CharlieKLP

What do you want from an architect?

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2 hours ago, SteamyTea said:

Did the windows turn up on time and fit.

Personally, I would keep quiet about that as most of the projects are disasters.

 

And avoid the words eco and sustainable.


Lol true. Yes they did fit! Also Kevin ‘got’ the design which I really loved. It all went a bit too well for TV.
 

I don’t know, do people really use those words or are they sort of assumed now. I feel like they are like ‘wow factor’ and ‘mancave’. Best left in the early 2000’s.

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34 minutes ago, ETC said:

anyone who can draw a straight line is referred to an an architect

I have worked with Architects  some good, some not) who worked with straight lines , but then only issues wobbly line tracings.

This was because 1. It looked more artistic  2. nobody could expect to scale off it and blame them for any errors.

 

 

39 minutes ago, ETC said:

a part-qualified RIBA architect.

Part qualified? I don't mind that if they are working on Part 3. By that stage they have done maybe 6 years study and practical, so they should be respected.

Being in RIBA is normally aiming for 'best practice'  and they do organise training.

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Most of the RIBA training I’ve been to was just people trying to hawk their products.

 

lol true about the wiggley lines. I’m more of the CAD era so I never picked up the shakey hand skill.

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1 minute ago, CharlieKLP said:

I’m more of the CAD era

I think Autocad has a button for the wobbly line option.

Or the magic words 'do not scale', and  the dims are excluded.

 

If you mentioned it I missed it . Are you ARB? That allows some premium.

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20 hours ago, ETC said:

It’s been quite rare for me to see an architectural technician who thought about how people used the building, they seem to be really good at understanding how to make something work technically, but they seem to not really care too much about how people live in spaces. It’s a fantastic thing to find someone who can do it all.
 

In my opinion an architect (A) should be able to come up with a good design and do the construction drawings. I see so many drawings and have been on so many sites where the houses have tiny rooms that can’t accommodate proper furniture. What ever happened to planning out a room with furniture?

 

 

I think that you will find that tiny rooms that can’t accommodate proper furniture are designed by accountant

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I'm not being facetious to suggest that you might want to do a self build, it would make you understand the problems we face and would give you a chance to try things out and maybe go on a show as some more free advertising. As a first timer, I floundered without simple construction drawings, so that is something you could have 'sold' to me. I think there must be a market for simple-to-build inexpensive houses which look good. Maybe even write a book to market yourself. If I had known about a specialist self build architect, that would have appealed to me. 

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1 hour ago, ToughButterCup said:

Charge like this (our architect's charging schema

 

This incudes one of my great hates: percentage of build cost.

This example  states 8% for commercial work.

 

Most of my business (retired) was picking up unaffordable projects and reworking them to the original stated budget.

Typically a £2M best tender price from others and 'could we do it for £1.3M'.

Usually yes.

The poor client had already shelled out for lots of consultants who were then paid off and not involved further.

 

So if that example had gone ahead with the architects design they would have charged 8% of 2M = 160,000.

That covered our inhouse (Architects and Engineers) and external design and the oh &p, within the £1.3 example for complete design and build.

No corners cut btw, just knowing how to build things and what stuff costs.

 

So what is the client to do about rising costs (usually inherent in the design) that make the architect a higher fee?

The worse the cost control the higher the fee.

 

If I was a very cynical architect working on %, I would involve lots of consultants to do the work at client's expense, include expensive specialist contactors likewise, and go to main contractors who charge  a lot but don't need supervision.. That makes more money for less work.

 

And they call me cynical.

 

Moral. Get a fixed price quote and scope of work.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Jilly said:

I'm not being facetious to suggest that you might want to do a self build, it would make you understand the problems we face and would give you a chance to try things out and maybe go on a show as some more free advertising. As a first timer, I floundered without simple construction drawings, so that is something you could have 'sold' to me. I think there must be a market for simple-to-build inexpensive houses which look good. Maybe even write a book to market yourself. If I had known about a specialist self build architect, that would have appealed to me. 


That’s such a great idea, would really love to one day. I don’t have any money though, I don’t get paid that much! 
 

I like the idea to market my business as a self build architect, and yes cost effective design is what I would go for if I was going to build. I actually prefer to design smaller houses than mansions. 

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2 hours ago, CharlieKLP said:

May I ask where you found the designer, was it a website or word of mouth?

 

From a timber frame company. She was their outsourced frame-designer. I did not use that particular frame company in the end but she impressed me.

 

I visited a range of timber-frame companies while researching my build before I put a spade in the ground.

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22 hours ago, CharlieKLP said:

I was thinking of charging 5k for a design for planning. Does that sound too low or too high? With that I could cover my insurance and start up fee in one job. I don’t fancy charging by the hour or percentage of the build cost.

 

Around us it's usual for architects to charge between about 8-12k to planning. Eventually we found a very experienced architect who charged by the hour and got us through planning, including committee for around the 5k mark. He had the vision and imagination for great design, which was our priority until after planning when our next priority became good detailed design. This is where he let us down, while pretending he was good at it. If you're not going to offer the technical design/detailing, then one suggestion I have is to ensure you have someone in your black book you can pass the detailing work along to and who you can work with to ensure it all works in harmony with your design. But also make sure you communicate this clearly with your clients. One of the worst things we experienced was the RIBA stages of work, which were meaningless to us as clients, but also, having had plenty of experience in project and programme management, both my wife and I found it one of those useless project outline documents which delivers zero added value and following it probably ends up costing the client dearly.

 

My other bugbear, which I'd add to @Iceverge's great list is to forget designing to win awards (unless specifically required by the client). We spoke to 6 architets in total and had them all submit tenders. One withdrew and all the others highlighted how they'd design us an award winning house - but this is obviously for the benefit of the architect rather than the client.

 

And finally, listen -really listen - to the client.

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Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but there is the IP side of things.

Some people get a bit narked when they ask an architect to design a house, then all they get is a small PDF, with no dimensions.

If people pay you to design them a house, they want full drawings/access to CAD files without any restrictions.  That is what they are paying for.

 

3 hours ago, Jilly said:

Maybe even write a book to market yourself

My very first post, over at the 'other place', was about open source house design.

In a former life, I worked as an automotive engineer, house design is a piece of piss engineering wise.  Not as if a house has to corner at 150 MPH, have 2 tonnes smack into the side at 30 MPH, have the safety feature do nothing for nearly all the time, but must work once when needed.

My old banger of a car has electric windows that work faultlessly, doors that open with a remote control and disables the alarm/immobiliser, and on a good run, can do 70 MPG.

Houses are not much better than caves when it comes to design.

 

Edited by SteamyTea
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2 hours ago, CharlieKLP said:

I actually prefer to design smaller houses than mansions. 

What do you consider a smaller house?

We have an architect on here who showed off his 'small house' conversion.  The place was nearly 3 times the size of my house.

 

3 hours ago, CharlieKLP said:

do people really use those words or are they sort of assumed now.

Same architect used to teach, as part of his course, he got his students to read the dictionary and find odd words to use to describe their creations.

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13 hours ago, CharlieKLP said:

I probably wouldn’t be doing site surveys, I think that’s a surveyor’s job. As a sole practitioner I don’t have any money to buy things to measure levels which is quite important. Same with tree surveys, that’s for a specialist. 
 

Mainly I want to know what people want from the architect’s part? Would you be happy with a design that gets planning and some 3Ds for 5k? Assuming you’ve seen my portfolio and references, and I’m contactable and timely.


 

 

Where does £5k come from? If you are charging £70 an hour, that 70 hours. To do a planning drawing? Am i missing something?

 

Sure, what you suggest is better than a % of the contract value, which i point blank refuse to even consider, but still very opaque.

 

I get that you are in business to earn money, you have studied to get the letters after your name, and their are overheads, insurance etc. but i do need to feel like im getting resonable value for money.

 

As someone who hasnt yet built a house, but has done a couple of large "garages", and having been on this site for sometime, it strikes me architects are not offering the service thats needed.

 

As i say, ive not done this, but it seems quite often architect, "architects" a design, with part of that being to get it through planning. Then it needs building, so another different person gets involved to do engineering drawings. And has to modify the architects design because its unbuildable, or not buidable at sensible cost.

 

For me, if i eventually go down this road, id want both from one source for a known cost.

 

Otherwise, its just a planning drawing. An expensive one at that.

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12 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but there is the IP side of things.

Some people get a bit narked when they ask an architect to design a house, then all they get is a small PDF, with no dimensions.

If people pay you to design them a house, they want full drawings/access to CAD files without any restrictions.  That is what they are paying for.

 

My very first post, over at the 'other place', was about open source house design.

In a former life, I worked as an automotive engineer, house design is a piece of piss engineering wise.  Not as if a house has to corner at 150 MPH, have 2 tonnes smack into the side at 30 MPH, have the safety feature do nothing for nearly all the time, but must work once when needed.

My old banger of a car has electric windows that work faultlessly, doors that open with a remote control and disables the alarm/immobiliser, and on a good run, can do 70 MPG.

Houses are not much better than caves when it comes to design.

 

 

Probably  wondering off track, but agree, most things in building seem to be closer to bodging than engineering.

 

The whole idea first / second fix idea, always looks more like the second round being to correct the errors made first time out.

 

Can you imagine a car manufacturer doing that?

 

Still amazed its 2022, and i cant just "buy a house" and have it delivered and bolted down......................................

 

 

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17 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but there is the IP side of things.

Some people get a bit narked when they ask an architect to design a house, then all they get is a small PDF, with no dimensions.

If people pay you to design them a house, they want full drawings/access to CAD files without any restrictions.  That is what they are paying for.

 

My very first post, over at the 'other place', was about open source house design.

In a former life, I worked as an automotive engineer, house design is a piece of piss engineering wise.  Not as if a house has to corner at 150 MPH, have 2 tonnes smack into the side at 30 MPH, have the safety feature do nothing for nearly all the time, but must work once when needed.

My old banger of a car has electric windows that work faultlessly, doors that open with a remote control and disables the alarm/immobiliser, and on a good run, can do 70 MPG.

Houses are not much better than caves when it comes to design.

 


What do you want the CAD version for exactly? 
 

the reason you don’t give them out, is because cad files contain a lot of information and work beyond the floor plan. Blocks and things. It also creates an issue where different people are changing things, it’s confusing and legally tricky. Do you just want dimensions?

 

when I start a design, I don’t put dimensions on as people get stuck on numbers. You can end up moving things 200mm when they don’t even know where they want a room.

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Hello @CharlieKLP

 

Been lurking following this thread. I'm a designer with a penchant for structures.

 

If you can hold your own on Build Hub then your future is bright!

 

Wishing you all the best and will post a bit later on my experience for your to pick over.

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Roger440 said:

 

Where does £5k come from? If you are charging £70 an hour, that 70 hours. To do a planning drawing? Am i missing something?

 

Sure, what you suggest is better than a % of the contract value, which i point blank refuse to even consider, but still very opaque.

 

I get that you are in business to earn money, you have studied to get the letters after your name, and their are overheads, insurance etc. but i do need to feel like im getting resonable value for money.

 

As someone who hasnt yet built a house, but has done a couple of large "garages", and having been on this site for sometime, it strikes me architects are not offering the service thats needed.

 

As i say, ive not done this, but it seems quite often architect, "architects" a design, with part of that being to get it through planning. Then it needs building, so another different person gets involved to do engineering drawings. And has to modify the architects design because its unbuildable, or not buidable at sensible cost.

 

For me, if i eventually go down this road, id want both from one source for a known cost.

 

Otherwise, its just a planning drawing. An expensive one at that.


What do you mean by ‘just a planning drawing’, there’s a lot of knowledge and expertise involved in designing a house to get planning. An engineer would probably struggle to get a nice design through planning.

 

I think there’s a lot of unwarranted blaming that comes up from architects drawings not being perfect. Most things are actually buildable if you have the skills to translate a planning drawing. I’ve seen as many brainless engineering solutions as I have bad architects drawings. 
 

the fact is, every design has to start somewhere. You usually start with the design and work too the technical, and it’s the combination of those skillsets that gives you the best design. You wouldn’t start with an engineering calc and then turn it into your dream house would you? Well, I wouldn’t anyway. 
 

 

 

Edited by CharlieKLP

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9 minutes ago, Gus Potter said:

Hello @CharlieKLP

 

Been lurking following this thread. I'm a designer with a penchant for structures.

 

If you can hold your own on Build Hub then your future is bright!

 

Wishing you all the best and will post a bit later on my experience for your to pick over.

 

 

 

 

Yes please do! Same to you I’ll look forward to it.

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25 minutes ago, Roger440 said:

Can you imagine a car manufacturer doing that?

It is how TVR did their development.

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2 minutes ago, CharlieKLP said:


What do you mean by ‘just a planning drawing’, there’s a lot of knowledge and expertise involved in designing a house to get planning. An engineer would probably struggle to get a nice design through planning.

 

I think there’s a lot of unwarranted blaming that comes up from architects drawings not being perfect. Most things are actually buildable if you have the skills to translate a planning drawing. I’ve seen as many brainless engineering solutions as I have bad architects drawings. 
 

the fact is, every design has to start somewhere. You usually start with the design and work too the technical, and it’s the combination of those skillsets that gives you the best design. You wouldn’t start with an engineering calc and then turn it into your dream house would you? Well, I wouldn’t anyway. 
 

 

 

 

Hmmm. Not sure i agree. Getting a house through planning is about satisfying the planners. If you cant do that, doesnt matter how nice the design is. A planning consultant is probably, in my limited experience, the best person to get it through.

 

Go on, humour me, given that no engineering drawings are involved, what is it other than a planning drawing with an interior layout. Thats a genuine question, even if you think im a philistine!

 

To answer you original question, id want the design and the build drawings from the same place. So if/when its not right, there is a clear path to responsibility and rectification. The common split in responsibility just leaves the client holding all the risk.

 

I guess that suits both architect and technician, but it certainly doesnt appear to be in the clients interest. I think we have seen that often enough on here.

 

Do that with a clear transparent pricing structure (which i note you do not respond to) , id be interested.

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Just now, SteamyTea said:

It is how TVR did their development.

 

Good point, well presented !!!!

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22 minutes ago, CharlieKLP said:


What do you want the CAD version for exactly? 
 

the reason you don’t give them out, is because cad files contain a lot of information and work beyond the floor plan. Blocks and things. It also creates an issue where different people are changing things, it’s confusing and legally tricky. Do you just want dimensions?

 

when I start a design, I don’t put dimensions on as people get stuck on numbers. You can end up moving things 200mm when they don’t even know where they want a room.

People may want to pay for a design, then get others to do the work.  This may mean that things get changed.

 

Claiming it is a 'legal thing' is a pretty poor reason to not give a customer what they are paying for, not as if a house is a service (to crib a software term).

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Just now, SteamyTea said:

People may want to pay for a design, then get others to do the work.  This may mean that things get changed.

 

Claiming it is a 'legal thing' is a pretty poor reason to not give a customer what they are paying for, not as if a house is a service (to crib a software term).


 

Do you mean after the architect is finished? I don’t see a problem with that once you are handing it over.
 

My issue would be when you are working on a drawing you need to take ownership of it. If there are errors in the work, it’s best that the architect did them themselves rather than taking the blame for other people moving things! 

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17 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

People may want to pay for a design, then get others to do the work.  This may mean that things get changed.

 

Claiming it is a 'legal thing' is a pretty poor reason to not give a customer what they are paying for, not as if a house is a service (to crib a software term).

 

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...

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27 minutes ago, Roger440 said:

 

Hmmm. Not sure i agree. Getting a house through planning is about satisfying the planners. If you cant do that, doesnt matter how nice the design is. A planning consultant is probably, in my limited experience, the best person to get it through.

 

Go on, humour me, given that no engineering drawings are involved, what is it other than a planning drawing with an interior layout. Thats a genuine question, even if you think im a philistine!

 

To answer you original question, id want the design and the build drawings from the same place. So if/when its not right, there is a clear path to responsibility and rectification. The common split in responsibility just leaves the client holding all the risk.

 

I guess that suits both architect and technician, but it certainly doesnt appear to be in the clients interest. I think we have seen that often enough on here.

 

Do that with a clear transparent pricing structure (which i note you do not respond to) , id be interested.

 

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...

 

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