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Any architects/surveyors on here today?

(10 Posts)
lamandler Mon 22-Oct-12 12:35:13

If you are.....

I am wondering how to manage our tech planner (not an architect but drawing plans and calculations).

He has drawn up plans for loft conversion and submitted, and handled party wall notices. In doing the party wall notices he sold his own services as a party wall surveyor to do a schedule of notice either side of our terrace for £450 a pop - which he never mentioned to us as an option (we pay of course).

His drawings have also been questioned by builders quoting for removal of an exterior wall in the kitchen as being overly complicated and expensive with 1m deep concrete, but he is incredibly defensive and patronising about it all.

In short, he is bloody annoying and I don't feel like he is acting in our best interests at all.

Do I sack him? And where does that leave the lawful devt cert process?

Sigh, building hasn't even started yet and I feel knackered...

lamandler Mon 22-Oct-12 12:36:26

And we went with him because he gave full package cheaper than an architect which we felt was all we needed (it's avery straightforward job). Got what we paid for, etcetc

tricot39 Mon 22-Oct-12 18:59:47

he might be a prick but that doesnt mean he has done a bad job.

if you are on clay soild best practice would normally mean a 1m min depth footing. more if you have trees nearby.

tricot39 Mon 22-Oct-12 19:00:29

should say soil!

lamandler Mon 22-Oct-12 22:04:27

Not clay and not trees. I may have been expecting too much by thinking he would come up with solutions to keep costs down.
And probably feel way out of our depth already

tricot39 Mon 22-Oct-12 22:18:18

existing site features? adjacent drains? there are a number of reasons that it could be.

but you are right, if doing a job for a cheap fee, the work could be overdesigned to reduce calculation/thinking time/risk to him.

however there is a balance to be struck, it would be too expensive for someone to make everything just right for size on a small job. ie the time/fee spent would exceed the cost of the material saved.

however if you really do not like him and do not trust him you would be best to write him off and find someone that you do trust. it will be too late after you start and if there are arguments already they will only get worse once work starts as that is the really stressful bit. the sooner you do it the easier it will be.

good luck

lamandler Mon 22-Oct-12 22:32:27

That's really useful advice tricot, thanks

Pendeen Tue 23-Oct-12 16:48:24


Now the project is on site what is is role exactly?

As you have said he isn't an architect but is he acting for you as the 'contract administrator' i.e. managing the contract on your behalf or is he simply responding to queries from the contractor?

lamandler Tue 23-Oct-12 22:14:21

Hi Pendeen

He is finalising building regs drawings, and will be submitting to approved inspectors. He has said he can talk to builders to get the project off the ground but we haven't contracted him to be project manager so I don't expect more than an initial chat.

He has explained his drawings to me in more detail - DH refuses to talk to him as he can't bear him hmm - and I know he is being cautious for a reason and that is that there is likely a chimney flue under ground which means that the wall we want to build a steel from will be 4 inches in places, therefore needs more expensive shoring up in concrete. Disclaimer: not sure I have a clue what I am talking about.

We are still at quote stage with builders as quite a few of the feckers were keen to do loft but less so to do refurb of rest of the house, not enough money I guess, so wasted quite a bit of time on them.

I think we wanted/expected/hoped that he would be helping us come up with solutions we could afford but he seems to have a very strong view and no room for alternatives.

Pendeen Wed 24-Oct-12 16:25:29

Sounds as if he would be best gone as soon as possible, as tricot has said.

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