Cost to hire an Architect

How much it cost to hire an Architect

An Architect is a center piece in home renovation or construction. But the real question one should ask , “Does an Architect is required for the job”. I have found a very informative article at the website which explains what kind of jobs require a permit from the city agencies and what type or category of work does not require any permit. Technically speaking a home renovation only requires an Architect if the work type required construction permit from the city agencies.  Now the million dollar question is what kind of work qualifies a construction permit. Even though majority of city agencies follow the same guidelines in terms of if the construction permit is required or not but under certain cases it varies from city to city. So if home owner is not sure then he/she should make a phone call to the building department and inquire about it. Aten minute phone call can save cost of hiring an Architect which can go somewhere from $2500.00 to $4000.00 depending upon where the project is located.

Basic steps which i found from the following site gives some brief detail about the permit requirement if your property is located in New York City. Check the web site which gives brief over view of permit requirements in NYC area.

Work Exempt from permit from Building department in Single and Two family dwellings.

1- Sheds. Temporary portable sheds freestanding and erected on same zoning lot as  and accessory one-or two family dwelling , provided that all of the following requirements are met: 

 a)- The shed shall not exceed 120 square feet in area and shall not be more than 7 ft. 6inch in height and it shall not obstruct any required window

b)-The shed shall not be located within 3 feet of any lot line 

c)-The shed shall be used for storage of normal household goods , tools or similar items 

d)- There shall not be more than one such shed on any tax lot.

2- Fences. Fences 6 feet or less in height , as measured from the higher of the two adjoining grades, in connection with one – or two family dwellings.

3- Small Swimming Pools. Outdoor in-ground or above ground pools accessory to one- or two family dwelling limited to 400 square feet in area , provided that the distance from the edge of an in-ground pool to any building or lot lines in greater than the depth of the deepest portion of the pool  and there is an existing slop sink for the indirect waste or a plumbing permit is obtained for the installation of such sink then no permit is required for such swimming pool.

4-Playground equipment. Playground equipments installed as an accessory to a one or two family dwelling does not require any permit.

5-Packaged air-conditioning unit in existing buildings. Packaged air-conditioning unit not exceeding 5 tons rated capacity , installed in an existing building including installation in existing windows or in existing sleeves under windows , and that is not part of an alteration that otherwise requires a permit , does not require any building permit.

Work that may be exempt from permit in all the buildings

Exterior structure.

1- Retaining Walls: Retaining walls less than 4 feet in height measured from top of the footing to the top of the wall and the wall does not support a surcharge does not require a construction permit.

2-Nursery or Agricultural shade cloth structure: Shade clothes structures solely constructed for nursery or agricultural purpose and are not used to store mechanical equipments , plumbing fixtures and or automobiles does not require any construction permit.

Service Equipments

1-Air Conditioning and Ventilating System: Air conditioning and ventilating system installed on a voluntarily basis and serving only one floor of a building and meets the following criteria does not require a permit.

a)- Does not use lot line opening for the intake and exhaust of air and mounting of the unit.

b)- It is not installed in a public hallway , passage way or stair way 

c)-Does not reduce the ventilation of the space or room in any way as required by the building code.

d)- Does not penetrate any fire division such as floor , wall or roof.

2- Packaged Air Conditioning Units not exceeding 3 tons capacity does not require building permit.

3-Fuel burning and fuel oil storage: Portable fuel burning equipment that does not require any chimney does not require building permit.

4-Refrigerating system: Refrigerating systems that use water or air as a refrigerant , 25 tons or less in capacity or using A1 type refrigerant does not require permit.

5- Temporary Boiler : Temporary boiler weather placed on the private property or on street require construction permit.


1-Roof repair and re roofing above deck/sheathing: Roof repair or replacement limited to the membrane , roof covering and any insulation above roof deck provided that additional  insulation is not required per NYC Energy conservation code , does not require permit. But if roof repair require replacement of roof deck then it requires the building permit.

2- Green Roofs not more than 4 inches in depth: If a building is greater than 100 feet height and is of noncombustible construction construction and green roof system is not more than 4 inches in depth measured from the upper surface of roof covering to the top of the growth medium then such roof system does not require permit.


1- Replacement of existing windows and balcony doors if meet the following conditions then they does not require permit.

a)- Such windows are not located on a lot line 

b)- Replacement does not require modification of existing masonry opening

c)- Replacement windows does not affect the ventilation and natural lighting requirements as required by code.

d)- There is no change in operable area of window.

2- Repair and replacement of window or door sill does not require permit.

3- Replacement of required fire rated window does require the permit.