Architect fees in Northern Ireland

Architect Fees

Architect Fees in Northern Ireland

We provide a free consultation via zoom before you decide to choose us, with no obligations. We tailor our fee to suit your budget and needs.

Fees and Services

We are a design-led practice, with our first project winning ‘House of the Year Ireland 2019’, followed by a consecutive win in 2021. We have just won a RIBA Regional Award, and RSUA Small Project of the Year Award 2022.

As a young practice, we are hungry and keen; our prices are somewhat reflective of our eagerness to build reputation whilst providing a high standard of service. We are friendly, happy go lucky and enjoy our work.

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 will have different resource requirements than new builds; a Passive House Certified project has more work than a non-certified Passive House.

If you would like to get a fee quote, tailored to your project: contact us here.

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 £900-2000 per sqm; efficient design can often save you more than double our fee. As experienced Passive House Architects we design highly energy-efficient buildings as well, drastically reducing your energy bills whilst providing good thermal comfort.  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
  • Hourly rate

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. Efficient design is often more time-consuming at design stage, but should reduce build or running costs, therefore being more cost-effective in the long term. For this reason, we prefer to use a mixture of lump sum and percentage fees; tailoring our fees to your needs.

​We believe that good design should be available for all – we typically work on projects that range from £90k to £1.5m.


The first step is for us to meet, via zoom, 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.

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.

Thermal Bridging Analysis

If you increase the performance of the fabric of your building, close to passive house standards and keep 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 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.

Peace of mind

Our design fees are paid in stage payments: the first stage 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 fees are then paid at Building Control submission (or equivalent). Additional services (detailed design, schedules, tender, 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.

Choice & flexibility

We prefer to give you choice and flexibility in the service that you require.  We prefer to tailor our service, and therefore our fees, to your wants and needs.  We will provide you with a detailed breakdown of everything that is included, and give you the choice of the level of service, and therefore the fee, required, allowing you to control your budget.

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.

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 using 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.


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.

Most importantly: you being a good client

Like us, to get truly great 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.

Finally: Our fees

We offer a full service, ie we can hold your hand throughout the whole process, helping to make the difficult parts easier; and giving you a better quality finish, by thinking through the finer details that elevate your design.

Our base service fees (ie up to building control stage – the minimum drawings required for you to be able to build) for a new one-off house typically start from £8k for our base design option (up to construction / building control drawing stage); but this depends on the level of complexity and the level of design service you would like. We provide an ‘A la carte’ menu; where you control the budget and service required. This can be decided before each stage.