How much do architectural plans cost?

Finding it difficult to determine the cost of getting a house designed? 

Like many questions in this space – you have probably found it tough to google the term “how much does it cost to have a house designed by an architect?” or even “how much does an architect charge for a residential remodel” and get a straight forward answer that isn’t simply something along the lines of “well that depends what you want…”   

Terren was designed to be simple, honest and open so in this article we will attempt to tell you exactly how much YOUR architectural home design will cost, what it will include and also whether it costs more to design an architectural home or a volume built design.  

Your custom home design options 

Before we delve into the Terren solution – a bit of background. Prior to the creation of Terren you had two options if you wanted to design a new home to build. You could approach a volume builder who would customise one of their pre-built designs for you or you could engage an architect to design your home from scratch.  

Should I engage an architect or a builder to design my home? 

This depends a lot on your priorities, your land and your timeframe. There are pros and cons for each of these two options (Terren was actually created to solve the cons of both of these categories).  

If you want your home to be a fully considered space with thought and consideration into every last detail, texture and finish then you are more likely to get that level of service from an Architect. However it would normally take an Architect around 6 months to design your home from scratch whereas a volume builder would use one of their existing designs to get you building a lot sooner. An architecturally designed home will also typically cost more to build however this will also be reflected in the value and resale of the home. 

Typically, volume builders will charge must less for their “design fee” roughly between $5000 to $14000. They do this as when they design these homes they retain the rights to build them. The design is often a “loss leader” that gets you in the door for the much larger investment of building your home with them. In summary – they will design the home for you but you will not own that design (so you can’t build it with anyone else) nor be re-imbursed the design fee if you decide not to build with them.  For many – losing the competitive advantage of being able to tender their build is the main factor that leads them to engaging an architect to design their home from scratch. 

How much do architects cost in Australia? 

When engaging an architect to draw up plans for your land the architects fee or cost will typically be around 5 – 7% of the overall building cost. So for a 1 million dollar build your architect will cost roughly $60,000. That architects fee will typically not include structural engineering or a thermal assessment – which is likely to total around $7,000 – $10,000. So to be ready to build your architect designed drawing package will cost you between $50,000 to $100,000.  

Cost of our limited-edition custom house plans 

As you may have noticed by visiting our botanical collection page or our design page – Terren architectural design packages cost far less. In fact we include structural engineering and thermal assessment as well as extremely detailed working drawings to have you ready to build for under $30,000 or even as little as $25,500.   

A question we are often asked by potential clients his “how it’s possible for us to provide a full plans package for $25,500 when they had been quoted fifty to one hundred thousand dollars for the design of their home.”  Our answer is scale. Our limited edition designs have already been created and drawn in enough detail to get our clients 80% of the way there. The last 20% are the adjustments that make the design suitable to completely specific to your land and family.  

How far can a Terren limited-edition design be customised?

To give you an idea of just how much we are able to adjust our plans and how much it costs to get architect drawings from Terren here are a few examples of designs we have recently worked on; we completed an entirely customised floorplan for a Dahlia design which increased the architectural home design to over 500 square meters – the families full Terren package –including additional engineering cost $32,000. We are currently working on a customised Viola floorplan that has added an additional bedroom, living room, bathroom and wine room for $28,000. We have quoted on smaller versions of our designs and even a design that accommodated for a large existing tree – all of which have been quoted as well under $30,000 for their complete architectural plans, engineering and thermal assessment.  

So does that answer your question of “how much does it cost to get a house designed?” Let us know if you have any other questions or if you are ready to see if a Terren design might work on your land and in your budget then please get in touch.

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Want to learn more about Terren, or the Architectural design and build process?

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