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To be incandescent with rage at our architect?

(33 Posts)
norkmonster Sun 21-Jun-09 18:37:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OrmIrian Sun 21-Jun-09 18:43:15

Architects are up their own arses! According to my DH who is (was) in the building trade and has had to deal with the ridiculous expectations that architects have. IHE some architects still seem to beleive that you can strongarm local chaps and pay them in bread and cider hmm to do twice the possible amt of work in half the time for peanuts.

Sorry if that wasn't helpful.

OrmIrian Sun 21-Jun-09 18:43:50

BTW. Loads of sympathy sad

norkmonster Sun 21-Jun-09 18:46:28

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Earlybird Sun 21-Jun-09 18:49:07

Have never worked with an architect, but my initial thoughts are:

1. How did you find/choose this architect? Presumably you checked references and spoke to people who were happy with him?

2. Do you have a contract with him that outlines exactly what he will do - plans/permits, etc? Is a timeline/budget specified?

3. It must be incredibly frustrating for you and your dh. Am I wrong to think it would be much easier to get plans/building work done in this economy when money is tight for so many?

I am not in the UK, but keep hearing that builders are so desperate for work atm that they are cutting their fees dramatically, and that materials also cost quite a bit less than a few years ago. In our part of the world, it is possible to get work done for much cheaper than a few years ago. Is it not the same way in the UK?

Not very helpful, I know....sorry you're having such a headache.

EccentricaGallumbits Sun 21-Jun-09 18:51:27

sympathy.
architects/builders/tradesfolk cannot open their mouths without lying.

they just can't help themselves.

also if a builders quote is £x even with 50% on top of what you budgeted the final bill will be 50% on top of that as well.

they talk shite. don't believe them. move instead.

warthog Sun 21-Jun-09 18:51:56

i've just been through this.

sorry but your architect isn't a builder and it's not up to him to quote. he shouldn't have said it was within budget as he couldn't possibly know.

he does sound a bit crap wrt getting things done, so i suspect that in general you haven't been getting great service.

i think it's too late for you to change architects though unless you are prepared to write off the cost, and i think withholding fees is unreasonable. was he expensive?

there was a court case whereby someone sued a builder for poor quality work, but he was very cheap. the builder won on the basis that if you pay for cheap work, you can't expect results worthy of an expensive job. does that make sense?

norkmonster Sun 21-Jun-09 18:53:29

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warthog Sun 21-Jun-09 18:56:35

sorry but i don't buy this 'all builders / architects are liers / up their own arses' crap. you get good ones and bad ones.

i think you should try and find a couple more builders, then look at what you can cut back on.

for instance - if you're having a new kitchen put in, and you're buying the kitchen from john lewis, the builder might be charging you a percentage to include it in the build as he'll have to liase with them and do a wet install.

so you take that out the contract with the builders and you'll save a bit.

you can also get a fixed price contract so that will limit budget creep.

norkmonster Sun 21-Jun-09 18:56:52

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BitOfFun Sun 21-Jun-09 18:58:02

Can you tell him to redesign to come in on budget as he claimed was possible?

warthog Sun 21-Jun-09 18:58:03

ok, he's been a bit of an idiot on that point.

so don't have a glass roof, have a normal roof with skylights.

ime, you come up with the design, then cost it, then see what you can afford. i think it's unreasonable to expect him to know the exact cost of everything.

BUT i think he should have known that the glass roof would be out of budget.

norkmonster Sun 21-Jun-09 18:58:33

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warthog Sun 21-Jun-09 18:59:55

well i think you'll find you won't find an architect out there who would sign a contract with you to say they'll design on budget! he should have managed your expectations (god i HATE that phrase).

go back to him, tell him you want him to redesign so it comes in on budget as you've requested him to do all along.

donkeyderby Sun 21-Jun-09 19:00:06

I had a similar situation with a disabled facilities grant which ended up costing 50% more than original quote. Architect was very expensive and after the initial meeting, sent a very junior (unqualified) colleague in to oversee the build, who we rarely saw and who didn;t know his arse from his elbow.

However, a friend of mine got a builder to agree a set price in advance for an extension with no extras, to be done within a set timescale, i.e., they worked on their house and no others. They did a good job but when they cocked up, they had to undo the problem (the whole roof) out of their own money. It can be done it seems. These are hard times for architects and builders and they should be prepared to be at your beck and call

warthog Sun 21-Jun-09 19:02:38

look, i really sympathize here.

our architects told us we would go over budget with what we wanted but advised us to just get quotes, and then cut what we couldn't afford.

it's a horrible horrible process.

my best advice is go for the best architect and builder you can afford. will be more expensive, but is money well spent.

you're far down the road with this architect, make sure you get a good builder. don't cut back there.

warthog Sun 21-Jun-09 19:03:20

it it's any consolation, our quote came 150% over what we were expecting.

sweetfall Sun 21-Jun-09 19:08:25

had exactly the same situation.

3 sets of plans went from the sublime (out of budget) to the ridiculous (out of budgent and crap) told architect what I thought about not being within budget (had originally asked him to quote only based on his understanding that we had £x budget with no leeway nor opportunity of going any further)

offered him £200 in total and sent him on his way

I would never use an architect again - ever

norkmonster Sun 21-Jun-09 19:11:31

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norkmonster Sun 21-Jun-09 19:12:46

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jabberwocky Sun 21-Jun-09 19:13:00

I have always been told to expect building projects to cost at least half again as much as you thought and take about twice as long.

In that respect you are, unfortunately, right on target.

norkmonster Sun 21-Jun-09 19:15:10

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sweetfall Sun 21-Jun-09 19:17:18

Well I considered that our architect had not fulfilled his part of the contract.

He asked me how much I thought his work to date was worth. I gave him £200 and didn't expect any more.

Yours has also not fulfilled his side of the contract which was to provide a fully budgeted and project managed construction to budget (exclusive of any issues uncovered as building starts)

I would refuse to pay any more and in fact demand his attention to getting the project on budget and started or ask for a refund

but I'm hard me wink

alp Sun 21-Jun-09 19:21:39

We are having an extension done at the moment and the first few builders quotes were way over what we had budgeted and what we had told the architect we wanted to pay - One was almost double.

What we have done is get three quotes and then go back to the builders and say 'We can't afford this, is there a cheaper/alternative way'. ie: Our architect had specified a certain insultation for the roof which is very costly, our builder suggested alternatives that satisfy building regs and saved us approx £6k.

If he is confident that the work can be done within your budget, could he put you in contact with builders he knows could price the work?

norkmonster Sun 21-Jun-09 19:23:54

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