Architect showing outrageous lack of business sense

Many will know we have bought our little place in the country and want to turn the little bungalow into a place we will never leave. To that end we have asked an architect to look at some previous plans already approved (but planning permission lapsed) and to draw up new ones so we can do a bit of building work.

We received an email with regards the costs – however firstly many of the costs were left as unknown and secondly the architect seemed to be under the impression that he would be project managing the whole thing. As any sensible customer we asked questions – such as, if we are expected to pay your expenses – can you give at least a rough estimate as to what that will be? If as you suggest there is the possibility of having to have a structural engineer, what would one of those cost (only an estimate – so we know what kind of ball park).

And in an email a week later we receive the following:-

I think the answer is that I cannot provide the level of certainty you need regarding my fees & expenses. Ultimately neither can I provide the same degree of certainty about the build costs, at least until we have embarked on the design work.  There are just too many unknowns at the initial stages.   You have to leave a margin for overspend & from your questions I detect you just haven’t got it.

I think the best arrangement would be to invite another architect – you did say you had approached others – who may be able to help.

Is it me, or would anyone be outraged at the arrogance of someone, who when asked to quantify what we are paying for, receive an email suggesting that we cannot afford the building work? Firstly paying for the building work is of no relevance to the architect. We want plans drawn up. You are not the builder. Secondly, just because someone what you to justify what charges may be faced is in now way an indication as to affordability. I could be a millionaire, it doesn’t mean I will waste money on services I don’t want. Some people clearly don’t want the business I guess.

I think we may be having an interesting telephone conversation with a certain architect tomorrow.


2 Responses to Architect showing outrageous lack of business sense

  1. Adam says:

    How can you expect a price before you have a design or specification?

    • toryradio says:

      I can understand how we can not expect a price for the cost of the build. Given we have detailed plans done for the previous owner by a different architect and we have said we want the same work – but less complicated, you think it unreasonable for an architect to give a detailed breakdown of what his work would cost? You think it acceptable that they wouldn't even state how much a site visit would cost? That doesn't change.

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