Architect not giving CAD drawings ??? What to do ?

(19 Posts)
vivimimi Tue 25-Aug-20 16:33:24

Hi MNers,
I hired an architect for our residential house extension. Although he has submitted planning drawings and also developed BC drawings, I'm not happy with the quality of work.
- Full of spelling errors
- No measurements to the drawings - he says that measurements are not required. (see attached).

I want to review the BC drawings with a private BC controller. I also want to hire a private structural engineer for beam calculations.

The architect is not releasing the CAD drawing for some reason, he has sent me a crumpled (second class post) A0 drawing, that is so difficult to scan. And because the drawings dont have measurements, if difficult to make any sense to anyone.

Who owns the CAD drawings. Can I push the architect to give me the drawings. Anything legal ???

To make matters worse I have already paid the full amount to the architect as he has developed the drawings. I don't have any leverage. He is not picking my phone calls or not responding to emails.
We didn't have any formal contract, it was just over an email.

Any pointers...

OP’s posts: |
ReceptacleForTheRespectable Tue 25-Aug-20 16:37:50

You have already paid him, and it sounds like you have no written contract stating what you are entitled to in terms of deliverables, so I don't think he's under any obligation.

However, I would still push him for the files - if you need an electronic copy for beam calculations then tell him that.

Pipandmum Tue 25-Aug-20 16:56:07

So the architect didn't visit your home? Do you have a contract? It would have specified in that exactly what service he was providing. Look back at the emails and see what it is you actually asked him to do.
I have a structural engineer do my drawings for the builder and regs, I've only used an architect for planning permission. Even then we had several copies of drawings, plus modifications etc which should be sent rolled in a hard tube.
If he's a member of ARB go to them for advice.

vivimimi Tue 25-Aug-20 17:20:58

Here is what I agreed on email

Architwin Associates provides a multi-disciplinary building consultancy. It is geared to provide a comprehensive consultancy service in Architecture, structural, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, landscaping, interior design, and quantity surveying. Architwin associates make use of well-established relationships with outside consultants and providing worldwide consultancy services.

After our pleasant meeting at the site, we are happy to provide you with our services. Our fee to Architectural drawing for planning is £1500. Besides, structural and Authority charges for application are responsible for the client.

Thank you.

Yours Sincerely,
PA on behalf of Alan.


Initial consultation £0000.00
Administration £0250.00
Site survey & draft £0250.00
Planning drawings £0500.00
Building regulation drawings £0500.00
Total £1500.00
Invoice total £1500.00
Payment received £0500.00

Payment due £1000.00

OP’s posts: |
vivimimi Tue 25-Aug-20 17:22:44

@Pipandmum 0 yes the architect visited home, took measurements, photos etc.

We are currently awaiting Planning decision not until 29 Sep, after that the BC process will commence. He is saying wait until the planning decision then we can share the drawings with you to share with structural engg.

OP’s posts: |
vivimimi Tue 25-Aug-20 17:26:29

@Pipandmum I did receive the planning and BC drawings A0 size in paper version. But he is not sharing the CAD version that I can give to the structural engg.

Does it mean that I have to spend again and get the drawings done again by a structural engg.

OP’s posts: |
Smallblanket Tue 25-Aug-20 20:12:54

You may find that he is not an architect - looks like he is an "architectural designer". Only people registered with ARB can call themselves "architect".

Regardless, there is no obligation to release CAD files - some professionals are wary of inaccuracies being transferred to others. It should be fine to get a pdf version and the engineer would be able to use that - assuming the drawing you have isn't hand drawn...


vivimimi Wed 26-Aug-20 09:21:01

@Smallblanket you may be correct reg him not being an architect.

No the drawings are not hand drawn, I will push to get the pdf files at least.

OP’s posts: |
intheningnangnong Wed 26-Aug-20 09:37:40

I’d wait until you have permission.

PragmaticWench Wed 26-Aug-20 09:48:26

Those don't look like building reg drawings, just planning drawings? Were you expecting the technical drawings later, once you have planning approval?

vivimimi Wed 26-Aug-20 11:15:13

The architect has given me these as Building regs drawings for submission. We are yet to receive the planning decision Sep end.

@PragmaticWench are you saying these are not good for BR application. Of course I have to get structural engg to do beam calculations as well. And the structural engg needs the CAD drawings. So I'm back to the issue of architect not releasing the CAD drawings.

I asked him to go ahead and complete the BR drawings, so that I can engage a structural engg and also do the calculations. This will help me to fast track and be ready promptly for the BR submission. I can engage a private BR consultant to do the BR approval quickly.

OP’s posts: |
Furloughedpissedoff Wed 26-Aug-20 22:42:32

Did, he provide you with pdf's of the drawings. If he has, you can use a Scan to CAD, software online, there are plenty of trial versions available. The quality might be good enough for you to use. I had to convert a couple of pdf's at work today to work out quantities for tiles, this type of software works great, I just have to scale it after conversion.

WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat Thu 27-Aug-20 07:42:28

I had some drawings provided that did not have dimensions and I understand that in CAD 'drawings' the dimensions are stored as a separate 'layer' that can be display or not. I asked for a dimensed set of drawings and they sent me those. They said they tend not to show dimensions as they make the drawings cluttered and look a bit messy. I never asked for the CAD files though as I didn't have anything to process them.
In a different situation I did get CAD files so I could pass them to a third party.

Zarara Thu 27-Aug-20 08:23:07

Strange that’s he wont my give them to you, maybe he is worried about you changing them and wants you to go through him for all changes. I would defo ask for a pdf copy, you could also download the plans from the planning page on the council website he may have sent them a pdf copy to upload given that electronic submissions are being requested due to Covid.

PragmaticWench Thu 27-Aug-20 15:23:34

Our planning drawings were fairly basic but our building reg plans, also used by the builder, were incredibly detailed with dimensions on. How will your builder be able to proceed with dimensions on the plans??

We did have an issue with an error on our beam calculations though, and the architect did a bunk, but that's another issue!

Sanch1 Thu 27-Aug-20 15:26:17

I don't know the exact legalities but all drawing work we do for a client is owned by them. We give CAD files if they ask for them.

vivimimi Fri 11-Sep-20 19:22:13

+++ bumping the thread.

This architect has gone completely incommunicado. No email, WhatsApp or text responses. My planning decision is Sep month end. I’m getting worried. I want him to ensure there is no last minute surprises from Planning officer.

What shall I do.
I have his address. Shall I pay a personal visit.

This is completely unprofessional on his part. Why doesn’t he respond to my messages. Can I take any legal steps.

OP’s posts: |
bmachine Sat 12-Sep-20 22:43:29

he doesnt appear to be an accredited RIBA or ARB registered architect?

Elieza Sat 12-Sep-20 22:52:46

Phone him on a weekday from your friends phone or get her to phone him and pretend to be a local person considering an extension for their house and ask:

Are you an architect?
Are you a member of a professional body?
If u get you to do drawings can I get the electronic versions to keep and use as required and are there conditions around this?

And a few more random questions about how much he costs etc to make it sound legit. Thank him and jet him know you’ll be in touch once you get finance sorted, goodbye.

You now have the answers to your questions.

My pal got stung similarly. The guy was providing services but was not an architect. Eventually she got the electronic versions. He had arsed up the plans though so they needed changed and he wanted thousands more for putting two lines on it. Disgusting.

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