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  • FIRST POST
    • kasworld
    • By kasworld 5th Mar 18, 9:31 PM
    • 16Posts
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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 2
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 6th Mar 18, 6:38 PM
    • 5,194 Posts
    • 13,851 Thanks
    EachPenny
    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.
    Originally posted by Newuser1987
    You don't need to set out a breakdown of fees for a contract to exist. The consideration is a requirement for a contract to be formed, but that can simply be party 1 saying (verbally) "I'll charge you 10".

    If he turns round now and says the cost of the initial survey is 2.5k, the rest of the design work was going to be at no extra charge, then he would indeed struggle if he went to court to claim the full 2.5k - unless this was set out clearly breakdown of his fees as part of a quotation.

    But if he claimed for a few hours for the initial site visits and survey and charged for those at his normal hourly charge rate, then he may have good grounds for a claim.

    More importantly for the OP, people in the building industry talk to each other. If this guy is a cowboy then it doesn't matter. But if other professionals hold him in some regard (which sounds likely if he is getting lots of work) then they would approach a future client with some caution if they are aware the client asked for work to be done, changed their mind, and then refused to pay anything.

    The additional costs that other architects and builders might add in to their prices as 'risk' money might make a couple of hundred quid look like small change.

    If I'd decided that I really didn't want to use his services after all then I would seek to negotiate a fair value for the work that has been done to date. It could be a lot less costly than being taken to court, or being known as a client who is difficult to work with.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • kasworld
    • By kasworld 6th Mar 18, 9:11 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    kasworld
    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.
    Originally posted by Furts
    Hi Furt,

    Whilst I appreciate some of the points you have stated from a neutral point of view, the majority of assumptions you have made are incorrect and are not relevant to this particular case. I agree with you that an estimate over email is not set in stone nor did I assume it was, hence why I invited this guy to my house to see the works involved and confirm the price. Which he did, twice! The moment he changed the price, he broke the terms of our verbal agreement which has now been confirmed to me as the case. It is really that simple.

    I would like to thank everyone on this thread for the advice given, I now have a better understanding of where I stand and will be contacting the architect to come up with some form of agreement. A lesson learned for future projects.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 6th Mar 18, 9:29 PM
    • 4,287 Posts
    • 2,781 Thanks
    Furts
    Hi Furt,

    Whilst I appreciate some of the points you have stated from a neutral point of view, the majority of assumptions you have made are incorrect and are not relevant to this particular case. I agree with you that an estimate over email is not set in stone nor did I assume it was, hence why I invited this guy to my house to see the works involved and confirm the price. Which he did, twice! The moment he changed the price, he broke the terms of our verbal agreement which has now been confirmed to me as the case. It is really that simple.

    I would like to thank everyone on this thread for the advice given, I now have a better understanding of where I stand and will be contacting the architect to come up with some form of agreement. A lesson learned for future projects.
    Originally posted by kasworld
    No point arguing but you still have not clarified each conversation and whether the terminology used was estimate or quotation. Add to this regardless of what you believe was said the architectural type may have a different recollection. None of us Forum folks know the reality here.

    It seems neither you, nor the architectural type has buttoned things up in writing. Neither does it seem that you have had a polite discussion, negotiation, or whatever over matters in order to clear the air and establish where you stand.

    I have simply suggested you act in a business like manner, and my sentences reflect a typical scenario on how you should be dealing with matters. Of course there is more than one way, but you are about to embark on building works so you need to set out your stall even before the word go. If you do not then there could be hassles ahead.
    • DRP
    • By DRP 6th Mar 18, 10:02 PM
    • 3,910 Posts
    • 3,376 Thanks
    DRP
    Regardless of who's fault the current situation is, if you don't trust him now, then you are unlikely to be happy going forward.

    I'd pull the plug now and feed back to him your reasons. A few hundred quid is nothing compared to peace of mind in the grand scheme of things.

    (for the record - from your side of the story it sounds like your designer has been pretty sloppy/shoddy)
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