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WWYD - architect and house extension plans difficulties

(15 Posts)
cat88 Sun 07-Apr-13 21:16:44

Anyone got any tips on how we handle this situation??
We employed an architectural technician for our house extension over a year ago. We made it clear at the outset that we wanted to progress quickly on this.

We got planning permission six months ago - it was relatively straightforward.

We then met with the architect to discuss the building warrant application. We had difficulties getting in touch with him - emails and phone calls not returned including one period of 6 weeks, but he eventually got back to us just before Xmas.

Then took his time but eventually submitted plans in beginning Feb. There was then, a week later, a letter from the Council which outlined over 40 points we needed to address. Given our concerns about timescales we asked for a detailed programme for complying with the building warrant which we agreed and for updates. We got one update a month ago to say he was meeting with the Council and it would be resolved soon.

We have had another month of no contact and have phoned the Council to check progress with them. They told me he has not been in touch at all since the application was submitted at the beginning of Feb. Therefore nothing has been done on our application for the last 2 months.

We have tried to email or phone but again he does not return our calls. We are considering getting another architect to progress but have been told there would be copyright issues with our plans and would have to start again.

We dont know what to do next - he was recommended to us and we were happy with him in the beginning but it just seems like he cannot be bothered to complete the job. WWYD?

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Sun 07-Apr-13 21:18:51

Have you written a formal complaint giving him a deadline to respond by? Is there a senior partner in the firm you could contact?

formicaqueen Sun 07-Apr-13 21:24:22

Write to him and say you are considering another architect as you can't seem to get hold of him and have deadlines

formicaqueen Sun 07-Apr-13 21:25:43

Or write asking nicely if he is too busy to do the work and if he is, can he recommend someone who can do the work quickly.

cat88 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:06:25

We wrote a very nice letter saying we understood he may now be too busy to do this work for us and if so could he let us know by Friday so we could go with someone else. We asked for the electronic versions (which we have paid for) to give to someone else otherwise they start from scratch. We have heard nothing.

cat88 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:10:24

Moose - he works for himself so we cannot contact a senior partner.

architectming Sun 07-Apr-13 22:32:48

Is the Architectural Technician and the Architect the same person? Is it an Architect practice that you employed? You seems to imply you have employed a technician to do you planning application and then an Architect to do your building regulations application.

I will write an email / letter to him and lodge a formal complain for his professional performance, ask him to reply within 14 days to map out what he will do to rectify the situation. If he doesn't reply, I will write to him again to formally terminal his contract with you, don't pay him obviously and get someone else to do it.

When you say he is an Architectural Technician / Architect, has he got CIAT (Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologist) or RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architect) qualification? If he has, then I will formally complain to the institute for professional misconduct.

architectming Sun 07-Apr-13 22:37:04

cat88, so he is a one man band, but is he a qualified Architect or Technician?

Either way, I will formally complain and ask for the electronic version of the drawings and ask someone else to do it if I were you.

cat88 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:46:20

Architectming - It is the same architectural technician we employed throughout - he works for himself was recommended and used to work at the Council where plans are lodged so thought he would know the people and procedures there. He was recommended by friends as we liked what he did for them and their finished extension.

We write but there is no response. He does not have any professional membership on emails - is there anyway we can find out?

I am somewhat relieved that you think we do have an issue to address as we were getting fobbed off by him for so long - nothing done for 3 weeks because and i quote him "I've had a cold." Even if we do go to someone else we have lost a year dealing with him and not sure anyone else would be willing to finish up someone else's work.

cat88 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:53:57

architectming - yes a one man band - an architectural technician. We will formally complain and ask for the electronic version of the drawings again. If we still hear nothing - if we have paid for the drawings but not got them - where do we stand on copyright??
the council officer i spoke to - who has our application said changing to someone else would be v difficult as there would be copyright issues - who could enforce them? Also he knows our current architectural technician since he used to work there and i dont know if that will hinder our situation.

architectming Sun 07-Apr-13 23:02:25

Sadly this is a story I have heard many times before and I do feel for you.

If he is technician, he could be CIAT, you can check their website.

http://www.ciat.org.uk/en/members/

I doubt he is a fully qualified Architect but you can check on the Architect Registration Board website

http://architects-register.org.uk/

If I were you, I will try to get in touch with him (by phone / email), try to get the electronic version of the drawings and terminate the contract in a nice way.

Having the electronic version of the drawings will help the next person to do the job much quicker.

However, I do hope you will employ a proper RIBA registered Architect this time round that will give you a proper full service on your extension. May I ask where you are based?

cat88 Sun 07-Apr-13 23:12:12

architectming - Thanks for the website links. We are based in Scotland.
I am kicking myself about this as we do know other architects but went with him as we knew exactly what we wanted to do and just really needed someone to do the building warrant drawings.
How do professionals get away with this??

architectming Sun 07-Apr-13 23:16:14

Well, that is the problem. He is technically not a professional as he hasn't got any professional qualification.

I will engage a proper architect and get things done properly. Yes, it is painful, but there is little point prolonging your pain further.

Good Luck!

nevergoogle Sun 07-Apr-13 23:19:33

Because an architectural technician is not the same as a registered architect and are not bound by the same legal obligations.

You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

architectming Sun 07-Apr-13 23:21:54

Asking someone else to submit your building regulations application is not a problem, however, I wouldn't take responsibilities of your last application as they are not done by me, it is not a matter of copyright, but professional indemnity. Any competent Architect can submit building regulations application, it doesn't matter if the council knows the person or not.

Good Luck!

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