That depends on your specific project and what services you are willing to pay for on top of the basic requirements for your project. At the bare minimum, the architectural drawing set and the project specifications must be produced by the architect.
This sounds simple but is the most complex part of any project as it consists of many hours spent doing zoning research and analysis, schematic design, design development and construction documents. Some of these hours are spent directly with the client in designing and reviewing the project’s progress during the design stages. Many more hours are actually spent by the architect doing the design and documentation work without direct client involvement. Additional items such as zoning analysis and paperwork procurement for departmental filing are usually included but may not be – always ask what services are being provided in the form of a work proposal. Specialty items such as expediting the filing and computer generated 3D visualizations may be excluded from a typical work proposal but may be added in for extra fees.
Most people think the design creativity of an architect and the subsequent creation of a set of drawings is not really worth as much as other professional services are worth simply because the benefits aren’t readily tangible as it will take several months or years for the project to be realized. This is a misnomer. Architectural drawings and specifications are the lifeblood of any successful building project and designing the project is only just the beginning. Without drawings, no contractor or builder could fathom working on a construction project. Without the architect, who is a licensed professional and the creator of those construction documents, no contractor could successfully bring a project from start to finish as the contractor must routinely communicate with the architect on matters pertaining to the construction of the project.
Just so no one thinks otherwise, in no way do I discourage pricing out different architects for the same service. Every professional will charge fees for their services based upon a variety of factors and costs. A client may therefore receive different prices from different practitioners and firms who must factor in their direct and indirect costs which can vary based on firm size and operations. Additionally, different design professionals value themselves more than others and so will price out projects at a higher rate if they feel they and their designs are worth more. This is no different than a consumer purchasing a good in a retail store. If you feel you want the more exclusive brand you will pay the premium for it.
Additionally, there are standard details for certain construction methods and then there are details which must be specially drawn up for unique construction designs. Therefore you can readily expect a drawing set for a modern design to cost significantly more than a drawing set for a traditional wood frame construction in a hypothetical residential project simply because it will be very time consuming for the architect and his firm to identify and draw up the unique construction details.
But please remember, just like all goods are not created equal neither are all professional services. It is important to remember that you get what you pay for and if you are willing to invest significant funds into a construction project then you must also be willing to hire a licensed professional who can properly handle the project scope.
A good architect is a valuable tool that one must choose wisely and is of great value before, during and after the project as they are the ones who have the most to gain from the successful completion of the project and vice versa.