We like your work but you seem expensive, can you reduce the fee?
We can but only by reducing our service. We take the time to provide a professional service which others may not offer. Reducing the service may not be beneficial to you in the longer term.
As I have a very limited budget, why should I pay you so much?
The fee we charge relates to the amount of work we will have to do. By reducing the scope of our services we may be able to reduce the fee but this could increase the risk to you. In our experience clients save on project cost by getting the design right before starting construction and not changing things during the build. Very often it turns out that this saving is greater than the amount clients spend on architects’ fees.
Do you ask for any payment in advance?
As a rule the practice always asks for an initial payment to cover set up costs on the project.
Why do I pay you so much before construction starts on site?
This is because a large amount of work has to be completed before we get to site and also where the major value is added. If you start building without going through a structured design process construction costs can easily spiral out of control and you will not have any safe indication of when your project will be finished.
Can we arrange the fee payments so we pay you more at the end?
We need to be able to adequately resource the project, but what did you have in mind? Our time is mainly spent in the early stages of a project. If you want us to fund these there will be an additional cost.
When can I have cost certainty on the project?
Absolute certainty on the overall cost of a project is very difficult to achieve. We can put mechanisms in place to help you manage your cost such as early estimates and well planned designs. Minimising changes keeps cost controlled and putting aside a contingency sum helps to cope with unplanned occurrences.
Can you manage the builder so that he stays on budget and on programme?
We do our utmost to ensure the contractor works to specification and can advise on the appropriate contract to use. Your contract will be with the builder direct so we do not technically ‘manage’ their operations. It is always our intention to do what we can to keep the project to programme and budget while monitoring quality on your behalf.
Can you manage the project?
We can offer project management as an additional service if you need assistance beyond our usual role as lead consultant.
Does your fee include other costs, e.g. other consultant’s fees, statutory fees?
No, we can provide an indication of these costs but they do not form a part of our fee.
How often do you come to site to check on the work?
This depends on the complexity of your project and which services you want us to carry out for you. We will discuss this with you and confirm requirements in our appointment and fee proposal.
How many options will you present to us?
Once we have established a brief together with you we will have explored the nature of your project enough to narrow down all the options you may want to consider. We can help you understand what is required in your brief to make the best of your project. To use resources economically we suggest eliminating options positively during the early design stages.
Can we keep all of the designs?
In terms of ownership of designs, our terms of appointment usually describe that the copyright for the design and all its options will remain with us. By paying us for our services you obtain a licence to use our drawings for the purpose of your project.
Can I have this all finished by Christmas?