We provide a free consultation (worth £250) before you decide to choose us, with no obligations. We tailor our fee to suit your budget and needs.
Fees and Services
Here at Marshall McCann Architects, our fee will reflect the degree of personal service, bespoke design and the complexity that your project involves. For instance, projects involving house extensions and renovations can be significantly more resource intensive than new self builds; a Passive House Certified project has more work than a non-certified Passive House.
Value for Money
As the old price versus cost saying goes; the cheapest price can cost you more in the long run - and not all architects are equal in price and quality. We pride ourselves in designing efficient, beautiful architecture. Considering your build cost is often between £650-1100 per sqm; efficient design can often save you more than double our fee. As experienced Passive House Architects & Designers, we design highly energy-efficient buildings as well, drastically reducing your energy bills. It doesn’t take long for a good architect, like us, to earn our fee.
There are 3 typical ways an architect will quote for a project;
A percentage of the build cost (this is the typical approach)
Lump Sum fee
We strive to approach everything from a different angle; we usually give you a lump sum fee quote, and at the end of the process, we always take a look at our expenses and we endeavour to give you a further discount. At Marshall McCann Architects we know that if we provide a premium service at the lowest price possible, we will continue to get happy clients and our practice will continue to grow.
We believe that good design should be available for all - we typically work on projects that range from construction costs of £25k to £1m.
What do our fees usually include?
We will provide you with much more than just drawings. We have the imagination to lift your project out of the ordinary and help you achieve your aspirations and vision. We are trained designers who will explore your needs and desires and find creative and practical ways of enhancing your project. We have experience working on luxurious projects and projects with challenging budgets; using innovative solutions to cut build costs, the experience to oversee the design, assist with the approvals process and see your project successfully through to completion.
Contact us to discuss your project; the initial consultation is free. We will provide you with a fee agreement, tailored to your project and your needs. We can be involved as much as your budget and needs allow.
Our fee agreement provides an 'a la carte' approach; where you can decide how much, and how little, you want us involved; so that you can control the budget and service to suit your needs. We generally prefer Lump Sum fee arrangements, as we believe all buildings should be both beautiful and efficient; efficient in design, efficient in running costs (energy) and efficient in space usage and build costs. For this reason, we prefer not to use a percentage fee arrangement; as efficient design often is more time-consuming, instead there could be an incentive to keep costs up. Therefore we believe there is a conflict of interest in a percentage fee.
We also prefer to give some certainty; so that you can budget accordingly.
The first step is for us to meet, allowing us to get a real impression of your needs, wants and desires; establishing a clear brief and helping you come up with a realistic budget - often giving you practical advice on how to make it more feasible to get what you want. This also gives us time to get a real feeling of the style and type of building that you are looking for. By nailing down your needs and desires early on, we can identify and reduce any potential problems, which helps reduce the overall design costs and helps ensure the project comes in on time and on budget.
Developing your design
Design is a process that evolves over time, it often starts by us interpreting your ideas at a conceptual level, designing around the sun path and utilizing the natural features and views on the site, before we start integrating your detailed ideas into your design. At the same time, we suggest new ways of utilizing space and light, enriching the palette of materials, and finishes, and bringing new ideas to the table. We regularly propose design solutions that will reduce your build costs and ways of reducing your overall running costs whilst maximizing the energy efficiency of your building: maximizing your investment, ensuring your project is cost effective and can help add real value whilst realizing your dreams. The more the client engages with the design process, the richer the design becomes, and the more the design 'feels like your own'. We always aim to give the client not just what they want, but more than they wanted.
Getting statutory approvals
Most projects require approvals from Planning and Building Control. This is only sought after we have your designs finalized, which can take a few months. We like to approach our designs holistically and we always strongly recommend that you get your kitchen, utility, and bathroom, etc. designed before planning submission is granted, ensuring your desires are fully integrated into your designs. We are constantly in touch with the Planning Authorities, and where need be, we will discuss the project with them at an early stage. Once we have planning approval we move to a detailed design, producing drawings for Building Control approval.
Like choosing a good architect, it is also equally important to choose a good builder; a process that we can help you with. It can also be beneficial to employ a good Quantity Surveyor (cost consultant) as they can help make sure that all builders are pricing like for like, making sure you truly are getting value for money. They can also be very useful for controlling the purse strings, ensuring that your building comes in on budget. We will be there to help advise you on money saving tips that we have found over the years and inspect on site helping to ensure that your building is built to standard.
Thermal Bridging Analysis
If you increase the performance of the fabric of your building, close to passive house standards and keeping traditional detailing, you will probably be losing around 50% of your heat through thermal bridging. We are experienced in using specialist software to analyse your building right down to the smallest junctions. This enables us to design these thermal bridging junctions, virtually eliminating the thermal bridging, ensuring that you get the maximum performance. Designing to this level means you can drastically reduce the amount of heat loss from your building, saving you money in your heating bills with little impact on the build costs.
Finally: you being a good client
Like us, to get the best house and architecture and to meet all your needs, we need you to fully engage with us from the outset, telling us what you like and equally what you don’t like. Being open to new ideas and being ready to add your own views, remembering it is your project. We encourage clients to gather ideas (we love Pinterest!) on all things building related: doors, materials, seating, stairs, handrails.....everything! We will guide you the best we can but ultimately you will be making the final call; remember to get extraordinary architecture you have to do something out of the ordinary.
We aim for the design process to be a conversation; where both client and architect can bounce ideas in an easy, comfortable manner.
Peace of mind
Our design fees are paid in stage payments, first payment is at Planning submission. We never submit your drawings into planning until you are 100% happy with your design. The next stage of the fess are then paid at Building Control submission. Additional services (detailed design, site inspections, sign off etc), are also available. We have been working in the construction industry for many years, on both sides, as the builder and architect, working on projects up to £105 million, designing other peoples buildings, as well as our own, giving us experience from all sides.
We always provide a detailed quote of what is included in our package and just as important, what other costs that you are likely to incur on top of our fees (that you will have to pay no matter who designs your project), like Planning and Building Control fees, so there should be no surprises.