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One of the first steps in any commercial construction project is hiring an architect. Whether you’re thinking about building a new property or renovating an existing one, working with a professional, top-rated architect is essential. Thinking about customizing one of your property’s interior or exterior features? A reputable architect will help you achieve the most beautiful and functional design. While DIY can be fine for residential properties, most businesses need a commercial space that’s sleek, professionally-looking, and complies with commercial building codes.
Working with the best architect to update your office building, warehouse or retail space will not only help you get the features you need, but it will also increase the price of your space when it’s time to sell. Even with countless hours of research, the best architects in your location may be hard to find. Luckily, PropertyCashin’s national directory allows you to easily find highly rated architects from across the country and specifically in your location. Use our list of local architects to find the very best architectural services in your area.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who are commercial and industrial architects and what do they do?
Commercial and industrial architects design commercial properties and assist with their construction or remodeling. Property owners, real estate investors, and developers work with commercial architecture firms when they would like to remodel a commercial property, such as an office space, or complete a major renovation to any interior or exterior spaces of a building.
Many architectural design and construction companies offer a design-build service—a turnkey project delivery that includes everything from designing the building and securing planning permission to completing the whole construction and submitting you the finished property.
The services offered by architectural firms also include consulting and pre-design services.
During the pre-design phase, the architect will assess the project feasibility, conduct research, inspections, and collect all necessary paperwork.
An architectural firm can also be hired for creating a photorealistic architectural rendering of the design. By using CAD drafting, the architect can create a 3d visualization (rendering) of the project.
Some corporate architecture firms are going one step further by using animation systems to create the project layout in VR. This advanced technology allows clients to virtually walk through the property and examine every aspect of the design.
What are the typical architect fees for designing a commercial building?
Architect fees will change depending on the architecture office you’re working with. Other factors that affect the overall cost include the size of your project, whether you need an entirely new building or simply a renovation and what materials you’d like to use.
Unlike residential architects, commercial architecture companies don’t charge per square foot. Generally speaking, commercial projects are put into five different categories. The first category is for very basic industrial spaces including warehouses, parking garages and utility buildings. The second category is for simple commercial structures, like multi-family apartment buildings, factories and storage facilities.
More complex builds, like schools, convention centers, prisons and medical buildings fall into the third category. Some of the most complex builds are in the fourth category. These include theaters, aquariums, museums and large industrial complexes. Finally, the fifth category is for those projects that are even more complex because they require specialized engineering or have very specific needs.
As we move up in categories, the price also steadily rises. For example, let’s say a structure costs over $50,000,000 to build. If that structure falls into the first category, the fees can be as low as 2.5%. However, if the structure belongs to the category five, then fees can be as high as 6.5%.
How to choose a commercial architect?
Choosing the right commercial architecture studio for your project can take a lot of time and research. Although there are countless things to consider when comparing commercial property architects, there are a few criteria that your architect should meet.
The architect should be board certified, licensed and have experience, preferably in designing properties of the type you need. An experienced architect will have an extensive portfolio of completed projects that they can share.
If your project has specific needs, it also makes sense to hire an architect with an expertise in that specific area. For example, choose an architect with landscape design experience if that’s an important feature of your design. It’s important to find someone who will guide you through the process while being understanding of your desires for the project.
Working with a local architect is always best because they can connect with you local engineers and trustworthy contractors. Finally, you should pick an architect that you connect with. Work with someone who understands your unique vision and who you’re compatible with stylistically. The easiest way to find a reputable architect serving your location is to choose one from our directory at PropertyCashin.
What fees do commercial architects charge for tenant improvements?
For office tenant improvements, commercial architects can charge anywhere from $2 to $4 per square foot for simple, straight-forward projects. The cost of improvements increases as the project becomes more complex. Some things that add to the complexity of the project include specialized detail, certain functional improvements and more elaborate finishes.
The cost also increases when contractors and other consultants are required for the project. For example, if an architect needs to consult with mechanical engineers, electrical engineers or plumbers, then fees can go up to as much as $8 per square foot. In general, most architects will reduce the price per square foot as the overall square footage of the project increases.
Who owns architectural plans?
Architectural plans are subject to copyright and are owned by the architect if they were completed on or after December 1, 1990. In accordance with copyright laws, only original work within the architectural plans is protected.
When a client works with an architect to design and build a commercial property, the client can own the building, but not the architectural plan or the building design. If the client would like to build another identical version of the building, they would have to work with the architect to license or buy the original plan.
Are you a reputable commercial architect?
If you’re an established and reputable commercial architecture company that provides services to commercial real estate industry, apply to get listed on our directory.