Architects’ fees – regulation

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    • #707582

      Can anyone tell me whether recourse can be had to any architectural governing body in the event of an issue arising from a particular architect’s fees? My business partner engaged an architect to design and oversee an extension. The architect provided plans which essentially documented and replicated the existing structure which consisted of an aborted self planned and half executed previous extension. Thereafter his involvement was limited to providing advice in relation to an unforeseen structural issue relating to a roof joist and six visits to the site over a period of nine months. He is seeking 10% of the build cost and the issue of whether this was what was agreed is contentious.
      Without involving lawyers, I am specifically wondering whether this is the norm and deemed acceptable? I am currently seeking to engage an architect for the same purpose i.e. extension and so my interest isn’t entirely selfless.
      It may well be that my partner was remiss in engaging this architect in the first place without being satisifed with what was being offered, I’d be interested in fellow profesisonals’ views.
      From what I’ve read and understand the ten per cent figure refers to an architect being involved to a much greater extent and actually providing a professional service!

      p.s. I did previously post regarding sourcing an architect and didn’t get much joy. It may be that this is a professional forum and such queries can’t be replied to. If any one knows of another forum , I’d be grateful to hear about it. Thanks.

    • #749409
      Paul Clerkin

      Is this in Ireland?
      Was there a written contract?
      I think the RIAI does arbitration….

    • #749410

      Thanks for the reply, Paul.
      It was in Ireland, in the last year. I have to ask my partner, but almost certain that there was no written contract. AS matters stand, there is no intention to go down the legal route if that can be avoided. He hopes to be able to resolve the matter with the architect directly and wants to know what is fair and reasonable as per industry standards. The architect was recommended to him by a friend whose opinion was valued at the time. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that the architect was terribly concerned with the project or exerting himself in any way for his fee.

      Again as an aside, another participant here was advised to speak to pals and family and find an architect that way. Looking at the appalling job done in this case I’m most concerned about my own situation. I expect I’ll be told to ask the right questions and caveat emptor! Very difficult when you know zero about the subject matter and curious that no body seems that interested in advising!

      I presumed that the RIAI have some regulatory powers. Clearly their facility to arbitrate could only be invoked in the event of an appropriate arbitration clause being included in the contract.

    • #749411
      Paul Clerkin

      was this with a firm or some architect doing a nixer?

    • #749412

      I can check. Didn’t think to ask that.
      Would that have bearing on 10% fee?

    • #749413
      Paul Clerkin

      if its a nixer he may not be declaring the work to the taxman in which case pressure on him may bear fruit

      also he may not be a registered member of the RIAI in his own right so arbitration may not be possible

    • #749414

      Percentages can vary greatly depending on the size of the project but just from the term “extension”, 10% sounds about about right.
      It should however be broken into 3 stages of of 33% each for:
      1. Design and Applying for Planning, 2. Working Drawings and 3. Overseeing/Signing off etc.
      From the information you have given, it is arguable that it was neither designed, nor (it seems) were working drawings done – in which case 3% of the total (plus something extra for the survey depending on size – e.g €500-€1000) would seem to be the correct amount payable.
      However if the project was so small that it did not require Planning, then the percentage rules generally wouldn’t apply – one would usually charge a fixed fee of say €1500-€4000.

      To avoid bringing it to a lawyer, first of all get as many facts about percentages etc. – possibly send a query to the RIAI at , also there is a Competition Authority Report on some fee structures for architects (though probably not too much help) .
      Certain other bodies also have guidelines – the Dept. of Education has guidelines for payments for the various stages that an architect completes as well, you might be able to access a report on-line.

      When you’ve got as much info as possible, you can threaten the guy properly.

      Best of luck .

    • #749415

      stable door, bolted horse, 20-20 hindsight etc but the lesson here – and hopefully it isn’t a hard one, is to NEVER engage anyone without a letter setting out what is to be done and how much it is to cost.

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