful/expensive later on…:slight_smile:

Thanks Stella. Do I understand it correctly that BdF has their own architects then? I thought you took your ‘own’ architect’s plan to BdF for approval?

The work my friends are undertaking does not involve architects… but every stage they wish to work on… this has to be discussed first with BdF… who will dictate what materials can be used, what designs are preferred, what colours are ok…etc etc…

BdF are very pleasant people and very understanding… working with them, rather than fighting them, has paid off.

In the first instance I discussed the project at the Mairie… to be sure we would be allowed to go ahead… and the Buildings lady there was au fait with the requirements of BdF and this helped us enormously.:relaxed:

… and there we go again, back to the mairie… Anybody else who can give me an idea about architect costs?

The only way to find out about architect costs will be to ask some architects. They are professional people and if you discuss your requirements with them they will provide you with a devis. Whether it is an hourly rate or a total cost will depend on their level of involvement.

It really is a piece of string question because one “probably one storey” extension can be very different kettle of fish from the next one-storey extension, and especially if BdF is going to specify the building style and materials to be used. What other people have paid for their extension could turn out to be streets away from what you would pay for yours. As David says, the only person who can give you a valid answer is an architect, who may be able to anticipate what conditions if any will be laid down by BdF.
If the building of the extension is a make or break factor in the purchase, I would suggest that you establish whether you would even get permission, before you go ahead, permission is not automatic.

I also found BdF very helpful - all I was doing was a ravalement de façade but a chap from BdF rang me up to make sure that I understood what materials to use and wasn’t planning to apply modern products to a 16th century building, that wouldn’t let the fabric “breathe”.

Thanks, I appreciate all the answers. It’s just that time is a bit of an issue, and I have never dealt with architects. Trying to figure out if it will be nearer to 1.500 or 15.000 kind of thing.

this might help you Henriette…

We’ve received help from Maisons Paysannes de France, an association which aims to protect vernacular architecture and increase public awareness of authentic and sustainable building techniques. It’s not expensive to join and you get access to recommended architects and specialists. We have been on several visits with our departmental branch, including visiting a site where various types of insulation were being tried out and days giving information on the use of local materials for exterior rendering. Worth considering if yours is an older property.

I’ve noticed the French attitude to new architecture is sometimes surprising - they’re sometimes more willing to take on a really daring architectural project in contemporary style than a pastiche.

I am a retired architect. Best thing is to schedule a meeting with a local architect and discuss your project. Many will not charge, and you may end up learning a lot of useful information. You might even decide that their knowledge and experience is worth a little extra cost. We’re usually friendly and don’t bite.

Thanks Nick, very reassuring, especially the non-biting bit. I’m not concerned about talking to an architect, it’s just hat I have a viewing very soon and I don’t have time to schedule an appointment with an architect before that. Just tried to have a rough idea in my head before I make any rash decisions. But I guess it really is like a piece of string… Thanks everybody for the replies.

Please don’t let yourself feel rushed into cutting corners. A “rough idea” that turns out to be wildly inaccurate because a crucial factor was totally left out of the equation, would be a false sense of security which is worse than no sense of security at all.

My husband is a british architect, 10 years experience in France. Please feel free to contact him for advice.
tel; 05 45 91 73 90 or e-mail at john.hartie@orange.fr

What areas does he cover? Where are you based?

Hello, thankyou for your reply.
We are based in La Rocheroucauld in the Charente;
My husband covers departments 16 17 24 36 79 86 and 87
Regards Kathleen Hartie

Message du 24/08/17 14:47
De : "Mat Davies"
A : john.hartie@orange.fr
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Objet : [Survive France] [Property & Home] Architect costs

Mat Davies

August 24

What areas does he cover? Where are you based?

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In Reply To

kathleen hartie

August 24

My husband is a british architect, 10 years experience in France. Please feel free to contact him for advice. tel; 05 45 91 73 90 or e-mail at john.hartie@orange.fr

That is a shame we are in 33.

@Henriette_Pols

Have you had your viewing yet ??? How are things going…:relaxed:

Mat,

Would you let me know where in dept. 33 you are and
roughly the size of your proposed project.

John Hartie

Message du 24/08/17 22:52
De : "Mat Davies"
A : john.hartie@orange.fr
Copie à :
Objet : [Survive France] [Property & Home] Architect costs

Mat Davies

August 24

That is a shame we are in 33.

Visit Topic or reply to this email to respond.

In Reply To

kathleen hartie

August 24

Hello, thankyou for your reply. We are based in La Rocheroucauld in the Charente; My husband covers departments 16 17 24 36 79 86 and 87 Regards Kathleen Hartie Message du 24/08/17 14:47 De : “Mat Davies” A : john.hartie@orange.fr Copie à : Objet : [Survive France] [Property & Home] Archite…

@kathleen_hartie

It is currently a small 80m2 house that we are looking to buy and convert to 160m2 by putting kitchen/diner and 2 bedrooms upstairs in existing stone barn to give 2 living rooms, 4 bedrooms + kitchen / diner.

It is a total renovation (roof currently leaking) near Castillon-la-Bataille.