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Architect is abysmal can we jump ship?

(12 Posts)
Vedamakesthebesttoast Tue 14-Nov-17 23:54:08

Long story short our architect is beyond shite and we've lost all confidence.

We've paid him his first instalment of three which was for his work up to and including getting us through planning permission, which we have now had for months...second is due after he delivers full drawings and tender documents to builders.

He's let us down on so many meetings with poor excuses now I've lost count, says he'll email things through and doesn't, when asked for specific details he evades questions and won't answer for weeks, when he does the answers to our questions are littered with mistakes. He brought round initial tender documents last month that had glaring errors, obvious copy and paste sections from other projects specifying things that don't even exist in our house, underfloor heating being one noteable one which we don't have and specifically have discussed with him as not wanting, other things like saying the boiler will be located in the first floor landing hot press.... there is no f'ing hot press on the first floor... list goes on.

Anyway after being 'sick', not being 'far enough on' with drawings, wanting the weekend to 'finish things off' and having a toothache he has Now put our latest meeting off by a MONTH! I'm totally disenchanted and frankly fearful of going any further with someone I have no faith in.

Meanwhile we're paying a massive mortgage on a house that is uninhabitable as it's a total doer upper whilst living in another house and haveiterally no idea when we will be even ready to send out tender docs to start getting quotes for the work

Has anyone any words of wisdom as to what our situation would be if we broke contract with him and engaged a new architect?

Silverjellybean71 Tue 14-Nov-17 23:55:52

No words of wisdom but it sounds like a nightmare. I hope you get sorted

Humptynumpty02 Tue 14-Nov-17 23:56:45

Same situation, doer upper, very tardy architect which we paid a small fortune to. Was very frustrating but we tried to be as patient as possible, 6 months it took to get through planning but it was worth it in the end as his designs are unbelievable. Hope you get it sorted.

Silverjellybean71 Tue 14-Nov-17 23:59:54

I’m guessing from the Veda reference you’re in NI? Whereabouts is your architect based - we’re looking at architects at the moment, I’ll try to avoid yours!

Badweekjustgotworse Wed 15-Nov-17 00:02:36

Humpty, the insurance is up on the house the end of this week.... we bought it a year ago and are still no further on.
Glad your architect was worth the wait, honestly were not doing anything amazing. Just a read extension so there's not even the seeetner that it'll be amazing at the end, it'll just be a fairly bog standard single storey extension!

silver thank you!

Badweekjustgotworse Wed 15-Nov-17 00:03:09

Name changed so as not to put myself... that didn't work then!

BrandNewHouse Wed 15-Nov-17 07:04:31

Absolutely do ditch. But read your contract first.

You will feel better when you start phoning others. Also phone RIBA to ask about their complaints/professional standards section.

I think your progress is abysmal. And felt sick for you reading what has happened. (I wrote out our progress in comparison and deleted it because the difference is so stark)

If you hope to build next spring/summer then realistically you aren’t on track at the moment.

Have you got written dates where he committed to having things done? That you can show definitively that the milestones are not met.

Lastly there is a free online book called Project Management for Dummies which I would recommend to you. If you start to see yourself as the Project Manager then how you go about things will probably change.

Tatlerer Wed 15-Nov-17 07:37:35

Your architect sounds sloppy and incompetent. Trust me, if they’re revealing those characteristics at this stage, just wait until your builder starts trying to build what they’re drawn- that could be littered with inaccuracies too.

From the sounds of it you’ve paid what you owe (up to planning) but haven’t received any of the full plans which would trigger your next payment, so it looks as if you have every right to walk away.

whiskyowl Wed 15-Nov-17 08:21:41

This is appalling.

If your architect is RIBA-registered, there is an established complaints procedure. I would be pursuing this with a view to reclaiming some of the money you have spent on account of shoddy work. It sounds as though you have more than enough evidence to support that.

And yes, definitely change your guy. By the sounds of things, you're racking up costs and there's no end in sight.

BubblesBuddy Wed 15-Nov-17 20:56:48

Is this a chartered architect or a technician? Is he a one man band or does he work for a practice? If a practice, compkainnto the boss.

Archipops Thu 16-Nov-17 09:23:07

If I can recall from the top of my head notice is two weeks for termination (easy to check with RIBA), do you have a contract between you and your architect? I’m guessing you don’t because you would have otherwise read what your options are. Giving the RIBA a call to just enquire is a good idea, you don’t have to identify who your architect is but can still make a general enquiry about the issue of termination of an architect’s services and what your rights are as a client especially when he/she doesn’t perform. It feels like a clean breaking point if you stop now as it is it between two stages of your project and you have got planning in the bag. If you get a new architect he/she will have to notify your first architect that he is taking over under professional conduct standard practice but you’d have to terminate your first architect first. Hope this helps.

HernandezEC Fri 17-Nov-17 22:52:32

I agree with @whiskyowl You should cut your losses because it’s not going to get any better, especially if you run into problems with the design later on down the line.

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