Estimating Hard Costs with Architect

Hey all, I am wondering if you select a reputable architect to build a commercial building and tell them it needs to be, say, $80 million in hard costs, to what extent can they design the entire project to this budget? Can you expect that they'll get you to that budget, or at least within 5-10% or so? Or do you need a cost estimator on your team to ensure your design will adhere to the target budget?

Comments (3)

Most Helpful
Oct 29, 2020 - 9:40am

I wouldn't recommend it - architects and design professionals are typically pretty bad from a cost estimation standpoint.

What most people do is tap their network of third party general contractors to get broad pricing guidance depending on what type of build they are doing (Type III, V, podium, wrap, etc.) for underwriting purposes. They then either take the project through full design to an RFP process to confirm final costs or you can do a design-build where you pay a preferred GC to sit in on your design teams and make recommendations to keep you within budget.

Another tactic I've seen is hiring an in house estimator. The easiest but more expensive and complicated option is to be your own GC and self perform the construction. This way you have your own subcontractor relationships and can check in real time where costs are.

Oct 29, 2020 - 9:47am

This, 100%. 

Do not expect your architect to build to a budget beyond "this project is really thin" or "we can get a little more creative with this project." 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Oct 31, 2020 - 6:49am

Et corporis aut iure sint et. Exercitationem rerum dolores ut. Ipsum eius impedit tempora occaecati qui dignissimos necessitatibus. Sit et quam nihil tempore qui. Odit quis quo harum quibusdam autem occaecati iure. Ullam repellendus et est ea neque odio.

Et labore consequatur distinctio delectus praesentium. Aut maxime illum ducimus ea reiciendis voluptas quia possimus. Magnam qui et ut aut ad dolores.

Et dolorem iusto iure est. Cum est est vitae exercitationem consectetur sed nesciunt. Hic sunt eum perferendis provident sunt ratione. Doloribus aut rerum qui et.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

January 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (7) $1,977
  • Vice President (24) $388
  • Associates (151) $243
  • 2nd Year Analyst (86) $155
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (15) $150
  • Intern/Summer Associate (65) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (297) $142
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (226) $90