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Basic and Additional Architectural Services

Architects are very valuable personnel when it comes to the construction of a building. This is because of the wide range of services they provide. Therefore, in this article, we will take a look at the architectural services these professionals offer.

The jobs done by architects are categorized into two: Basic and additional services. We will discuss these below starting with the basic ones.

Basic Architectural Services

These services are those that must be done for each design by the architect. Hence, they are called basic services since they are the architectural services that are contained within the standard architectural contract. Therefore, the homeowner expects the architect to perform all these five services.

Let’s examine them one after the other…

1. Programming

At this point, the architect is trying to figure out the extent of the work that will be designed. There is no drafted design in development. Rather, the building designer is just asking the owner about their desires, needs, and wants. This stage also involves research which will lead to decisions.

The architect mainly acts as a consultant whereby they try to figure out the client’s needs and wants.

2. Schematic Design

After the programming stage, the designer now has an idea of what the owner wants. The next stage then involves sketching and drawing the building’s basic design.

Floor plans, building elevations, site plans are developed here. It will also help to describe the systems within the building such as the structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, HVAC systems.

By the time you are done, a basic schematic would have been designed.

3. Design Development

This involves the refining and fleshing out of the basic skeletal plan the architect has at hand. Evaluation of particular materials that will be used according to durability, price, and beauty is carried out at this point.

You cannot carry out this phase alone as you will require the input of the homeowner. They will be the ones to choose what materials they prefer albeit based on your recommendations (if they so decide to follow them).

After all the selections have been made, the full design would have been acquired.

4. Construction Documents

The architect will then submit two sets of the completed design. Details and other elements within the design are contained in the documents.

5. Construction Administration

This service involves site visits, inspections, and materials testing. The architect ensures that the right materials are used. Hence, he acts as a supervisor.

While this has been debated whether it is basic or not, many designers still include it in the contract. Therefore, there must be an agreement between the client and the engineer if this will be part of the basic service or not.

Many owners require the help of a building project supervisor as they lack the experience to do it themselves. Hence, their most preferred choice is the architect. Visit to learn more about a site supervisor and his duties.

Additional Architectural Services

This set of services is not included in the basic contract. Architects who know how to provide these services tend to win more clients due to their wide expertise. It also creates more revenue for the professional.

We’ve listed some of these additional services and discussed just a few of them. Please, note that the list is not exhaustive in any way.

  • Record Drawings
  • Sustainable Design
  • Urban Design
  • Negotiating/Bidding/Price Discussions
  • Project Management
  • 3D Renderings
  • Feasibility studies
  • Mixed-Use Architecture
  • Site selection
  • Building Condition Audits
  • Full-Time site Representation
  • Electrical Schematics
  • Cabinetry Elevations
  • Multiple Contract Preparation
  • Interior Design

Negotiating/Bidding/Price Discussions

The architect can help the owner in negotiating and price discussions as the owner might not know anything about the cost of building materials.

Project Management

This is another service that can generate revenue for architects. With their understanding of the building construction process, they can serve as the managers of the project.

Some managers charge by the hour while some charge a flat rate because the nature of the project cannot be accurately determined before it begins.

3D Renderings

These days many architects know how to render buildings in 3D models. Such models allow the client to see the building’s replica albeit in a smaller size. The 3D design is not part of the schematic design. Click here to learn how to model your house in 3D.

Site Selection

The land upon which a building is situated affects how the building will be built. An architect can help an owner determine which site imperfect for the building they have in mind.

What if the land has been bought you might ask? Well, the designer can equally advise the client on what spot of land is best for the building.

Interior Design

With the creative mind of an architectural engineer, it isn’t a surprise that many of them provide interior design services. We recommend that the engineer should be responsible for the design of the house from start to finish. It allows for a more holistic project.


Architects could be said to be the jack of all trades as far as building construction personnel are concerned. When hiring one, apart from the basic services, ask them what other additional service they can provide. It will surely save you some money.


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About the Author

Kaya Wittenburg

Blog Author and CEO

Kaya Wittenburg is the Founder and CEO of Sky Five Properties. Since the age of 10, real estate has been deeply ingrained into his thoughts. With world-class negotiation and deal-making skills, he brings a highly impactful presence into every transaction that he touches.

He is here to help you use real estate as a vehicle to develop your own personal empire and feel deeply satisfied along the way. If you have an interest in buying, selling or renting property in South Florida, contact Kaya today.

Feel free to call me at: (305) 357-0635
or contact via email: [email protected]