Any advice on sacking architect technician?

(7 Posts)
lamandler Fri 25-Jan-13 10:42:26

I have posted this in a a couple of other threads about our renovation, but we really need to grow a pair and change who finishes the building regs plans for our renovation. We are waiting on planning permission for the last couple of bits (side return extension and addition to the loft) which were submitted by our frankly awful and stroppy technician.

He is a one man band and has either taken on too much or has the most awful attention to detail. He keeps pulling new info out of the hat and claiming he told us before (up to 8 weeks for Thames Water agreement to build is the latest), he has since day one been defensive and arse covering rather than helpful and interested and there is no trust at all there any more.

We are meeting someone else today - worryingly our approach to finding someone new is "they can't be any worse", oh how we have revised our standards!

Question is, how do I frame the 'sacking'? In a formal email? And when he inevitably says that we can't use his plans, can we have the new guy redraw them from the plans submitted to the council. Either way I suspect this will cost us £££ but as it is the builders have left the site until the mess is fixed.

sad

pollypanic Fri 25-Jan-13 14:01:51

What a nightmare for you. I always find it awkward in these situations. Maybe something along the lines of 'we no longer require your services, please forward us the work that has been completed to date'. Less confrontational than 'you're fired!' grin. If he wants more information as to why, I guess you don't have to give him a reason but out of courtesy you could say in a professional, business like way, you were not happy with the standard of work and the lack of and/or delay of information supplied. If you have paid for the work on your plans, surely they are yours? Good luck.

lamandler Fri 25-Jan-13 16:33:09

Thanks Polly, his drawings say copyright and that they can't be reproduced. He is such a git he will I'm sure be obstructive.

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 25-Jan-13 17:18:44

I'm not 100% certain, but I think that although the copyright for the designs remains with the architect, you are entitled to use them for the purpose for which they were intended (and you have paid!)

ie you CAN use them to continue with the project, but you can't publish them in a book for example.

ThermalKaty Sat 26-Jan-13 12:51:28

There are two separate issues, if you are happy with the planning applications & that is going through OK & you don't need the drawings altered, then fine. If you do need them changed then grit your teeth & stick with it. I expect you will have paid for this part of the job, if not you will need to separate out the fee for this part.

For the next (separate) stage, ie. building regulations, then this is a separate 'service' and a different department that deals with the consents. There are further stages of the work beyond this, mostly optional but you may have already in effect 'commissioned' him for them. You can stop the process at the building regs stage or go on to the detailed design stage (eg. designing cupboard details).

It sounds as though he hasn't finished the BRegs & you haven't paid him. He does have copyright & you will have to get a new person to redraw the BRegs drawings. This might not be too expensive or difficult as the new person can in effect copy the old ones. HOWEVER the next person will be relying on the first persons survey & this is where things might get complicated. Try to talk to 2 more people if you can.

It really depends how close to completion of the drawings he is & if you've asked him to prepare tender documents or oversee the work.

Does he belong to a professional body? He will have a code of conduct, perhaps he is just crap at communicating & you should stick with him?

If in doubt hire an architect. Why? www.architecture.com/UseAnArchitect/Home.aspx

partridgeinpeartree Sat 26-Jan-13 13:34:34

We had a similar situation but with an Architect. In the end we paid him for the plans that he had drawn and put out to tender and which still had multiple errors compared to what we actually wanted building. We then went to a building firm recommended by a friend (not the firms that the Architect had wanted us to use and had quoted us huge amounts for the build). We spoke to new builders about what we wanted and they drew up the detailed plans from scratch (very different structural supports but external view was the same as the submitted planning permission plans) and have built from those. So we have effectively paid for two lots of plans but saved overall by using a builder with a more reasonable costing (30k less than the cheapest quote received via the architect tender).
Was worth the money to never have to deal with the architect again. It was draining and delayed our build for a year. Architect was of the view that the copyright meant we could only use the plans if he was involved in choosing the builder and in the project management (ie if he got a further payment, we had already paid him 15% of the end build cost). I was advised to contact RIBA but in the end we just wanted rid of him and the stress.

lamandler Sun 27-Jan-13 11:35:48

Thanks, sorry not replied before now. Been totally deflated by the whole thing, builders have left site as things too unclear at the minute to have the team there. There are quite a few omissions and errors on plans and processes that are really costing us, so sacking him is the only option. He hasn't started detailed drawings yet as we are still waiting on permission for that part of the build.

He is a sole operator and not member of a body which is difficult, we have nobody to mediate.

DH met someone on Friday who we may go with but it's not a personal recommendation, most people we know just went with specialist companies who did the lot.

If anyone knows good professionals in south west London or nearby I would be most grateful!

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