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the_r_sole

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the_r_sole last won the day on September 29 2021

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  1. The architect's job doesn't finish at planning stage and the design certainly doesn't, it seems bizarre to want to use an architect based on previous work and then only ask them to do the first bit of design, there are hundreds of decisions to be made through building regs, tender and construction phases, for me the magic is in working with consultants and contractors to get the great end product, if you want a drawing service just get a technologist? You won't be getting all the detail anyway so why bother with the expense when you're not going to build the designers vision?
  2. If you only want to pay for a partial service and take on the rest of the project on your own then that's fine, but there's still no reason to have a cad file, in fact in my experience it's much easier to take a pdf of a planning set and redraw from scratch the building regs drawings. There's a lot more in a cad file than the output, the drawings are only to be used for one specific project, there's no reason that the consultants involved can't get the required information from the architect. You are only paying for the deliverables which are drawings to communicate the design. In pen and paper days people picked up the phone if there was a request for drawings but no one asked for a shot of the drawing board so they can make their own alterations. If you buy a kit house with a standard plan, even they won't supply you the raw cad data, but they will release things to the consultants in the process, there's a huge difference between professional relationships and domestic clients. As I say, the only clients who ever request cad files have the sole intention of changing the information, I really don't have any more to say as I've been on this forum long enough to know that some people will never understand (or want to understand) what the role of an architect really is in delivering a house... All we do is draw a pretty picture for the planners and have no idea about construction after all...
  3. @IanR you're describing a situation which simply doesn't exist when you are dealing with the majority of domestic clients looking to build a house. If you employ a skilled professional to deliver your building, someone who has done it numerous times for numerous clients, then I don't understand why you want to change their information. In my experience the only clients who want the raw data are those who don't want to pay you to do your job and deliver the end product, a large number of self builders have enough knowledge to be dangerous ? There's no potential income stream from protecting cad files, there's just no need for them to be issued in an uncontrolled setting. If we have a client who wants to send the files to get a visual done, we can provide cad drawings or even our 3d information direct to the consultant, similarly we will provide digital setting out drawings if a contractor is that advanced. But these are controlled situations and professional to professional. Yes all changes to a cad file should be tracked but there's no ability to ensure that if the raw data is released in to the wild... It an interesting discussion and hopefully the op can start to understand why self builders can be a very difficult market to satisfy when the expectations are very different to those who trust the architect to deliver a house rather than a cad file. Leaving it for a client to understand the implications of issuing amended and incorrect drawings which appear to come from a professional is not good practice. We work extremely hard to communicate with our clients about the ins and outs of things, we'd never simply hand over a cad file and leave them to it, we have a duty of care to clients which is amplified when you deal with people who have never used an architect or delivered a house before.
  4. That's not quite right, our cad templates, line types, dynamic blocks, sheet set up, plot styles, line weights etc are as much part of the tool as the software, there's no need for an end user to have any of these things that are unique to our office and have been developed over years. The output is the pdf drawing which uses all of the information in the file to output drawings which communicate the design. But it would be much more confusing where the cad file has been used to create a pdf with all of the architects details on it, to anyone it would look like our drawing, a hand marked sketch is absolutely not the same. We always share the correct information with other professionals who are engaged to deliver the project in question, this isn't the same as releasing the base cad files to a client where they're completely uncontrollable. We work with the consultants and make sure the information is all checked and coordinated as it's critical to communicating the design to contractors but that's what we get paid for, the ability to communicate the design effectively and accurately
  5. It seems clear that you don't understand the difference between the deliverable and the tool, the way we use cad in our office is how we use it to deliver drawings to build from, whether you think you should get a shot of the tools is down to you. I don't ask my builder to hand me a saw on site anymore than I have clients working on their own cad files. If a drawing originates from our office, made using our own standards, is then later adapted by a client with no understanding of the implications of changes there is loads of potential for things to go wrong in terms of compliance or coordination with other packages, why would you want to hire an experienced professional and then make your own changes to their information, as I said, if you just want a cad template, buy one but all the embedded information in a cad file is my pi, for example we use dynamic cad blocks for doorsets, it would be easy enough to click the wrong button and change a door opening to a size that doesn't comply with the regs but everyone is seeing our drawings with non complaint doors on it. And it took me a week to make the block with all the relevant information on it, and 90% isn't applicable to that one project... Why do you think people have businesses selling cad templates and blocks? There's a massive difference of what's in a full cad file compared to what is needed to communicate a design effectively and it's not what clients pay for, they pay for the deliverables which are drawings. There is no control over the information if you issue the base information, if it gets changed by someone who isn't us but it still has all our information on it and all our company information, all our cad blocks and logos etc there's a huge issue if anything is wrong in terms of liability
  6. Don't worry @Jilly I've been at this long enough to not be offended! You're right that a huge part of the perception problem is the inability of some architects to communicate exactly what they do and the value they can bring. There's a few practices who have booklets to help inexperienced clients (ourselves included) but we also tend to know when a certain client is a good fit for us and will help them find someone else if we can see it won't work out! We work with clients for years at a time so it's worth finding people who want to work with you and who you want to work with!
  7. But why could you not do that with formally issued pdf drawings? Why wouldn't the builder speak to the architect about what the issue is? On big jobs when we get queries from site, everyone wants a drawing issued to clarify the queries rather than the base cad files...
  8. Absolutely wrong, why would a client of ours want or need the base information we use to communicate their design to a builder? We work with clients to get them a building, nothing else. We are appointed to provide information to allow a contractor to interpret into a building. Where its needed by other professionals in the process for coordination that's fine but before cad, buildings got built easily, consultants all managed their work fine and people got houses, if a client comes to us before we start saying they need the raw information we will have to have a discussion on why and what they intend to do with the information. If you want a cad template, pay one of the guys who make those, but I don't send out paper and pens with my drawings and I don't send out cad files. PDFs of frozen information at all that's required, we now model everything in BIM, but not a single contractor has asked for anything other than PDFs to be able to translate into a building... Which is the aim of the game, the drawings are only part of the process, I've issued hundreds of hand drawn details from site discussions, purely to clarify how things are put together, no one has ever asked for the raw files... It's just not necessary unless you intend to alter the information.
  9. Tbh, this post exemplifies exactly the issues you hit with self builders. Getting a project designed and through planning is much more than just interior layout to satisfy planners... The design has to balance 100s of little considerations from buildability, local plans, building regs, budgets, site constraints, daylight, views, client preferences etc. The real value in what an architect does is in the design stage, if you get it right the rest of the project should be on rails, everyone thinks architects are expensive, but compare changing the position of a wall on a drawing to see how the space works to deciding when you see it on site that you want a slightly bigger room or a window in a different location.... Gaining planning permission is also the single biggest increase you can make to the value of land, so having the skills to deliver a planning approval to add hundreds of thousands to a bit of land is quite valuable...
  10. People pay for the design, they don't pay for the method of delivery. My cad and BIM files contain a huge amount of information that's been built up over years, we issue only prints or pdf information as we can completely control that information, we will coordinate with other professionals who may need raw data files to make their work easier/quicker, but we won't release the files to a client and have zero control on how they're amended or reused. There's plenty of legal implications of sending out easily editable information... Until we had cad you would just get paper drawings from all the consultants in the process, you wouldn't phone them up and ask them to send out their squares, drawing boards and pencils - no one pays for the raw cad data, they pay for the information required to communicate the design, after all, the contractor always has to interpret the drawings to built the thing anyway...
  11. Spend a lot of time explaining your process and educating clients - you're completely right, we do have the equipment to survey a site in the office but it's much quicker, more cost effective and more accurate to use a specialist but your job is to explain to people the why's, I've just redone our website to include FAQ's which is the same questions we get over and over again. The expectations and opinions of architects on here is very far from the reality (in my experience) but you have to work exceptionally hard to communicate that. 5k is cheap for getting to planning but you need to show why that's the case. Also make friends with a QS who can give you cost plans at design stage, people seem to think that architects can design within a tight budget in an incredibly volatile construction market, at least with professional cost planning you can track some of that as you go... you'll still get tenders which swing massively and the client blaming you for it being over budget but at least you've done as much as possible to mitigate the risks
  12. I love these type of threads where people have very skewed views on what an architect does, what they should do and why they're expensive. In all seriousness OP, be very careful and thorough in researching what services you intend to offer, from years of experience I can tell you that self builders are probably the hardest group of clients that you can work for, looking at your questions and replies I would say that you probably don't want to target this type of client at all. Do a quick search on the forum of people looking for architects or discussing fees etc and you start to understand why, there are many pain points for clients looking to build a house which need careful attention, if I was going out on my own again I would be much more focussed on targeting the right client (yes it's all experience but the amount of social work involved isn't for everyone)
  13. Just to clarify here, the Riba is an expensive London old boys club, you can be a registered architect who doesn't pay a few hundred quid a year to use their signboard... What you want check is if they are registered with the ARB
  14. If you want to commission them yourself then just do it and supply the information to the architect. Bear in mind that any missing information or difference in what's needed for to complete the design will be your cost and responsibility, we generally get quotes from surveyors for our clients because we have a lot of experience in knowing what we need to satisfy a local authority or what would be useful later in the process to avoid redoing/adding more information to surveys later and most of our clients might not understand the difference in scope of services so just look at the bottom line costs...
  15. You want to do it properly but you're looking at caravans?! In all seriousness park the idea until you've got a realistic budget and cost expectation... or until your Father in Law has accumulated enough materials to do it properly ? wanting to do it properly but avoid planning and warrant because they're expensive is a complete misunderstanding of why we have those controls and what doing it properly means!
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