Why are architects paid so much

HOAI: This is how you calculate the architect fee

Before building a house, you have to consider who you are building with: architect, prefabricated house company or property developer. Is the architect really more expensive? To find out, there are a few things you should learn about the HOAI. We also explain how to determine the correct architect fee.

HOAI: This is how you calculate the architect fee
HOAI: This is how you calculate the architect fee

The architect fee depends on the construction cost of your house, which you can easily calculate. Please refer to the tables of the fee schedule for architects and engineers (HOAI), which has been in force since July 17, 2013. You then determine the fee based on the net construction cost. The minimum and maximum rates give you a little room for maneuver.

The architect's overall offer is made up of nine clearly defined service phases. Which of these phases you commission the architect - whether individual or all - is up to you. You should record construction costs, fees and work phases in the architect contract. For specialist planners such as structural engineers, energy consultants and, for example, heating and ventilation planners, additional fees are charged, which are also billed according to HOAI.

Overview of the work phases of an architect

Service phase 1

Basic investigation

3 percent

Service phase 2

Pre-planning

7 percent

Service phase 3

Draft planning

11 percent

Service phase 4

Approval planning

6 percent

Service phase 5

Implementation planning

25 percent

Service phase 6

Preparation of the award

10 percent

Service phase 7

Participation in the award

4 percent

Service phase 8

Property surveillance

31 percent

Service phase 9

Property management and documentation

3 percent

Assessment criteria of the HOAI

The correct fee can only be calculated once the assessment criteria have been established. However, all architects work on the same fee basis, so that there is no price competition, just a quality competition. The fee is based on the following assessment criteria:

  • Scope of the services provided by the planner (see service phases)
    If the architect is not commissioned with all services, he can only charge a fee that corresponds to the scope of services according to the service phases.
  • Chargeable costs of the property including the building fabric to be processed
    The chargeable costs are basically the "net construction costs" (costs of building construction and technical systems without sales tax). Property costs or ancillary costs are not included in these costs.
  • Fee zone in which the property is to be classified
    There are five different fee zones into which the building object is divided depending on the level of difficulty. University clinics or television studios, for example, belong in fee zone V, while residential buildings are classified in zone III or IV.
The construction costs per square meter vary depending on the region. We give you an overview.
  • Agreed fee rate as a definition between the minimum and maximum rate
    For the fee rate, you can choose between the values ​​of the minimum rate and those of the maximum rate in the table. Unless otherwise agreed in writing when placing the order, the minimum rate applies.
  • The fee table assigned to the services
    Section 35 HOAI contains the fee table for basic services for buildings and interiors, Section 40 HOAI that for fees for outdoor facilities.
  • In the case of existing services, a surcharge, possibly agreed in writing, for the increased effort
    For properties that already exist but are being converted or modernized, a surcharge can be agreed in writing, taking into account the degree of difficulty of the services. Attention: If no surcharge has been agreed, a surcharge of 20 percent applies from an average level of difficulty.

Also good to know: Additional costs and VAT are not included in the table values ​​and are added to the calculation.

HOAI calculator: fees for basic services for buildings and interiors

The following table shows the minimum and maximum fees for basic services for buildings and interiors.

Eligible costs in euros

Fee zone I
very low requirements

from ... to

Fee zone II
low requirements

from ... to

Fee zone III
average requirements

from ... to

Fee zone IV
High demands


from ... to

Fee zone V
very high requirements

from ... to

25.000

3.120 –
3.657

3.657 –
4.339

4.339 –
5.412

5.412 –
6.094

6.094 –
6.631

35.000

4.217 –
4.942

4.942 –
5.865

5.865 –
7.315

7.315 –
8.237

8.237 –
8.962

50.000

5.804 –
6.801

6. 801 – 8.071

8.071 –
10.066

10.066 –
11.336

11.336 –
12.333

75.000

8.342 –
9.776

9.776 –
11.601

11.601 –
14.469

14.469 –
16.293

16.293 –
17.727

100.000

10.790 –
12644

12.644 –
15.005

15.005 –
18.713

18.713 –
21.074

21.074 –
22.928

150.000

15.500 –
18.164

18.164 –
21.555

21.555 –
26.883

26.883 –
30.274

30.274 –
32.938

200.000

20.037 –
23.480

23.480 –
27.863

27.863 –
34.751

34.751 –
39.134

39.134 –
42.578

300.000

28.750 –
33.692

33.692 ­–
39.981

39.981 –
49.864

49.864 –
56.153

56.153 –
61.095

500.000

45.232 –
53.006

53.006 –
62.900

62.900 –
78.449

78.449 –
88.343

88.343 –
96.118

750.000

64.666 –
75.781

75.781 –
89.927

89.927 –
112.156

112.156 –
126.301

126.301–
137.416

1.000.000

83.182 –
97.479

97.479 –
115.675

115.675 –
144.268

144.268 –
162.464

162.464 –
176.761

1.500.000

119.307 –
139.813

139.813 ­–
165.911

165.911 –
206.923

206.923 –
233.022

233.022 –
253.527

2.000.000

153.965 –
180.428

180.428 –
214.108

214.108 –
267.034

267.034 –
300.714

300.714 –
327.177

3.000.000

220.161 –
258.002

258.002 –
306.162

306.162 –
381.843

381.843 –
430.003

430.003 –
467.843

5.000.000

343.879 –
402.984

402.984 –
478.207

478.207 –
596.416

596.416 –
671.640

671.640 –
730.744

7.500.000

493.923 –
578.816

578.816 –
686.862

686.862 –
856.648

856.648 –
964.694

964.694 –
1.049.587

10.000.000

638.277 –
747.981

747.981 –
887.604

887.862 –
856.648

1.107.012 –
1.246.635

1.246.635 –
1.356.339

15.000.000

915.129 –
1.072.416

1.072.416 –
1.272.601

887.604 –
1.107.012

1.587.176 –
1.787.360

1.787.360 –
1.944.648

20.000.000

1.180.414 –
1.383.298

1.383.298 –
1.641.513

1.272.601 –
1.587.176

2.047.281 –
2.305.496

2.305.496 ­–
2.508.380

25.000.000

1.436.874 –
1.683.837

1.683.837 –
1.998.153

1.641.513 –
2.047.281

2.492.079 –
2.806.395

2.806.395 –
3.053.358

Calculation example HOAI

How big do you want your house to be?
For example: With three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the living space is approximately 152 square meters.

Calculate construction costs
152 square meters of living space multiplied by 1530 euros (average value for a single-family home in low-energy construction; source: Baukosteninformationszentrum GmbH (BKI)) results in a construction cost of 232,560 euros (including VAT; not included: ancillary construction costs, development costs and outdoor facilities)
Short form: 152 x 1530 = 232,560

Calculate architect fee
According to the HOAI calculator (see table above), the minimum rate of the architect's fee in fee zone III (average single-family house), with a net construction cost of around 200,000 euros, is around 27,863 euros. In addition, there are additional costs for duplicating plans, telephone calls and travel costs of three to five percent. The fees for the respective service phases can then be calculated from this sum.

Architect's fee for the individual work phases

phase

task

proportion of

fee

1

Basics determination

3 percent

836 euros

2

Pre-planning

7 percent

1,950 euros

3

Draft planning

11 percent

3,065 euros

4

Approval planning

6 percent

1,672 euros

5

Execution planning

25 percent

6,966 euros

6

Award preparation

10 percent

2,786 euros

7

Award participation

4 percent

1,114 euros

8

Construction supervision

31 percent

8,637 euros

9

Property care

3 percent

836 euros

total

100 percent

27,863 euros

From this you can now calculate the total by adding up the work phases that were also used. If, for example, phases 1 to 4 were carried out by the architect, the minimum fee to be paid is:
836 euros + 1,950 euros + 3,065 euros +1,672 euros = 7,523 euros

Alternative calculation method if the fee rate is changed

Example: The new construction of a single-family house in a cost-effective construction with a simple standard is to be planned. The architect should take over the service phases 1 to 4, which results in a total of 27 percent of the total fee according to the service profile according to § 34 HOAI. In addition, the single-family home falls into fee zone III. The net sums for the building construction amount to 160,000 euros and for the technical building installation to 40,000 euros. This results in a total of (160,000 + 40,000) euros = 200,000 euros. The fee rate agreed was 25 percent above the minimum rate, ie a “quarter rate”.

The table now shows a minimum fee rate of 27,863 euros (fee zone III at 200,000 euros). However, since the agreed rate is higher, the new rate is now determined by calculating the difference between the maximum rate and the minimum rate and, from this, the 25 percent. This means:

34,751 euros (maximum rate) - 27,863 euros (minimum rate) = 6888 euros

The 25 percent of the 6888 euros is now calculated. You can do this either with the rule of three or by dividing 6888 euros by 4. The result is 1722 euros. So it should be paid 1722 euros more than the minimum rate. This ultimately results in a fee rate of 29,585 euros. From this new rate, the individual performance levels can either be determined again or the 27 percent can be calculated directly:

0.27 x 29,585 euros = 7,987.95 euros

In short: 0.27 x [€ 27,863 + (€ 34,751 - € 27,863) / 4] = 7,987.95