Terms & conditions
The client has a contract with the architect and the architect provides professional services to the client. The client also has contractual relationships with the other professional consultants, as recommended by the architect.
The client has a separate contractual relationship with the building contractor. The building contractor also has contractual relationships with specialist sub-contractors and suppliers.
One important driver in the whole design / building process is that all communication between the client and any of the other parties is channelled through the architect.
We make planning applications at the appropriate stage of the project. We make every effort to ensure that our applications to local authorities are successful, resulting in the granting of ‘Planning Consent’. We enjoy good relationships with many local authorities and more importantly we have a very high success rate in terms of gaining planning consent for our schemes. However, it is important to point out that planning authorities are unpredictable and can sometimes be difficult to work with. Therefore, we can never guarantee success in gaining a planning consent.
We monitor our applications to local authorities carefully and attentively. Sometimes we have to make minor moderation to our schemes in accordance with the requirements and directives from the planning offices.
Our fees in respect of making planning applications are charged on the submission of the application. The fees charged cover monitoring process and in making any minor modifications. Our fees are not dependent on the granting of ‘Planning Consent’ notice being issued.
If we have cause to make alterations to the scheme in order to win ‘planning consent’ then this additional work is charged on a time basis (in addition to the original fees for making the planning application)
Whist we make every effort to avoid design variations to our schemes, especially when the project is in the construction phase, we know from past experiences that clients can change their minds regarding certain aspects of the project as it is being built. Changes of mind, leading to what we refer to as ‘design variations’, rend to add to the building costs and the duration of the on-site building programme. If and when a client instructs a variation to the scheme, we will advise on the cost and programming considerations. If we as architect then have cause to alter our approved design drawings, this work is charged additionally and on time basis.
We try to discourage our clients from making design changes but we do acknowledge they have the rights to do so.
Time expended between work stages
Occasionally a client will delay the progress of a project and there will be a dormant period between work stages as set out in stage 6 or work stages, which yet may require the input and services of the architect during these periods of delay.
Whilst it is the clients’ prerogative to determine the progress of a project, we reserve the right to charge fees based on a time basis for any involvement between work stages and that are not specifically covered by our overall fee agreement.
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. However, there may be the occasional situation 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 thereby avoiding the escalation of any disagreement. Working in an industry that is prone to allowing disputes to occur and the escalate, we are proud of our reputation in minimising the risks in this respect.
When it seems we may have reached a ‘stalemate situation’ and unable to resolve a disagreement, we are, as a practice, committed to resolve the situation by means of mediation / arbitration rather that resorting to litigation. Experience has taught us this more productive route with a stronger chance of a satisfactory outcome.
Termination of the contract between client and architect
Our contractural relationships with our clients are largely very successful and of a positive nature. However, from time to time a client will decide that they want to terminate their relationship with us for their own reason. If and when such a circumstances arises, we endeavour to effect the termination with efficiency and with good grace. We do not put obstacles in the way nor do we resort to legal processes. We like to make sure that before the relationship is formally severed, all out outstanding and incurred fees are fully settled by the client.
The most import aspect of a termination of a contract process is that the client and the architect can continue to communicate and to affect an amicable parting of the ways.
Professional indemnity insurance
Giles & Pike Architects carry full professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the Architects Registration Board’s code of practice.
We have had continued and unbroken insurance cover since the original formation of the practice. Our policy is reviewed and renewed annually.
Copyright and copyright related issues
The work we produce on our building projects, namely the drawings, diagrams, specifications and schedule are referred to as our ‘materials’. These materials are produced for the sole purpose of facilitating the building project, the construction work and the fitting-out of the building for our clients.
Our materials are out copyright and remain so during the building project and beyond. When clients pay our fees for producing the design / drawings / specifications etc., they do not acquire the copyright nor do they have the automatic right to use the drawings without our further involvement in the project.
It is important when clients engage Giles & Pike Architects, they understand that they are buying into a process and not buying a product or series of products.
This process starts with the initial briefing and discussions around the clients specific requirements, It ends with the completion of all building works and fitting-out works.
As architects we have a duty of care to see projects through from start to finish and to oversee the building works, ensuring they are completed to the high standards we require.
We like clients to understand that we only take on projects where we are engaged for all stages, taking the projects through to final completion. If a client choses to terminate our involvement in the duration of the project and yet wishes to continue with our scheme thereby using our ‘materials’, in these circumstances we are normally prepared to assign all relevant copyright licenses in lieu of a one-off fee payment.
Photographing our completed schemes is an important aspect of our work for it allows us to keep an accurate record of our projects. It also enables us to keep our portfolio and website up to date.
We therefore reserve the right to photograph all our completed projects,
If clients do not want their completed property to be photographed it is the client’s responsibility to make this known to us at the outset if the project. Unless we are made aware of the clients’ unwillingness for their property to be photographed, we will assume we are permitted to photograph the property on completion of the project.