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    • kasworld
    • By kasworld 5th Mar 18, 9:31 PM
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    kasworld
    Architect issue with extension drawings
    • #1
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:31 PM
    Architect issue with extension drawings 5th Mar 18 at 9:31 PM
    Hello all!

    I hope you can help with some much needed advice with some issues we are having with an architect.

    So the story goes like this, we had a few architects come over to our property to give us quotes for drawing up our planning and building drawings. This one guy which I spoke with over the phone had given me an estimate for doing the drawings and confirmed the estimate by email. He came over to my property to discuss the extension further and we showed him a sketch that we had done of the planned extension. At this stage he verbally confirmed that he would be happy to stick to the prices given in the email and therefore we agreed to go ahead with his services.

    The same guy then came back to our house to take measurements, during this visit he asked us how much he had quoted us to do the job and then made a remark that he normally charges more. However, he made a note of the quote and then said that the next stage would be for him to send us an invoice for which we would pay 40% as a deposit and he would then go ahead and send us an initial draft of the drawings within 2 weeks of payment.

    Today, to my surprise , I have received the invoice but it is more expensive than the quote he verbally agreed to in his email by £100. I made him aware of this pricing error to which his reasoning was that the fact that we were removing the wall between the kitchen and diner and a chimney have accounted for these extra costs, even though we made him aware of this from the start and other quotes we had received from other architects included this in their price.

    I feel this has been a bad way to start a relationship with the person I am trusting with the drawings for our extension and feel like I have lost confidence in this guy going forward with our project. I mean how do I know he is not going to keep on changing his word/ prices.

    My question is would we be liable for any charges to this architect if were to decide to go with a different architect at this stage? He has not started any drawings, and at no stage has he mentioned there will be any charges to us for the 2 visits to our house he has made and I have not signed any agreements. All he has done is measure up the area of the extension.

    Thanks in advance for your responses and sorry for the essay (I am slightly angry with the lack of professionalism from this guy and waste of our time)
    Last edited by kasworld; 06-03-2018 at 7:37 AM. Reason: correction to post
Page 1
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 5th Mar 18, 9:44 PM
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    the_r_sole
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:44 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:44 PM
    seems like a very strange way to do business, is the person a registered architect? (my usual first question)
    If they haven't undertaken any work and have changed their quote when asking for a deposit (another strange ask imo) - I can't see what you are liable for.
    Obviously they have taken some time to take measurements which they might ask for payment for - but it's difficult to understand what's going on here! were they the cheapest per chance?
    • kasworld
    • By kasworld 5th Mar 18, 9:59 PM
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    kasworld
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:59 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:59 PM
    If I am honest, I could not see him as registered on the RIBA and ARB sites and found him by checking our local boroughs planning site. He seemed to have submitted quite a few applications in the area so I thought he would be a good choice based on that. Rookie mistake from my part!

    He was definitely not the cheapest by any means and in fact on par with the most expensive quotes I had received but his drawings looked detailed to me and he assured us that he could also design the structural beams for the extension. I just feel that I should have gone with someone who was registered which is what I am inclined to do now but I don't want to be liable for any costs as he has not delivered anything for us other than mess us around.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Mar 18, 6:38 AM
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    Furts
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 6:38 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 6:38 AM
    The Architect may be the innocent one here. You seem unsure on what happened . You say you phoned for a "quote", yet you received an "estimate". Then consider reality. How can anyone quote accurately for work without first seeing this work?

    Perhaps there is more work involved than allowed for in the "quote/estimate"? you may have said this, you may not, the Architect may not have understood your intentions - who knows but it is just one person versus another here.

    All round it does trivial to be arguing over £100. This is not a major rip off sum. I would be paying it and going ahead, but monitoring matters from now on.
    • kasworld
    • By kasworld 6th Mar 18, 7:21 AM
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    kasworld
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 7:21 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 7:21 AM
    Hi Furts

    To be clear. I totally appreciate and respect that you cannot price a job without seeing the work. Nor would I expect him to. As mentioned in my previous post, he has come over to my house twice and we have gone through the work involved in detail and confirmed the costs involved verbally on 2 occasions. Whilst I appreciate he probably deals with many clients and may have forgotten the agreed price once, but on his second visit he made a note of his agreed price on his notepad and said he would stick to it. I totally would have understood once viewing the work involved (very basic square kitchen extension by the way) if he would have explained that the quote would be more due to x y z reasons which would then have enabled me to make an informed decision and either stick with him or choose someone else.

    Even in his email which he sent with the invoice he did not explain that he was now charging more as he probably thought I would just pay it.

    Trust me it is not the case of me being difficult for the sake of £100. More so that I find his service has been very unprofessional so far and not what I expect especially for the amount he is charging in total (circa 2.5k planning and building drawings) which he could increase at his own will once again. I have lost faith in him providing me with the service I need and would like to now go with a registered architect before this guy starts any drawings.
    Last edited by kasworld; 06-03-2018 at 7:27 AM.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 6th Mar 18, 7:46 AM
    • 12,196 Posts
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    theonlywayisup
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 7:46 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 7:46 AM
    I need and would like to now go with a registered architect before this guy starts any drawings.
    Originally posted by kasworld
    Do it then. Let the current contractor know asap and ask for his final invoice.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Mar 18, 8:25 AM
    • 4,282 Posts
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    Furts
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:25 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:25 AM
    Hi Furts

    To be clear. I totally appreciate and respect that you cannot price a job without seeing the work. Nor would I expect him to. As mentioned in my previous post, he has come over to my house twice and we have gone through the work involved in detail and confirmed the costs involved verbally on 2 occasions. Whilst I appreciate he probably deals with many clients and may have forgotten the agreed price once, but on his second visit he made a note of his agreed price on his notepad and said he would stick to it. I totally would have understood once viewing the work involved (very basic square kitchen extension by the way) if he would have explained that the quote would be more due to x y z reasons which would then have enabled me to make an informed decision and either stick with him or choose someone else.

    Even in his email which he sent with the invoice he did not explain that he was now charging more as he probably thought I would just pay it.

    Trust me it is not the case of me being difficult for the sake of £100. More so that I find his service has been very unprofessional so far and not what I expect especially for the amount he is charging in total (circa 2.5k planning and building drawings) which he could increase at his own will once again. I have lost faith in him providing me with the service I need and would like to now go with a registered architect before this guy starts any drawings.
    Originally posted by kasworld
    I think you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You have a bad feeling over £100. However you have engaged this person. If you cancel this engagement then it is reasonable for you to be billed for one, or both, visits plus thinking and preparation. The Architect could put any reasonable sum against these occasions then invoice you for this. Of course, whether you pay and what sum, is up to you.

    If you are being this uncertain before ever leaving the starting line with your extension, then I wonder if you have the mindset to progress all the way through the building works - there will be issues and problems. There will be money issues to discuss, variations, extras and stress.

    It is your decision over your architect. However, rather than argue over £100 you could, and perhaps should, be managing and controlling this individual. By doing so there will be no more additional costs, or doubts, because you are in control. Plus being in control is a vital mindset - if it does not exist now then it is worrying on how your building works may turn out.
    • kasworld
    • By kasworld 6th Mar 18, 8:29 AM
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    kasworld
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:29 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:29 AM
    Thanks, will be contacting him today.

    Do you think he can charge me for anything as he has not provided me with any service whatsoever. This invoice he sent me was to go ahead and start drafting the drawings for which he measured up for. He did not have any input on our design as we done that and at no point has he advised he charges for visiting my property.
    • fezster
    • By fezster 6th Mar 18, 8:32 AM
    • 256 Posts
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    fezster
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:32 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:32 AM
    Hi Furts

    To be clear. I totally appreciate and respect that you cannot price a job without seeing the work. Nor would I expect him to. As mentioned in my previous post, he has come over to my house twice and we have gone through the work involved in detail and confirmed the costs involved verbally on 2 occasions. Whilst I appreciate he probably deals with many clients and may have forgotten the agreed price once, but on his second visit he made a note of his agreed price on his notepad and said he would stick to it. I totally would have understood once viewing the work involved (very basic square kitchen extension by the way) if he would have explained that the quote would be more due to x y z reasons which would then have enabled me to make an informed decision and either stick with him or choose someone else.

    Even in his email which he sent with the invoice he did not explain that he was now charging more as he probably thought I would just pay it.
    Originally posted by kasworld
    Given your description of events, I'd say he is chancing his arm that you will just pay the extra without questioning it. A poor way to do business IMO, and I would use somebody else just on principle. It's also an indication of his honesty and you need to decide if you can trust a person like this going forwards.

    In my experience, you need to be on good terms with your architect and have complete confidence in them, as there may be many more conversations and meetings going forwards, depending on the complexity of the build. You should also discuss up front any charges associated with these additional consultations.
    • fezster
    • By fezster 6th Mar 18, 8:37 AM
    • 256 Posts
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    fezster
    Do you think he can charge me for anything as he has not provided me with any service whatsoever. This invoice he sent me was to go ahead and start drafting the drawings for which he measured up for. He did not have any input on our design as we done that and at no point has he advised he charges for visiting my property.
    Originally posted by kasworld
    From a legal standpoint, this is determined by any contract which exists between you (written or verbal).

    From an ethical standpoint, it would be incredibly unfair to take up someone's time without recompense if you had simply changed your mind. But referring to my previous post, in this case, I'd be annoyed at his shameless attempt to increase the cost without discussion first and make him realise that he cannot conduct business in this way.
    • kasworld
    • By kasworld 6th Mar 18, 8:37 AM
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    kasworld
    Hi fezster - That is exactly the way I am feeling. He certainly did not fill me with much confidence going forward with him as he broke that trust.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Mar 18, 8:47 AM
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    Furts
    Hi fezster - That is exactly the way I am feeling. He certainly did not fill me with much confidence going forward with him as he broke that trust.
    Originally posted by kasworld
    It is your choice, but to re-iterate my point you are arguing over £100. If you feel strongly over this simply be business like, get firm, and refuse to pay it. Dead easy and see what happens.

    However there is a flip side. You have engaged this person so it is a bit late to say you are unhappy with them. You have entertained them twice at your home, and you have progressed past the survey stage - by your own admission the work has been measured up.

    To say the person has done nothing is absurd - there has been a simple survey. To say the person has not incurred any costs is absurd - there has been two visits. To say you have designed, or conceived the extension is also absurd - had you done so you would have your own drawings.

    All this means if you cancel the agreement it is reasonable to expect an invoice.
    • fezster
    • By fezster 6th Mar 18, 8:57 AM
    • 256 Posts
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    fezster
    However there is a flip side. You have engaged this person so it is a bit late to say you are unhappy with them. You have entertained them twice at your home, and you have progressed past the survey stage - by your own admission the work has been measured up.
    Originally posted by Furts
    I don't disagree with what you are saying Furts, but having been in a similar predicament myself, the question you sometimes have to ask yourself is if someone is being unethical and trying to take advantage of you, is it then unfair to treat them in the same manner. I'm not necessarily referring to the OP's architect, but just as a matter of principle, sometimes people who behave in this manner need to be made to realise their actions are not always without consequence.

    In the real world, in the absence of proof of any contract and with the amount of money being discussed making court action unlikely, I'd be making this a lesson to be learned by said architect. I'd also not want to proceed with his services given his dishonesty as I wouldn't feel comfortable working with such a person.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Mar 18, 9:22 AM
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    Furts
    I don't disagree with what you are saying Furts, but having been in a similar predicament myself, the question you sometimes have to ask yourself is if someone is being unethical and trying to take advantage of you, is it then unfair to treat them in the same manner. I'm not necessarily referring to the OP's architect, but just as a matter of principle, sometimes people who behave in this manner need to be made to realise their actions are not always without consequence.

    In the real world, in the absence of proof of any contract and with the amount of money being discussed making court action unlikely, I'd be making this a lesson to be learned by said architect. I'd also not want to proceed with his services given his dishonesty as I wouldn't feel comfortable working with such a person.
    Originally posted by fezster
    There are architectural types who are rogues - one exists not too far from my home! However we only have one side of the story. This person may be fairly genuine and we do not know how the £100 has arisen. However the stance of OP is also puzzling. Here one would say something along the lines of ... "I engaged you in writing, here is the copy, here are the terms I set, here is your confirmation, this is what was agreed..." Then "your invoice is £100 over what was agreed so I am not paying the £100. However if you can provide me with a valid reason for this in writing then I will pay it. However I am making it clear there will be no more unforeseen extra charges payable by me" Simple, job done and move on. So why are we not at this stage?

    Going back to the first post OP may have made a typo. But if not then it is clear OP cannot tell a quote from an estimate. I raised this query earlier but OP has not responded to this. This is concerning and it is also a balanced approach - but integrity is also important. The architectural person should have integrity.

    Equally I sense OP has not been business like, professional, and logical in their dealings with the matter. I have made observations and also used the word absurd various times.

    So neither party comes out of this as squeaky clean.

    OP gives no consideration to what work, and costs, the architectural person has incurred. Visits cost money - there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    Added to this it is possible OP lives in a smallish community - cancel number one and one might then find the subsequent competitors have weighed up the situation and are either unavailable or now more expensive.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 6th Mar 18, 9:44 AM
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    the_r_sole
    there's a few issues here - firstly he's not an architect!
    I find it absolutely bizarre that he would not know how much he had quoted for a job, we issue written fee quotes with a po for the client to sign if they accept the quote - and do not undertake any work before having a written agreement signed (this comes from bitter experience!) Although I am always happy to discuss projects with potential client free of charge.
    Asking a client to remind you how much you've quoted for a job is ridiculous, surely he has written records of fees?!
    Either he has priced it wrong or is looking for ways to maximise his fee.
    If you don't employ a professional you can't expect a professional service
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 6th Mar 18, 9:46 AM
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    the_r_sole
    There are architectural types who are rogues - one exists not too far from my home! However we only have one side of the story. This person may be fairly genuine and we do not know how the £100 has arisen.
    Originally posted by Furts
    I made him aware of this pricing error to which his reasoning was that the fact that we were removing the wall between the kitchen and diner and a chimney have accounted for these extra costs, even though we made him aware of this from the start and other quotes we had received from other architects included this in their price.
    Originally posted by kasworld
    looks pretty straightforward where the extra is coming from...
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 6th Mar 18, 10:06 AM
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    teneighty
    In a nutshell I believe OP would be liable for the fees incurred so far for the measured survey alone if not some abortive design work if the designer has started the preliminary sketches.

    I agree with R Sole, the designer does sound very unprofessional as a written fee quote, conditions of engagement and written instruction from client are very basic stuff. However I would suggest OP simply talks to the guy, no emails or texts or other modern nonsense. As Furts suggested just say the extra £100 was not in his original fee quote and when he says it is for extra work reply that the work was included in original brief (assuming you can prove it was in the brief) and therefore is not an extra. I suspect he will knock the £100 off as he doesn't really have any other option.
    • Newuser1987
    • By Newuser1987 6th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
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    Newuser1987
    I would advise anyone to ensure their architect is an Architect. As an architect we have to have an agreement in writing clearly stating a number of things including fee and brief. I also have never asked for a deposit!

    I would agree a £100 isn't much, especially considering you may need to add a 0 on that to change to an architect. However as a matter of principle and signs of things to come I think you would be wise to terminate his services. He would be within his right to charge you but he would struggle to justify it if he hasnt got an agreement!
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 6th Mar 18, 1:17 PM
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    teneighty
    I would advise anyone to ensure their architect is an Architect. As an architect we have to have an agreement in writing clearly stating a number of things including fee and brief. I also have never asked for a deposit!

    I would agree a £100 isn't much, especially considering you may need to add a 0 on that to change to an architect. However as a matter of principle and signs of things to come I think you would be wise to terminate his services. He would be within his right to charge you but he would struggle to justify it if he hasnt got an agreement!
    Originally posted by Newuser1987
    Just to clarify there are plenty of architectural designers who are members of other institutions that are regulated to abide by professional standards and require written instructions, professional indemnity insurance etc.

    I'm not sure your final point is correct. I cannot remember the legal term but the OP has agreed the designers quote and terms by allowing them in to their home to undertake the measured survey. It is something like acceptance by actions, the OP and the designer undertook specific actions as if they had a contractual relationship, therefore a contract exists. Just saying they didn't sign anything is not enough.
    • Newuser1987
    • By Newuser1987 6th Mar 18, 1:39 PM
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    Newuser1987
    Just to clarify there are plenty of architectural designers who are members of other institutions that are regulated to abide by professional standards and require written instructions, professional indemnity insurance etc.

    I'm not sure your final point is correct. I cannot remember the legal term but the OP has agreed the designers quote and terms by allowing them in to their home to undertake the measured survey. It is something like acceptance by actions, the OP and the designer undertook specific actions as if they had a contractual relationship, therefore a contract exists. Just saying they didn't sign anything is not enough.
    Originally posted by teneighty
    The three elements of a contract is offer+acceptance+consideration. The reason why I said he would struggle is because of the consideration part. It doesnt seem clear that he has set out a breakdown of his fees. Therefore it wouldnt be clear what both parties have agreed to or what the 40% deposit is exactly for.
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