Architecture & Design Services - Terms & Conditions
Whether or not signed, this document sets out the Terms and Conditions which shall apply to the provision of all design and associated services undertaken by Architecture & Design Services, (in this document referred to as "us", "we", 'the firm' or "our", as appropriate) to clients (in this document referred to as "you", "your" or "client"). By transacting with us you irrevocably agree to these Terms and Conditions.
A contract with the Terms and Conditions set out below comes into being when an order is placed with us and when we accept that order (whether by starting work or otherwise). These Terms and Conditions shall override any Terms and Conditions which you may propose, unless agreed in writing by our duly authorised signatory before work is begun (not items are received after) on performance of the services requested.
We advise all clients - you should never begin any building / other works on a project until planning approval and / or building warrant is received in writing. Otherwise this WILL incur you in further costs.
Quotation/Estimate and Acceptance
A quotation/estimate by Architecture & Design Services does not constitute an offer and may be withdrawn or revised at any time prior to Architecture & Design's acceptance of the purchase order. All quotations/estimates for services are valid for 30 days. Unless otherwise stated. Any order placed by the Client with Us (whether or not in response to a quotation/estimate, via email or online booking) shall constitute or be deemed to have constituted an offer to Architecture & Design Services to purchase services on these conditions. Architecture & Design Services have full discretion in accepting or rejecting any order.
Any estimated building costs indicated to a client are exactly this - estimated - and should not be deemed accurate. Architecture & Design Services take no responsibility for accuracy of estimated building costs. They should be estimated/quoted by a construction firm/building firm. Clients are advised to allow a min. 15-25% over-run for unforeseen issues on all build projects.
Photographing our schemes/projects prior to work beginning and after completion 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 projects prior to commencement of works, throughout works, when they are properly completed and to publish the photographs at our desire, including 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.
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, etc 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 Architectural Designer 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.
Our 'standard' rate for site visits is £296.00 for the visit including the first hour on site; additional hours are charged by the hour (not part of) at £129.00 per additional hour thereafter. More experienced professionals are charged out at higher rates of £350.00 and £189.00. Charging rates to clients is at the sole discretion of the firm.
Responsibilities for the building works
In a building contract, the Architectural Designer 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/her building activities and is responsible for the work he/she executes, and the manner in which he/she 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.
Architectural Designers, Designers, Architectural Technologists, Architectural Technicians and Structural Engineers have a duty to oversee (if engaged/hired to do so) and inspect the work of the contractor and to check that the work is carried out correctly. The overseeing of the works is usually carried out during regular inspections, but is not exhaustive. If a client requires continuous and detailed supervision of the work, then as an Architecture & Design Firm 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 Architecture & Design Services to provide a ‘site architectural service’. You agree to indemnify Architecture & Design Services, their owners/directors/employees that they hold no liability whatsoever, howsoever caused. Building contractors are responsible in full for their works carried out.
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 situation where there has been a disagreement between builder and client, or between client and architectural designer 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.
You (the client) irrevocably agree that our liability will never, under any circumstance whatsoever, exceed the amount of our original agreement (or the amount paid to date if the client has not paid in full). Further you (the client) agree to indemnify Architecture & Design Services (and all associated with) including all owners, proprietors, directors, employees and sub-contractors / freelancers and secure against legal responsibility for their actions.
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.
Our pricing is as quoted/estimated to you on engaging our services. Any bespoke "not listed" pricing shall be as shown in a separate document entitled "CHARGES AND FEES"; as otherwise agreed between us and you before work commences. If the price of the work may exceed that shown in the "CHARGES AND FEES" or as quoted/estimated originally, then we will contact you for authority to proceed at the higher price level and your verbal acceptance shall be sufficient to form a contract at the higher price.
Payment of fees
Our fee accounts are submitted to the client on a regular basis, and our payment terms are strictly no more than seven days from the invoice date. Late payments are subject to interest charges, which will be added to future invoices. Interest is calculated at 4.0% per month. You should notify us of any invoice or delivery discrepancy within 2 days of receipt to enable corrective action to be taken as soon as practicable. It is our policy to ask for 100% of the fee on small fixed price works "sub £1000", or for larger works 50% of the pro-rata invoice total up front, 25% as a stage payment during the work and 25% upon completion of our works.. Online bookings and credit card/debit card payments are subject to 100% payment in advance for all standard/fixed pricing work. Credit card fees may also apply. As a client under these terms and conditions you agree not to withhold payments to us for any reason.
Cancellations and Terminations
Cancellations by us will be subject to a 100% refund on all monies paid via invoice or online booking, minus any reasonable cost, additional costs or services incurred during the term of service. If work has already begun/been carried out on behalf of any client/s then no refunds at all can be given.
Cancellations by client/s will only be accepted if received in writing and BEFORE commencement of any works on a project begins. Once work on a project has started, no cancellations will be accepted and will be subject to the full 100% of fees of our quoted/estimated price, plus any reasonable costs, additional costs and services incurred during the term of service.
Our services are not conditional upon receiving council or other approvals and are payable in full unconditionally.
We cannot guarantee approvals by council or other bodies and our fees are payable in full irrespective of council or other bodies decisions.
Important; Once work has begun/been carried out, eg drawings are begun/produced/structural engineering calculations, etc as per our estimate/quotation, no refunds at all will be given on cancellation under any circumstances at this stage by client/s.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015
The Act is a major part of the government’s reform of UK consumer law and is streamlining complicated law from eight pieces of legislation into one place. The law is now clearer and easier to understand, meaning that consumers can buy and businesses can sell to them with confidence. On the rare occasions when problems arise, both parties will be able to sort out disputes more quickly and cheaply. The changes are relevant to ALL consumers and every business which sells directly to consumers. Whilst the new legislation brings many changes, the overall picture is that consumers' rights in relation to the supply of goods and services will remain similar to those that applied prior to the 1 October 2015. However, for traders the most significant changes will be increased clarity about when the customer has or has not got the right to reject goods, and a new presumption that consumers should not have to accept multiple attempts at repair or replacement. Where a consumer who has lost the right to reject goods then asks for repair or replacement, the trader has just one chance to get this right before the right to reject is reinstated.
Bespoke services are not covered by the act. Architecture & Design Services, by virtue of their bespoke nature, are not covered by the act.
All digital media shall remain the property of Architectural Design Co. until payment has been received in full. All media created in any format, either digital or hard copy, shall ALWAYS remain the copyright © of Architecture & Design Services. All digital CAD media/files/hard copy remain the property of Architectural Design Co. Clients are effectively given a licence to utilise the property. The licence terminates if fees are not paid. No digital CAD media/files will be handed over to clients unless agreed in writing. Handover of media/files to clients to be, but not restricted to: HARD COPY, PDF, JPG, JPEG, TIFF or PNG. Digital media sold on CD or DVD shall always remain the copyright © of Architecture & Design Services. Strictly not for resale, loan, hire, reward and not to be duplicated. All media is for your personal/business use only. No CAD media files to be handed over to your clients, other professionals or otherwise, under any circumstances. No refunds in part or full can be given once a CD/DVD disc or HARD COPIES have been posted/delivered to you.
All fees and expenses/disbursements are subject to VAT, where applicable.
These Terms and Conditions constitute a complete statement of all Terms and Conditions which shall apply to services provided by us and replace all previous written or oral terms and conditions. These Terms and Conditions may be amended by us from time to time by sending amended Terms and Conditions to you which shall apply to all orders placed after you are deemed to have received the amended Terms and Conditions (which for these purposes shall be deemed to be two days after the date that they are posted to you). No other amendments or variations shall be valid unless signed by our authorised signatory. Failure by either us or you to exercise any rights under these Terms and Conditions shall not constitute a waiver or forfeiture of such rights. Law The construction validity and performance of these Terms and Conditions and any contract incorporating these Terms and Conditions shall be governed by the Laws of Scotland and the Scottish Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.
I hope that this clearly and transparently sets out in clear terms the way in which we at Architecture & Design Services work, the order of working progress and how we charge our fees. We are always willing 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.
E&OE - Architecture & Design Services