Architect cost survey 2021

architect cost survey 2021

A while ago we did an architect cost survey with some architects and building professionals on our website to get an indication of the fees for preparing plans and certifying a house extension of 40m2 or more.  We also asked them for any hints or tips they would have in order to have the best experience.  Here is a sample of the replies we received below:-

Graham from Dublin: It’s difficult to answer that question as most will charge based on a % of construction cost. I don’t do this for the smaller residential projects. For an extension up to 40sqm with standard design its approximately: 3-5K up to planning, 3-5K for Tender and 3-7K for on site inspection/sign off.

My advice would be the cost of my (and other Architects) fees increases with the work involved, If the client knows what they want they should be very clear in that in the design brief. It quickens the process reduces time and work load. If the client does not know what they want it can take a bit longer to get the design bottomed out and this obviously takes a bit longer.

Alan from Wexford: 10% the cost of job ie 40 sq meter job would be about EUR4000 plus vat

Declan from Galway: My fees working out as typically 13% of total project cost – minus the vat on build cost.  Sometimes I’ll do a fixed fee for a particular project. I credit as one element that kept my business alive during the last recession.

Michael from Waterford:  A rough idea would be € 4,500 (plus VAT) minimum from initial meeting to turning the key, the more complex the design, the more the cost. Regarding job description, as much as possible and as clear as possible, write down your description, give it to someone to read, and alter accordingly, if you don’t alter there is something wrong !

Denis from Cork: It is difficult to provide any accurate price as properties vary so much and any extension will usually involve other alterations to the existing house layout.

The works will require a survey of the existing house & site, plans prepared of the existing house and site, plans of the proposed works, tender documents and specifications, health and safety plan and about 5-6 inspections minimum during construction.

A person should allow a budget price for architect/engineer fees in the region of €3000 to €4000 plus VAT.

Sandra from Dublin: The most important thing is to ask for references, the more the merrier. And then call/ email them to enquire. Ask for their experience with the quality of workmanship, price, punctuality, cleanininess, waste management, warranties after the job is done, dealing with the defects, etc.

Patrick from Kildare: What you are asking seems very straight forward but in reality there are so many influencing factors, that I cannot give a straight forward answer. There are many stages to delivering a successful construction project; concept, planning (if required), tender, contact administration [between client and builder], Building Control Management System (BCMS), Construction supervision and or Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP), Snag and hand over back to client. On jobs of a certain size, the PSDP is a legal requirement and responsibility on the client to fulfil.

You can see there are a lot of services offered, you might not need all of them and some of them might be more detailed than first appear. For example, certifying a development. This not only requires a full set of detailed construction drawings, but also several visits to site during the build at the various milestones – foundations, first floor level, roof level, etc.

We operate a ‘one stop shop’ for all your construction needs. Our services also include services like engineering, BER rating, etc. All of our services are provided for under our roof. Our feedback now is that the average extension now costs between €120,000 to €150,000 euro. Our fees for the services listed above, a start to finish job, would be typically between €8,000 to €10,000 euro.

In terms of tips, here a few that I would recommend:- Budget – take the time and sort your finances out first. Cannot stress that enough. Refer to the article from the ‘Sunday Business Post’ (dated 12th of September 2021), explaining the recent rise in building costs. Be very upfront about how much you have to spend. That will save a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

Wish List – Have you and your partner write down a wish list about what you want from the project. Just so that you are on the same page. Equally and as important write a list of what they DONT like about existing house. The act of sitting down to do this will make them really think about the project.

Hidden Costs – Watch out for hidden costs in general, ask your construction professional to try and foresee all the associated costs. For example, waste water treatment systems. These systems are based on number of bedrooms. If you are extending your home and adding additional bedrooms you will have to prove that your treatment system has the capacity to deal with the extra volume. If not the local Authority will make you upgrade your system. That can be an additional cost of about €10,000 – €13,000 euro!

Payment – Try to engage a construction professional that operates off a ‘fixed fee’, rather than a percentage of build costs. This is very fair, you can agree fees in advance so you know what you have to pay. {this is how we operate}.

Communication – communication, communication communication, this is my mantra. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and ask for what you want. After all you will be living here and its your hard earned cash paying for it! We are not saying being rude, but be honest, you wont hurt the professionals feelings. Also worth remembering, the construction professional is in your corner, on your side.

Selection – When selecting a construction professional talk to them and see if you get on or can see yourself building a relationship with them. Yes, have a look at their previous work, but that is not set in stone as the design will be bespoke and tailored to your liking and needs. Make sure the person understands you.

Each project is different, each site is different with its own unique set of constraints. For us its not a one price or one design fits all, there are other factors influencing the projects complexity and that is reflected in the price.


I hope this helps home owners who are planning a house extension in the near future.  Even where planning is not required, we would recommend that you seek the services of an architect, building surveyor and/or a building engineer when carrying out any kind of building works on your home as it is important to have a qualified expert to supervise and sign off on certain stages of build.

If you are looking for a number of quotes from architects, please feel free to post your job here and we’ll send it out for you asap.

At, we are continuing to provide our service within the restrictions that apply. Please check the Government Covid guidelines before carrying out any work in your home.

Oliver Dempsey
14 November 2021

About Oliver Dempsey

Owner and Managing Director at and contributor to the Blog DISCLAIMER: All content provided in my articles is for informational purposes only. The information contained in these articles has been obtained from research carried out by myself through online and offline sources and through other writers and contributors who provide me with content. While I am responsible for the final editing of each article and I do my best to verify the information, I do not make representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information. Therefore you must not rely on the information contained in any of these articles and always make sure to seek the advice of a suitably qualified expert before embarking on any project.
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