Terms & conditions

Photography

Photographing our completed schemes is an important part of our work, for it enables us to keep our portfolio, and our website up to date. We therefore reserve the right to photograph the projects when they are properly completed, and to publish the photographs in Architectural and Design journals.

Our client is invited to participate in any publicity emanating from the finished schemes. Some clients like to be involved in the publicity whilst others prefer to remain anonymous.  Whether clients wish to participate or not, we can assure them that their views on this matter will be respected and that all reasonable steps will be taken to avoid any publicity which will be injurious to the privacy or security of clients.
If a client does not wish the final completed scheme to be either photographed or published then we ask that this view be declared and discussed before the start of the project. Unless this is discussed at the outset, clients who subsequently decide to prevent us from photographing our work will be in breach of the legal contract terms.

Design variations

In our experience, clients have a tendency to make changes to the design scheme for any number of reasons. Whilst we may be happy to oblige our clients in this respect we must point out that it is easier and of less consequence to make the changes ahead of time and not after the event. By this we mean that design changes made during the design process are more easily dealt with than changes made during the on-site building phase of the contract. If we are able to make design changes without involving additional time or contract administration time, then we will do so without charging additional fees. If however, the changes do involve us in expenditure of additional time, then these changes are subject to additional fees, to be charged on a time basis.

Time expended between stages

Occasionally a client will delay the progress of a project and there will be a dormant period between the work stages as set out in Work Stages and yet may require the input and services of the architect during these periods of delay. Whilst it is a clients’ prerogative to determine the progress of a project, we reserve the right to charge fees on a timed basis for any involvement between work stages, and which is not specifically covered by our overall fee agreement.

Responsibilities for the building works

In a building contract, the architect is responsible for, and carries full professional indemnity insurance for all matters relating to architectural design. Likewise the structural engineer is responsible for all aspects of the structural engineering design.

The building contractor is responsible for, and carries full public liability insurance for his building activities and is responsible for the work he executes, and the manner in which he does so. It is the building contractor who has the responsibility to carry out building work correctly and in accordance with the design drawings and specifications.

 

Architects and structural engineers have a duty to oversee, and inspect the work of the contractor and to check that the work is carried out correctly. The overseeing of the works is carried out during weekly inspections, and is therefore not exhaustive. If a client requires continuous and detailed supervision of the work, then as architects we would recommend that the client employs a ‘clerk of works’ to be on site at all times, or agrees to pay additional fees for Giles Pike to provide a ‘site architect’.

Dispute resolution

Whilst the vast majority of our projects are brought to a successful conclusion, and free from any form of dispute over building costs, fees, design or building construction issues, there have been the occasional situations where there has been a disagreement between builder and client, or between client and architect over some aspect of the project. In these circumstances, it is our policy to try hard to resolve the issues amicably and therefore to avoid the escalation of any disagreement. Working in an industry that is prone to allowing disputes to occur, and to escalate, we are proud of our reputation in minimising the risks in this respect.

Where it seems that we may have reached a ‘stalemate situation’ and in being unable to resolve a disagreement, we are as a practice committed to resolve the situation by means of mediation/ arbitration rather than resorting to litigation. Experience has taught us that this is a more productive route to go down, and with a stronger chance of a happy outcome.

Expenses & disbursements

In carrying out our work, we incur certain expenses and disbursements on our client’s behalf, which are recharged to the client along with our fee accounts. These expenses vary from project to project, but generally represent a very small proportion of the overall project costs. Examples of rechargeable expenses are items such as: travel and car parking costs, computer printing and reprographics, architectural models, postage and telecommunications.

Payment of fees

Our fee accounts are submitted to the client on a monthly basis, and our payment terms are strictly four weeks from the invoice date. Late payments are subject to interest charges, which will be added to future invoices. Interest is calculated at 1.875% per month.

VAT

Architects fees and expenses/disbursements are subject to VAT.

Summary

In the How We Work section of the website, we have set out in clear terms the way in which we at Giles Pike work, the order of working progress and how we charge our fees. We are always willingly to answer any queries in respect of these issues. We also trust that as a client instructs us to work on their architectural project, they will have taken time to properly read and understand this information, and fully accept the contents.