I'm looking at having a custom contemporary home designed and built in
Santa Barbara, CA, where construction costs for this type of work are
purportedly at ~ $500/sq ft. (High-end is substantially more than
that.) I'm targeting ~ 4500 sq ft for the main house at ~ 1000 sq ft
for garage/utility. So I'm facing construction cost of ~ $2.55
million. The lot is flat and clear.
The initial quote from my favored firm for architectural fees was 15%,
just shy of $400K, inclusive of engineering. When my eyes popped out
of my head, this went down to 12%, exclusive of engineering, still
well over $300K.(These include CM.)
The same house built in Anytown, USA would probably cost about half to
build, if that. I'm having a very hard time trying to understand how
the fee can be justified on an hourly basis. Does it take twice the
number of hours to design the place here as opposed to Anytown? I
think not. E.g., at $95/hr does it take 1,000 hours to prepare the
I really like the firm and the lead architect. I'm just having a hard
time understanding the fee. You know, if they'd said "It's $175K for
the actual labor and we charge $150K for the artistry" I could mull
that over, but trying to justify it on a purely hourly basis based on
the insane local construction cost makes me feel like I'm being taken
Am I being unreasonable in my expectations? Are they?
[ For the $1M+ I'd save, maybe I should have the place designed and
built in Anytown and helicoptered over here! ; > ]
If God hadn't meant for us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?