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How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Architect in Toronto?

Ready to get real about your new Toronto home? You need a plan. If you’re researching the cost of an architect to design your custom home or residential renovation, you’re likely getting ready to make the first steps. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to budget for this exciting early investment in your perfect space.

At SevernWoods, we partner with Toronto's most skilled architects. Based on your vision and goals for your custom home or whole home renovation, we will then collaborate with an architect that meets your style. We are also happy to provide a short list of suggestions for an excellent architect to create the plans we will execute on your behalf. We're here to help you select the perfect architect for your project and understand your expected investment.

Residential Architect Looking at Floor Plan of Home

Read the Reviews

Read online reviews for your area. Take some with a grain of salt; every story has two sides. Watch for trends where the same problems or highlights are mentioned.  If your friend or a family member has had recent construction that catches your eye, find out who did it. Word of mouth is a great way to be sure your architect has happy clients. 

Refine Your Vision

Knowing what you want will help you evaluate whether a potential architect is equipped to give it to you. Spend time reviewing online portfolios and Pinterest boards. Reach out to architects near you that have created homes that embody the aesthetic you’re after. 

Modern Home Exterior Design at Night With Floor to Ceiling Windows

Interview Your Top Choices

One important step in finding the perfect architect is to meet with several potential candidates to discuss your project before committing to a contract. Interview potential architects using our list of questions to ensure you cover every aspect of your project and work together.

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Types of Architectural Professionals


These are the most trained professionals of the bunch. While they take building components into account and produce a structurally sound plan, they create your building plans with a focus on art, flow, and function. Architects are also more likely and better equipped to interface with your builder during construction.

Architectural Technologist

You can choose an architectural technologist to create the plans for your custom home and you might, but not always, pay less. Architectural technologists marry their knowledge of building code and drafting software to create plans for your custom home. These plans include less frill and flair than those designed by an architect but accomplish the same task.

Interior Designer

Some architectural plans include interior design, while others require you to hire an interior designer. This distinction accounts for some of the variability in the price point of hiring an architect. Your interior designer will help you place elements, select colors, finishes, and features, and more.

How Do Architects Establish Their Fees?

Typical architect fees are calculated in one of three ways for residential projects. The most advantageous way for you depends on your lot, the scope of the project you have planned, and the extent of collaborative work your builder will need from your architect.

Flat Fee

Your project will fall at a certain fixed price point for the design. While complete assurance of your final price is appealing, this may limit the scope of your collaboration or include fees for small changes in the fine print that could cost you. You could pay a larger fee than you need because your architect assumes there will be extra collaboration that you don't need. It's vital to fully understand your contract with your architect so that you understand how you will work together and what is included in your fee.

By the Work Hour

Your project costs more when it takes your architects more time. You could pay up to $250 per hour for a seasoned architect, but they likely won’t be the only person from the firm working on your design. You’ll likely pay a lower hourly rate for more junior team members like interns, draftspeople, and BCIN (Building Code Identification Number) professionals who work on your project. Your architect should be available hourly when needed during construction.

Percent of the Cost of Your Build

You won’t know exactly what your architectural fees will be until you know how much building your home or completing your renovation ultimately costs. The percentage you pay your achitect will depend on the scope and complexity of your project, and whether you need interior design and construction management.

Residential Architect Drawing Out Plans of Home on Table

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Toronto Architect?

The amount you'll pay your architect to design your custom home depends on the scope of the work and level of detail you're hiring them to create. You’ll pay less for smaller or more straightforward work, and larger for custom projects with unique features.

What Aspects of My Project Could Increase its Cost?

You may pay more for your architect if you need any of these things:

3D Renderings

Projects with 3D renderings are easy to visualize and discuss. With a shared focal point, you may find it easier to fine-tune your details, but you’ll usually pay more to have 3D renderings created.


Changing your mind commits your design team to more labour. Your contract may include a limited number of revisions or a fee schedule for making your changes.

Unusual Shape

Anything out of the norm will require extra time during design. If you can’t use many standard elements because of curves or angles, you’ll require more labour and problem-solving to achieve the look you desire.


If you’re making minute calls about every aspect of your home, your architect must take the time to understand and document them. While this may be completely worthwhile to create the vision you’ll inhabit for the foreseeable future, it could translate to your architectural fees.

Custom Home Build Design Exterior View


SevernWoods Partners with Toronto’s Top Architects to Create Your Dream Home

SevernWoods loves digging into rich architectural plans and making these works of art real. We want your experience with every aspect of your home build to culminate in the perfect home for you, and we hope designing your new Toronto home is a thrilling experience. We cannot wait to build it.

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