Full architectural service

The following 7 stages define the full architectural service, from defining a brief, through the design stages, local authority submission, tenders, construction and close out. This is the principal service we offer

1. Inception

Defining the scope of the project based on the clients brief, the site and zoning rights & regulatory constraints, the budgetary constraints, what consultants are required, the project programme & methods of contracting

2. Sketch design

Prepare initial design, generally drawn by hand to scale, showing space provisions, functional relationships, proposed materials & installations. test their viability in terms of site regulations, budget & programme

3. Design

Prepare CAD drawings of the confirmed scope, review with local authority & develop design in terms of construction systems, materials & components. Start detail design of complex items such as kitchens, bathrooms etc

4. Council submission

Prepare documentation to submit to local authority, co-ordinate consultants documentation, prepare specification for the project, obtain clients authority and submit documents for approval via planwalker, until approved

5. Detail Design

Prepare construction documentation; drawings, details and a specification & call for tenders. Evaluate offers and award in conjunction with the client. Prepare contract documentation and arrange the signing thereof

6. Construction

Hand over the site to the contractor, issue construction documentation, check subcontract designs & documentation.    Inspect works until completion, in terms of conformity with design, the regulations & quality standards

7. Close out

When the works are complete, hand over the project and the keys to the client & issue completions certificates.      Provide client with as built drawings, guarantees and contractual undertakings by builder & subcontractors

Part services:
(parts of stages 1 to 7)

The following 3 options are the part services we typically offer. We are however flexible and are happy to consider other options. Our aim is to find the right fit for each client. They can all be charged for at an agreed fee or an hourly rate

Design consultations
(part of stages 1 & 2):

These involve meeting you regarding your project, establishing a brief and providing design solutions for your project.


Sketch design services
(stages 1 & 2):

These are similar to the design consultations above, but result in us providing a full set of sketch plans of the building. These can be used to complete a project oneself or by engaging a cheaper draughtsperson to manage to rest of the architectural service ie: local authority submission, production of drawings for quotations & building and site supervision.

Design and local authority submission services
(stages 1 to 4.1 or 4.2):

These include us managing the full design service and include the local authority submission drawings, up to approval. This gives you an approved set of drawings, from which a builder can quote & build. We can also include the detail design drawings if requested, which add a level of detail the council submission drawings don’t reflect.


Architects typically bill to a fee scale, recommended by a goverment gazette, which is updated every few years. This fee scale has been negotiated between the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) & goverment. It is deemed to be a fair & equitable remuneration for a defined set of services & obligations, that architects are required to perform.

How it works:

Architects fees are based on the cost to build the building/s they are working on. The fee for the full architectural service is a percentage of the building cost (excluding consultants & council fees).

The larger the value of the building cost, the lower the percentage for the architectural fees.

Calculating the fee:

Because the percentage of the building cost (for architectural fees) decreases as the building costs increase, the mathematics become a little more complicated than a straight percentage. If a building valued at 1 million Rand was charged for at 12% for architectural fees (R120 000) and say 11% above 1 million Rand, then a 1 million and one Rand building would command less fees (R110 001), even though it is more valuable and therefore more effort is required to ‘architect’ it. Therefore the more complex calculation to ensure that as the building cost increases, the fee value also increases, even though the base percentage of architectural fees vs building costs steadily decrease.

The detailed fee calculation:

This is part of the goverment gazette and is shown in the document below. This explain the process to follow in order to calculate the the total fee for the full architectural service for a project based on its value (estimated or actual).

Each of the 7 work stages described under the ‘Full Architectural Service’ (4 sections above) commands a percentage of this total fee. These are 1:5%; 2:15%; 3:20%; 4:20%; 5:10%; 6:27% & 7:3%. This is how we calculate the value of interim invoices & part services.

Fixed fees or time based fees:

We also offer fixed fees for our services (or part services). This usually applies to the design & drawing services and is a result of some clients being uncomfortable with the notion that they don’t know the full extent of the payable fees upfront. These are generally based on a fixed scope of work of which we estimate the value.

Time based fees are used infrequently, but apply to situations such as clients wanting to investigate the possibility of purchasing and developing a plot of land. We would consult with local authorities, heritage agencies and residents associations and provide clients with the researched information. If the outcome doesn’t lead to a project, these investigations would be charged for using a previously negotiated time based fee.


We offer discounted fees for certain projects. Discounts & their size are determined by various factors:

A project that offers a substantial fee base and keeps our practice busy for many months, is a very attractive proposition for us. A project that offers brilliant architectural opportunities that might pave the way for future projects, is very desirable for us. If our practice is short of work and were therefore proactively looking to procure new projects. These are some of the scenarios where were happy to offer discounts on our services.

We are less inclined to bid for small projects, where the owner has contacted numerous architects in order to choose the cheapest option. We believe that real cost savings happen as a result of great design and cost effective detailing, not by selecting the cheapest architect.

Let Us Design Your Future

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