In residential architect's latest online poll, we asked residential architects how they charge for services. By far, the majority of those who responded—31.89 percent—reported that they use a combination of billing structures. The second most popular method reported by 21.76 percent of survey-takers is "stipulated sum or lump sum per phase."

According to the breakdown of responses, the least common billing practice is "hourly, plus a percentage of construction for observation" (2.06 percent). 

Other findings:

  • 12.95 percent said they charge a dollar amount per square foot.
  • 11.63 percent said they bill based on an hourly fee with no cap for the entire project.
  • 9.94 percent reported they charge an hourly fee with a cap for the entire project.
  • 9.76 percent bill a percentage of construction costs.

Read about how architects are adjusting their fee structures to make it through the economic recovery in ra's July/August issue Practice column.

For more insights into architects' motivations for choosing one fee structure over another, and to add your two cents, follow the related discussion via ra's LinkedIn group or join a similar discussion on the Entrepreneur Architect LinkedIn group. Keep the conversation going: How do you charge? Why does your method work for you? Have you considered other billing structures?