Possibly you don't realize the architect is the one that designed the building, house et. While something like Formica or granite may seem silly the larger picture. It is how the person makes their living. example; A couple; "We want a beautiful home located on the land we have, and needs to be .... and.... with.... but should also have... "
The architect is usually selling a dream or a design taken from a concept. Those plans, with all those stamps of approvals for zoning, design, soil and water table testing...stress, span, durability, much of this, is work that needs to be done long before a build is started. Often .. the architect is passed over .. just like the artist... Unless there's a failure or bad design then it's WHERE'S THE ARCHITECT!
I've worked with many over the years. many are highly qualified and know their field of endeavor. They actually do know if that house the couple "dreams" of will still be standing after the first hurricane.. not always but most of the time. In my book, architects are the artists of building and building design. Many times someone tries to circumvent them and not pay them for "just a set of plans"
Your boat floats and handles well because someone designed it and was paid to make that happen.
"mark up" = lay person's term for something they are clueless about and try to give it a name.
10% to a contractor for materials.. they might just as well not even do business with the tightwads. out to beat them even before they meet!
I know all about what architects do. I have built two custom houses utilizing architects. My point is if one thinks trades people are out to get your money, then watch out for the professional architect. I interviewed many architects prior to choosing the one that designed my existing house. Most wanted a fee that was a percentage of the "ESTIMATED" construction cost. This estimate was an estimate the architect would be making. I see know reason why the architect should make a higher fee because I choose a 50 year shingle as opposed to a 20 year shingle. Same for counter tops, the architect spends no more time or skill to spec granite as compared to formica.
I finally found an architect that would design my house for a flat fee, one not based on construction costs. This was good as I acted as owner/builder and no general contractor was involved. Much of the work I sub contracted to licensed trades people. Although I would not recommend it, I never had a written contract with the trades people, only a hand shake. I ended up building the custom house for 1/2 the price a general contractor would have charged. For materials, I purchased these all myself, and arrange delivery, this helped with the cash flow for the trades people and this method is what they preferred.
I have no problem paying people what they are worth, and in many cases, I even give them a little extra for their efforts. In the end I ended up with a house I could never have afforded otherwise.
"The architect is usually selling a dream"
Yea, I agree, they are selling a dream...