Towards the end of 2009 we missed out on being appointed to provide architectural services for an extension & refurbishment project near Leeds, as the potential client had also obtained another competitive quote which was slightly less than ours. To be fair to the client, he did offer us the opportunity to reduce our fees, in line with the other competing architectural company, in order to still be considered for the works. After informing the client of our day-to-day commitments and obligations, the timescales involved in producing the work, and the level of information which was involved, as well as the fact that matching the alternative quote would not be financially viable for us, we both wished each other luck and went our separate ways. Although disappointed to miss out on new work, and an architectural commission, we were busy and quickly moved on to other projects without giving the matter any further thought.
Yesterday (over a year after we had first met) I saw the client in a supermarket and asked how the project had progressed. He informed me that the project was nearing completion, but had been very messy and stressful and had ended up costing a lot more than initially anticipated. The original planning application had been rejected by Leeds planners, and a revised scheme subsequently produced. In addition, the drawings provided by the appointed agent had lacked sufficient detail in order for the contractor to provide a firm price, and once the works had commenced on site, many details had been left unresolved resulting in further drawings being produced at a total cost which was in excess of our initial fee quotation.
I regularly find myself explaining to potential clients that a good, thorough and detailed package of architectural drawings is a sound investment when undertaking a building project, and the above account is testament to this theory. Not only do a thorough set of drawings provide each contractor with a level platform from which to provide a quotation for the building works, they can also eradicate on-site problems and stress as building work progresses.