Frequently Asked Questions

What does an Architect do and why do you need one for your project in Spain?

When it comes to architects’ services there are substantial differences in the services offered between Spain and architects in the UK and other northern European countries. Firstly, in Spain, unlike the UK for example, it is obligatory to engage the services of a Spanish registered architect for new builds and for many rehabilitation projects. Secondly, architects in Spain offer a more comprehensive service, this means that unlike most European Countries where the architect requires the hiring of specialists such as structural engineers, energy consultants and quantity surveyors, here in Spain, the architect is qualified to carry out all of these tasks and are normally included in their fees. In northern Europe fees such as that of the structural engineer would be in addition to the basic architectural fee. Thirdly, In Spain, on most projects, an independent assistant architect (aparejador) must be engaged by the client by law before the construction starts to supervise the building work. This does not mean that the architect does not supervise the works, like in the UK for example, the architect will supervise the works providing any additional information to the contractor during the construction phase. This technical architect, or aparejador, is there to supervise that the contractor uses the materials and specification stated on the architect’s project and he normally supervises the health and safety of workmen on site. Finally, this additional supervision is important. The architect, the aparejador and the contractor take on full responsibility for the construction quality of the project, including aspects that would normally only be guaranteed by the contractor in other countries.

How much does an Architect cost in Spain?


Generally, in Spain an architect’s fee is expressed as a percentage of the building cost and can be broken down into different phases of the project, hence is paid in stages as the project progresses.

There are no mandatory fixed percentage rates; however, most colleges of architects (the regional professional organisations who oversee the work of architects) have their own standard percentage rate tables for their respective regions. These tables provide a guide percentage fee based on the size and complexity of the project, and most architects quote these figures. 

Depending on the location of the project, the size of the project and the complexity of the project an architect can cost on average between 8% and 15%; however, this can be lower or even higher depending on the precise details of the project and the services that are included in the fee. Unlike many other countries this figure includes many of the services that are charged separately in other countries, such as project management and structural engineering, and in some cases may also include interior design and landscape architecture. It is important that it is made clear at the beginning of the project what services are included in the fee and which are not. 

It should also be noted that although many services are included in some cases the aparejador is not included in the standard architectural fee. 

This aparejador generally costs 50% of the architectural fee hence could cost between 4% and 7%; however, many architects do include the fee hence this must be confirmed at the beginning of the project. 

  Conventionally they charge a percentage of the build cost. While there are no mandatory rates almost all architects quote the standard rates of their colegio. The percentages vary according to the scale of the project. The Architects Colleges that supervise the architects in their regions provide extensive tables which show how the rates vary.
What is the Golden Visa?

The Spanish government launched its Golden Visa programme in September 2013. Through this scheme the Spanish Government hoped to attract overseas property investors to its shores by providing family residency and work permit in Spain with only an investment (excluding €500,000 taxes). 

With this system an investor will gain an investor “Golden Visa” visa which can be renewed every two years. After five years this visa can be changed to a permanent residency, after 10 years the investor can apply for full citizenship. Unlike many of these schemes in other countries the Spanish Golden Visa system is designed especially for wealthy, non-european, investors hence you do not have to live in Spain. To maintain and be able to renew your visa you must only visit Spain once during the period of your residency visa and maintain your investment. 

This visa scheme has been designed to encourage investment in Spain however any applicant must meet a set of general requirements. 

Key Facts: -    

Investment of €500,000

(Can be multiple properties but excluding Taxes.) 

Full Family Visa

(including non-married partners, children over 18 years old and dependant family members)

 Flexible, no need to live in Spain and the process can begin even if the buying of the property is not    completed. 

Can lead on to full residency and citizenship.


Can be used to travel through the European Schengen Area.

General requirements: 

Be a non-EU National 

Be of legal age (18 years or older) 

Must not hold a criminal record whether in Spain or in the previous 5 years where he has resided. 

Have access to medical insurance  

Have sufficient financial means to support both themselves and their family.

This is purely a brief overview and every individual case is different, for further information please get in touch.