Hire cost-effective professional architects without compromising quality results

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better pros professional outsourcing

More people are considering building their own houses, and commercial projects keep scaling up in complexity. As time goes by, it becomes increasingly clear that hiring high-quality, cost-effective professional architects is the only way to say in the game.

Constructions or projects going over budget can be disastrous. But, today, both architecture studios and individuals can choose outsourcing as a valid alternative to full-time architects. While it may sound like a risky proposition to some, it can have many benefits if done correctly.

  • Architecture outsourcing can:
  • Reduce costs.
  • Help you keep the quality of your projects up.
  • Remove the need to deal with the long-term contracts of full-staff architects.
  • Find architecs that are just as good—if not better—than U.S. based ones.
hire cost effective professional architects

Of course, outsourcing architectural services is not an entirely risk-free endeavor. But, as with everything in life, it’s better if you have the right partner by your side, someone like Better Pros, who can connect you to top professionals in your field. After all, it’s not just about cutting costs wily-nilly, but also about smartly assessing the possible tradeoffs, and where to find high-quality professionals.

First, let’s take a look at the why and the how of cost-effective outsourcing.

Why You Need Cost-Effective Professional Architects

The total cost of a construction project, as you know, doesn’t begin during construction per-se. Rather, it starts at the architectural building stage. Here is where open, clear communication between the architect and the client is key. If an architect or studio embarks on a project with the intention to get a specification, or make working drawings of a structure, they’re going to be spending money at two different stages:

  • 1. The first stage is when they complete the design work.
  • 2. The second is the building stage.

As you most likely know, the design stage is only a fraction of the total construction cost. But things like architectural drafting outsourcing can easily cut the cost of the first stage, even if you don’t want to outsource the whole process.

That aside, hiring cost-effective architects can maintain the quality of a structure without compromising the overall quality of the job. Now, ideally, you want both: high-quality results and low costs. While this may seem like the holy grail, it’s not impossible in today’s hyper-connected world.

If you want to hire architects from South America, for instance, you may initially be apprehensive. But many countries in South America have universities and standards that go toe to toe with the best in the world. Furthermore, they are US code architects familiarized with imperial measurements, so nothing gets lost in translation, which can cause costly delays.

Another big reason for outsourcing architectural services is not going over budget. When a project goes over budget or off schedule, it can have extremely bad results.

Some of the negative impacts you could experience are:

  • A total decline in ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Bigger building costs than anticipated
  • Delays in project completion
  • Loss of reputation
  • Financial difficulties

So, it’s pretty obvious that you need to optimize to get cost-effective results. And these optimizations in both time and cost can help achieve the highest possible benefit: cost-effective, affordable architectural design and construction.

But then, how much does the average architect cost?

The Issue of Expensive Architect Fees

In our knowledge base article about outsourcing as a solution, we touched on the issue of high architect fees. Here’s what we had to say about our proposed solution, outsourcing:

“One of the main benefits of outsourcing is cost-cutting. How, exactly? Because, first of all, professionals abroad tend to charge less for equivalent services. Second, you don’t have to pay taxes, vacation time, sick days, insurance, or social contributions anymore. Third, there’s no infrastructure cost; each professional brings their own gear, know-how, and connections to the table. So, you can say goodbye to costly offices and maintenance costs.

But there are also additional advantages to keep in mind. For instance, even the best workers have plenty of downtime — which you actually pay for! With outsourcing, you only pay for the real hours worked, not the idle moments that usually happen during office hours.”

And we say that because architects don’t just charge for their know-how, they also charge for many of their hidden business costs.

But, to tackle the issue straight-on, how much does an architect charge, and how does it change the price tag for your project?

Hourly Fees

Most architects and architectural firms charge by the hour. The cost? Typically between $125 to $250 per hour. Even if you’re an architectural studio looking to outsource within North America, you can expect the vast majority to be between this range.

Another issue to consider is whether you’re working with an individual or a team. Principal architects will typically charge more than junior members. With remote architects—the most popular way of doing architectural outsourcing—the costs can go down by as much as 60%.

Now, an important part of cost-effective professional architects is that they’ve got the goods. After all, “professional” is the operative word here! So, also be wary of offers that seem too good to be true —accredited architects first and foremost!

By Percentage

Other architects or studios charge a total of the total building cost of the home or structure. For residential architecture, the cost is typically around 12% to 20% of a project, especially if we’re talking about remodels and additions.

Commercial architecture has a much brother range than it is for residential. The price usually ranges from 2.5% to 12% of the total building cost. Now, you may be forgiven for thinking these rates are much lower than for commercial buildings. But that’s because most commercial work often has a much larger scale than residential projects.

And where a particular project falls on this percentag rage is largely dependent on how complex the building is to finish. For example, a warehouse is a very simple building that may be on the lower side of the spectrum. Conversely, a huge multi-building complex with subtle detailing will be on the higher end.

Understanding Who You Need for Projects

It’s not always about architects; sometimes you need an interior designer, CAD support, Autocad CDs, Vectorworks experts, landscaping experts, urban planners… the sky’s the limit!

Here are some tips to understand some of the most important services, and where you could benefit from outsourcing, if you do it the right way.

Architectural Drafting Services

A drafter does the technical drawings of the building. That entails graphically representing building plans. This includes making sense of where plumbing, electrical, and other systems go. It’s frequent for most architectural firms to have a drafter, or teams of drafters on staff, or to outsource.

When it comes to being cost-effective, drafters are typically much lower in costs. But, they are also more limited in their scope. They can’t design anything that requires an understanding of engineering, and sometimes an architect needs to sign off on their work to confirm its accuracy.

Interior Services

Now, many people get interior design and architecture confused. Interior designers only work on the inside of a house, and the design of interior features.
So, interior designers don’t need to be architects, although some architects are well-versed in aspects of interior design.

architecture outsourcing for interior design

Architectural Design Services

Architecutral designers can be considered “Architects Lite.” They typically don’t have a license, but are studying to become architects. While architectural designers cannot provide the proof of certification that many government agencies need, their skillset is very similar to architects.

Architectural Design Services

You’ll need a full-on architect when you require professionally certified documents to move ahead with your project. This also means that you may need an architect to fill in or approve the engineering aspect of your blueprints, or in the case of an unexpected issue with a structure.

Additional role, like BIM Modeling, Scan to BIM, Autocad Experts, Vectorworks experts, Plank corrections from CiSchematic Design (SDS), Design Development (DDS), CAD conversions, or more, may need to work alongside architects, but can also work separately as well.

How to Get Cost-Effective Professional Architects

better pros architecture outsourcing

Better Pros is your go-to solution for architectural outsourcing services. In less than a week, we can match you with professional, accredited architects from the best Latin American universities, and belonging to a pool of the top 3% of global talent.

We believe in taking the guesswork out of the equation. We screen our professionals through and through so you don’t have to. We guarantee that you’ll get professionals with:

  • The right education, with professionals that have a degree from the top latin American universities.
  • More than 3 years of experience as an architect. Each professional provides a detailed portfolio of their past work.
  • Experience with US-based companies — they know the Imperial system like the back of their hand, and don’t have any problems with conversions.
  • Availability in your same time zone.
  • A thorough portfolio of varied, high-quality work.
  • Excellent communication skills in English.

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