FAQ: Fees, Appointment & Services

Why should I employ an architect and not a design and build company that offers design and drafting services?

Architects have a professional qualification and a minimum of seven years training. We offer a holistic design service and our aim is to add value at every stage of your building project.

As architects we are skilled in seeking solutions for every aspect of a project and the processes involved. Because we look at projects from a holistic point of view we are well placed to manage the complexities of both the design and the build process acting in our clients’ best interests.

Your fees are not as competitive as some designers/technicians. Is there a reason for this?

We always aim to be competitive with other Architects. We advise you to carefully check the level of service on offer from architectural technicians or designers and bear in mind we have an experienced and qualified team to work on your project.

We have an office for meetings and ensure our team is kept fully trained in the latest building practices and legislation through the continuing professional development program we run for our team as part of our membership of the RIBA Chartered Practice scheme. As Architects we also are obliged to carry professional indemnity insurance.

What is the difference between the ARB and the RIBA?

The ARB is the legal body by which Architects are legally entitled to practice with the protected title of ‘Architect’. Membership is only obtained by compliance with a high level of professionalism, a code of conduct and provision of professional indemnity insurance.

The RIBA is the professional body that represents Architects and promotes architecture in the UK. The RIBA also expects its members to follow a strict code of conduct and high levels of professionalism.

What is Professional Indemnity Insurance?

As registered Architects we are legally obliged to carry PI insurance, which protects you as the customer against professional negligence. You should be aware not all designers / draughtsman carry PI Insurance.

What is a chartered practice?

A chartered practice is one that is obliged by the RIBA to meet high levels of quality management, health and safety, continuing professional development and an environmental management policy.

What is your incentive to keep to the budget if you are on a percentage fee?

The percentage fee is directly related to the resourcing required for the size of project. Therefore an increase in the construction budget should in theory cover additional hours required to provide information. The budget itself is agreed in advance of every work stage and we work with that in mind. Sometimes opportunities arise within the design process or specification stage, which is deemed worthwhile such that the budget can be changed.

Do you charge a percentage fee on Contracted works e.g. Kitchen.

A percentage fee is based on all contracted and sub-contracted work, including the kitchen. There will be a portion of design carried out by architects, even if you employ a separate kitchen designer. Increasing the specification of the kitchen wouldn’t, however, necessarily increase the overall percentage fee. The scales are worked at an average across all elements of the build. Some require more design input beyond the percentage fee, some less.

Can you supply references?

We would be delighted to put you in touch with current and former clients. 40% of our work comes from repeat clients or referrals.

Do you appoint other consultants?

We work with a number of Structural engineers, M and E consultants, project managers, lighting designers, party wall surveyors, garden designers etc. We put forward suggestions of suitable consultants and would expect you to appoint them directly. It is common for the Architect to be a design team leader.