I charge for all of my services on an hourly basis.
Architectural fees relate directly to the amount of time required for your project. This will be dependant on several things, including:
In order to provide you with an idea of potential fees (a ballpark range), I would need to discuss the above with you for 15 to 30 minutes on the phone.
Be aware that fees can potentially be lowered by reducing the service level, however this can very easily increase your risk and / or elevate your costs elsewhere - especially regarding your construction drawings.
In my view, the best way to minimize your cost is by:
(1) be clear idea of your goals & objectives (this will allow for focused design / minimal time),
(2) getting your design right before moving forward - to eliminate / minimize changes made during construction, and
(3) having sufficient detail on your construction drawings to (1) allow for competitive 'apples-to-apples' tendering, and to (b) minimize misunderstandings with the contractor and "that wasn't included" 'extra's'.
These above items could save you thousands of dollars; potentially much more than the architectural fees all together.
1. A difficulty in you comparing fees amongst various firms is actually getting a real like-for-like comparison. Without an accurate scope of work and understanding of the your needs and goals, there can be big differences in what is perceived to be required / necessary. This includes the amount of detail intended on being provided on construction drawings; which potentially can have costly implications to you.
When looking at design and the related drawings in terms of cost, you generally get what you pay for.
2. Other ways Architects can charge are (1) a 'fixed fee', and (2) a percentage of the construction cost.
'Fixed Fee' doesn't work in my experience as not enough is predictable at the outset with home or cottage projects - especially considering that (a) a great deal of owners are quite unsure what they may specifically want to do at the outset, and (b) a number of folks change their minds thru the design process, sometimes quite often.
Fees based on the Construction Cost do not make sense to me. From the owners perspective, it may appear as though there is an incentive to the architect to have higher construction cost. And from the architects perspective, if they is doing their job properly (designing efficiently sized spaces and suggesting cost savings), the architect will be 'penalized' / compensated less whenever helping the owner to reduce their costs.