Take care when choosing your architectural designer.

This week has been a rather distinctive one from what the team usually faces. One of our clients who had spoken to us last year, and ended up engaging another, more local designer for their project, has got back in touch with us. Unfortunately, the local architect they hired failed to produce any plans or ideas despite taking a fee from our potential client. The fact that the client has returned to us ought to please me I suppose, but I dislike hearing stories of fellow architectural professionals letting people down.

Soon after this, another unusual situation occurred where a different client had engaged us to produce detailed plans for him and his builder, who was ready to commence building work within the next couple of weeks. This meant that our usual turnaround had to be shortened. Of course, we accepted the “challenge”, however, I’m glad that not all of our clients are in such a hurry because we like to take time over our work; this allows us to digest the ideas and make sure that what we are sending out lacks mistakes.

As promised, the plans were ready within two weeks. When we telephoned the client to say that we were done, he said that the decision had been made to sell the house a few days ago, and if he had known we would be so quick he would have rung us to stop us. Needless to say, the client wasn’t best pleased to have to pay for plans that he no longer required. However, he understood that we will not get the time we spent on producing his drawings back, so he paid us despite having no use for them. Actually, we don’t like taking money for abortive work, but the team had worked very hard and had put in extra time to complete it, so it was only fair that we still receive the payment. As to every anecdote, there is usually a moral; choose your architectural designer with care, and once you’ve engaged the right people, make sure they’re kept updated and vice versa.

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