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CAD drawings from architect - HELP!
22

SpidersAreShitheads · 22/09/2022 08:36

Hi all,

Has anyone asked their architect for the CAD drawings?

We're going down the modular route so we need the CAD drawings for the modular building company to adapt for the building regs. The modular building firm have their own architect who can draw up everything from scratch but said if we whizz them the CAD drawings already done they'll work off those to save money (approx £2k saving).

We actually used an architectural technician (thought he was an actual architect but that's a whole other story.......).

I emailed him and asked for the CAD drawings and he's refused point blank.

Anyone know if this is reasonable or not? He's been an absolute bell end from start to finish so I have no clue if it's reasonable to ask him to share the CAD drawings or not?

Also as an aside, I don't think there's anyone I can complain to about an architectural technician, is there? As in a regulatory body etc. The Architects Registration Board only cover actual architects, and not people who insinuate they are one....... (can you tell I am thoroughly pissed off?!!)

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SpidersAreShitheads · 22/09/2022 21:51

Any one??

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Luckydog7 · 22/09/2022 21:56

Do you have a contract with the technician? Does it say anything about the cad drawings?

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Luckydog7 · 22/09/2022 21:59

It is possible that the architect's professional indemnity will be void if he gives the designs in a format that can be edited.

Can the modular company not edit the raster drawing (photo editing essentially) they have or use them as a reference?

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Kowloondairy · 22/09/2022 22:00

Have you paid for the plans . If not the architect is correct as he has done all the work and someone else can use them for free, also depending on what format they are in, if they are adapted and there is subsequently a build problem then they will fear a possible lawsuit. To be honest I’m surprised that the modular build company do not insist on you using their own architect as they will understand the difference between a normal brick and mortar build and a modular build.

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Luckydog7 · 22/09/2022 22:00

Would it not be easier to ask the architect to do the editing? he will be working with his own drawings so this will be less work.

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BudgetBlast · 22/09/2022 22:04

You have the facts he won’t give you the CAD drawings you are only getting hard copies. No opinions on here are going to change that. What did you agree with him? Unless he is in breech of contract then there is nothing more to say. Get the modular company to dictate drawings.

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AnneElliott · 22/09/2022 22:04

He doesn't have to send them as it's his intellectual property. Plus the issue of people changing them after which could cause him a problem.

Have you asked him if you can pay for them and that you'd expect him to take his details off the title block. DH used to do CAD drawings and he'd do it if his name came off them.

Otherwise they can be scanned in - it's called vectorising I think - but you need a specific CAD package so do it from what I remember.

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BudgetBlast · 22/09/2022 22:05

Redraw not dictate

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BudgetBlast · 22/09/2022 22:12

As an aside though I don’t think it is going to get you anywhere CIAT and RIBA both act as registering bodies for Arch Tech but it isn’t clear that you would have anything to complain about.

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SpidersAreShitheads · 22/09/2022 22:38

BudgetBlast · 22/09/2022 22:12

As an aside though I don’t think it is going to get you anywhere CIAT and RIBA both act as registering bodies for Arch Tech but it isn’t clear that you would have anything to complain about.

Sorry, that wasn't clear from my post. I don't want to complain about him not supplying the CAD drawings. That's more of an irritation, and I wasn't sure if I was being reasonable or not about that. I was wondering if I was being unfair because I'm very pissed off with him about a number of other things.

He's been awful in just about every way possible. I need to complain to him about a number of pretty abject failures on his part. I also want a partial refund because I don't want him to go on to deal with the building regulations because quite frankly his service has been so appalling.

A really trivial example, but in the contract he's supposed to liaise, communicate and keep us updated on the planning application progress throughout. He told me explicitly - in writing - that I wasn't to contact the local authority myself for a progress update as he would handle it all. He actually told me - again in writing - that if I contacted them myself they would deliberately put my application at the bottom of the pile and that it would take longer so I had to ALWAYS go through him.

Our planning decision is almost two months overdue. About a month ago I messaged him and asked whether he had any updates, and if he knew how far behind schedule the planning decisions were running. I had to chase for a reply and eventually got a one line email "sorry, I don't know". That's it.....

Last week I emailed him again and asked if he could obtain an update from the planning board, to get an estimated decision date. Silence. No reply. No response to very polite chaser emails.

Two days ago I asked him re the CAD drawings, and he's able to reply to that email to refuse the CAD drawings. But magically can't reply to the email asking for an update which it's in the contract for him to provide. And he told me that he would provide, and to contact him if I needed an update. Bear in mind, I've not had any update since the start of May so it's not as if I'm constantly harassing him!

None of this covers the errors, omissions and cockups he's made along the way, or the total lack of communication at every point. Just desperately disappointed with the whole experience.

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SpidersAreShitheads · 22/09/2022 22:39

Luckydog7 · 22/09/2022 21:59

It is possible that the architect's professional indemnity will be void if he gives the designs in a format that can be edited.

Can the modular company not edit the raster drawing (photo editing essentially) they have or use them as a reference?

I'm wondering if that might the reason.

I've got no idea if that's possible but thank you! I'll ask them.

The modular company have been brilliant so if it's possible, I'm sure they'll give it a go.

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SpidersAreShitheads · 22/09/2022 22:43

BudgetBlast · 22/09/2022 22:04

You have the facts he won’t give you the CAD drawings you are only getting hard copies. No opinions on here are going to change that. What did you agree with him? Unless he is in breech of contract then there is nothing more to say. Get the modular company to dictate drawings.

The reason I posted on here is that he's refused, and I didn't know if that was reasonable.

If it was unreasonable, I was going to challenge him about this quite robustly.

The difficulty I had is that I have no experience of using an architect, and had absolutely no idea whether it was reasonable or not. A google seemed to give mixed answers.

I was also acutely aware that my opinion of him has been coloured by the shitty service he's provided so far. So I was hoping that more knowledgeable folk on here could tell me whether refusing to provide the CAD drawings was reasonable or not.

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SpidersAreShitheads · 22/09/2022 22:50

Thank you all, much appreciated.

I didn't initially ask him about CAD drawings because a) I'm a total novice in this and had no idea this was a thing and b) we were planning on a traditional build at the start and he was going to manage the building regs application too. I didn't anticipate anyone else being involved.

Unfortunately he's been pretty terrible, and in addition, we're now switching to a modular build as my DM's health simply isn't up to months of a traditional build. The modular company have their own architect but say they can work from our architect's CAD drawings if he sends them over. Seems that lots of architects have been willing to do this, but not our guy.....

We've paid for everything but didn't specify that we wanted CAD drawings and now that we've asked, he's refused.

The consensus here seems to be that it might be an intellectual property/professional indemnity issue so it's probably reasonable.

I'll see if the modular company can work round it at all without charging us a further £2k to start from scratch.

Thanks all.

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SeaToSki · 22/09/2022 22:51

Did he know you were going to use a modular company for building when you started the work with him? Not that it should matter

It is absolutely reasonable for him to have to supply CAD drawings to any other professional involved in the project be it a builder, interior designer, structural engineer and a modular manufacturer. We have done several builds and never had a problem with this sort of thing, it really reduces the chances of errors happening further on down the line from someone mis reading a plan or typing in something wrong.

You contracted him to draw stuff for you, not create his own personal creative design that then he would sell to you and in this day and age, the CAD is the drawings, not the print out. His name stays on the plans as the originating designer and then anyone else who adds or changes them adds their work in a separate iteration and the originals are kept to refer back to

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SpidersAreShitheads · 22/09/2022 23:10

SeaToSki · 22/09/2022 22:51

Did he know you were going to use a modular company for building when you started the work with him? Not that it should matter

It is absolutely reasonable for him to have to supply CAD drawings to any other professional involved in the project be it a builder, interior designer, structural engineer and a modular manufacturer. We have done several builds and never had a problem with this sort of thing, it really reduces the chances of errors happening further on down the line from someone mis reading a plan or typing in something wrong.

You contracted him to draw stuff for you, not create his own personal creative design that then he would sell to you and in this day and age, the CAD is the drawings, not the print out. His name stays on the plans as the originating designer and then anyone else who adds or changes them adds their work in a separate iteration and the originals are kept to refer back to

No, and to be fair, we didn't know we were going to use a modular build either. We were anticipating a traditional build but DM has been very, very poorly recently. I discovered modular builds and it ticks all our boxes, plus the amount of work needed onsite is so minimal it won't be too horrendous for DM to cope with. It feels like a really good option for us to have a modular extension.

Lots of other architects seem to be OK supplying their CAD drawings to other professionals. I anticipated he'd refuse, just based on what an arse he's been so far anyway.....

"You contracted him to draw stuff for you, not create his own personal creative design that then he would sell to you and in this day and age, the CAD is the drawings, not the print out"

^^That's exactly what I thought!!

I can't really see the issue if he's sending them directly to another architect.

I'm going to ask him again, but also ask the modular firm if there's anything they can do to work round it without charging us the full whack to start from scratch. Thank you very much for the advice.

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MariaDingbat · 23/09/2022 08:43

I would say that if he presented himself as an architect (specifically used the word architect in his advertising or in correspondence with you) but is a technician then you can refer him to ARB for misuse of title.

Regarding the plans, there should be no reason why he can't send the CAD drawings to other members of the design team to work from. That would be common practice. However, if you're changing the contract and removing him from future work or replacing him then it won't be that simple as he would no longer be part of the design team. In that instance, the modular company should be able to scan his drawings and use them as a template easily enough. Make sure he supplies you with a minimum 1:50 plan with clear dimensions marked on them, that will make it easier for the modular company to work from the drawings.

And regarding the planning query, that's an absolute lie. Planning have strict data management and they can't just bump you to the bottom of the pile for asking for an update if your contact them directly. Lots of people deal directly with planning rather than going through an agent. A usual turnaround for a basic query is 3 months, but longer if there are additional consultees to get responses from, like roads or water, that can add months. Call them up with your planning reference and say you're just wondering what their anticipated response date is and if there are any issues popping up.

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SpidersAreShitheads · 23/09/2022 09:16

MariaDingbat · 23/09/2022 08:43

I would say that if he presented himself as an architect (specifically used the word architect in his advertising or in correspondence with you) but is a technician then you can refer him to ARB for misuse of title.

Regarding the plans, there should be no reason why he can't send the CAD drawings to other members of the design team to work from. That would be common practice. However, if you're changing the contract and removing him from future work or replacing him then it won't be that simple as he would no longer be part of the design team. In that instance, the modular company should be able to scan his drawings and use them as a template easily enough. Make sure he supplies you with a minimum 1:50 plan with clear dimensions marked on them, that will make it easier for the modular company to work from the drawings.

And regarding the planning query, that's an absolute lie. Planning have strict data management and they can't just bump you to the bottom of the pile for asking for an update if your contact them directly. Lots of people deal directly with planning rather than going through an agent. A usual turnaround for a basic query is 3 months, but longer if there are additional consultees to get responses from, like roads or water, that can add months. Call them up with your planning reference and say you're just wondering what their anticipated response date is and if there are any issues popping up.

Honestly, I made a huge cock-up. Hindsight is a wonderful thing as they say!

Basically I advertised for an architect and was very explicit in asking for an architect. He then replied with this response, "Thank you for the enquiry re your prospective rear extension and interior reconfiguration. I would be pleased to help. I’d like to visit the property and run through your ideas with you (no charge for this) then I will forward a detailed fee proposal to you. This includes measured survey, all drawings, planning application etc and can go on to Structural engineering and Building regulation coverage."

Stupidly, I didn't say "are you a qualified architect?" - I just assumed that he was because I advertised on a site that's only for architects, asked for an architect, and he replied to say he could help. He gave me his website to look through which has an extensive portfolio and looks very persuasive. But now, looking at it, I can see it doesn't use the word "architect" anywhere on his website but says "architectural" instead. I didn't realise that was different. So stupid of me.

But I believe that he very deliberately and intentionally misled me, by omission. I spoke to him on the phone and he sounded wonderful. DP listened into the call with me and liked him too. We were looking for someone to hold our hand a bit through the process as I don't have a clue what I'm doing, and it's an enormous project that I'm totally out of my depth on! He was just really convincing about how he'd walk us through it all, and what he would do. I never stopped to say "what exactly are your qualifications?" - so that's entirely on me. However, in my emails to him - both before and after the contracts were signed - I have referred to him as being an architect and at no point did he stop me and say "ah, actually I'm not an architect" - he let me continue believing that he was a qualified architect.

I'm not making excuses as the fault is mine for not checking properly - but he was clearly very deliberate in helping me to think that was the case!!

I'm not normally this stupid, honestly. We were just in a bit of a panic over finding an architect quickly and were struggling to find someone suitable. I thought he would be amazing but it's just been awful. For example, he "designed" a room that didn't have any doors or windows - I had to email him back and point out the glaring error! There's a list of things like this. You couldn't make it up!

Re what he said about the planning dept, yes, I realised that it was absolute nonsense. I'm not as stupid as he clearly thinks I am, given how easily he was able to dupe me about his exact role. I let him think that I believed him re planning - but in my head I thought aha, so that's the kind of person you are. Absolute lies.

I phoned planning yesterday and the chap was lovely. There's nothing complicated about our project, they're just very very behind. No additional consultees. No objections. Single storey rear extension. Planning case officer is going to try and get a decision date to us by the end of today, so hopefully it's now imminent. I haven't bothered to tell architect man that I've rung them.

The contract with architect bloke was in two parts - one part for planning, which he can complete and the second part (much smaller) which was for the building regs. I don't now want him to do the building regs because a) it's a modular build and he knows nothing about that and b) I don't want anything more to do with him, tbh. It's painful even getting a reply and I've got enough to deal with, without having to get blood out of a stone for the simplest question! I want him to refund the part for building regs as he's not done anything for that yet. I suspect he won't.

Thank you for the info re the scanning and the dimensions. I'm going to talk to the modular firm again. They've been scrupulously detailed and incredibly helpful so I'm sure we can come up with something that works.

Sorry for the ridiculously long reply.

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Daftasabroom · 23/09/2022 09:28

Did you sign a contract with him?

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SpidersAreShitheads · 23/09/2022 09:35

Daftasabroom · 23/09/2022 09:28

Did you sign a contract with him?

Yes, we have a contract signed and in place.

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Kowloondairy · 23/09/2022 10:27

To be honest I can’t understand why the modular company would need the cad plans at all as the construction methods and therefore the building regs are completely different, things such as insulation etc may well need different specifications. When building regs do the inspection they will focus on what’s been submitted to them, so if the build is different they may automatically reject as it is not built according to their plans. If I were in your position I would let the modular company redo all the plans and resubmit these to the council and then you know that there will be no question about them being signed off, as the job will have been done as per approved plans.

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Motheroftweenagers · 23/09/2022 11:39

I think you're being too hard on yourself about failing to spot the fact he wasn't a real architect. Domestic building projects are the only area I can think of where you spend so much money for professional expertise but are still expected to put up with dodgy work and advice. Even qualified architects are often terrible for this, and don't even get me started on builders.

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BudgetBlast · 23/09/2022 15:32

Kowloondairy · 23/09/2022 10:27

To be honest I can’t understand why the modular company would need the cad plans at all as the construction methods and therefore the building regs are completely different, things such as insulation etc may well need different specifications. When building regs do the inspection they will focus on what’s been submitted to them, so if the build is different they may automatically reject as it is not built according to their plans. If I were in your position I would let the modular company redo all the plans and resubmit these to the council and then you know that there will be no question about them being signed off, as the job will have been done as per approved plans.

Yes this 100%. The modular company are still going to have to prepare separate CAD drawings no matter what. It really isn’t a big deal for them to do it although I appreciate the £2000 would be a nice saving. Everything in a modular build with the exception of the external dimensions are likely to be different depending on the materials they are using.

I worked as a Civi Engineer years back and unless the contract says that you are entitled to CAD drawings it would be relatively unusual to issue them to a client who mostly wouldn’t even have the software to look at them.

I can’t imagine an architect jumping for joy issuing them to a modular company who may well have an in house department that applies for planning in some instances. That would be turkeys voting for Christmas in terms of them losing work. I think it is entirely reasonable for him to refuse your request if it is not in the contract and obviously unreasonable if it is in the contract.

As regards your mistake re the architect I think that is very easily done and I wouldn’t worry about that. Even though he wasn’t great there are some pretty decent architectural technologists out there who could have met your requirements it is a pity this guy has not been good. It is stressful enough without that hassle.

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