De­sign and work­man­ship are the true tests of a good build

Yorkshire Post - Property - - FRONT PAGE - Jonathon Wing­field

how­ever, he does have the power to de­cide if the qual­ity of work is of the cor­rect stan­dard and ask for el­e­ments to be re­done should if nec­es­sary.

This is also con­firmed in the Royal In­sti­tute of Bri­tish Ar­chi­tects hand­book on the Ap­point­ment of an Ar­chi­tect, where it states that the role of the ar­chi­tect is to see that the work is “gen­er­ally in ac­cor­dance with the con­tract doc­u­ments”. The im­por­tant word to note here is “gen­er­ally”. Even if your ar­chi­tect was to visit the site daily it would still be im­pos­si­ble for him to guar­an­tee that ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing is built cor­rectly. For the kind of su­per­vi­sion to take place that meets with your ex­pec­ta­tions a con­stant site pres­ence is re­quired. Larger projects of­ten have a clerk of works act­ing as the eyes and ears for the ar­chi­tect whilst mon­i­tor­ing qual­ity.

Do­mes­tic ex­ten­sions do not gen­er­ally jus­tify this ex­pense con­se­quently; a lot more re­spon­si­bil­ity rests with the builder. Hope­fully your ar­chi­tect car­ried out the cor­rect re­search and took up the nec­es­sary ref­er­ences or had pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing with them be­fore mak­ing the ap­point­ment. This should give you a de­gree of con­fi­dence in their abil­ity to do a good job.

It is com­mon knowl­edge within the pro­fes­sion that on tra­di­tional jobs, the con­struc­tion phase of work can swal­low up enor­mous amounts of time and there­fore fee, of­ten mak­ing them very un­prof­itable. How­ever, this is no rea­son for your ar­chi­tect not to ful­fill his obli­ga­tions. De­pend­ing on the size of project and the length of the con­struc­tion pe­riod it would be rea­son­able for him to make a brief visit ei­ther weekly or even fort­nightly. It may be an idea to sug­gest that he car­ries out some unan­nounced vis­its although I am con­fi­dent there will be a lot of di­a­logue go­ing on be­tween him and the contractor you are un­aware of. In ad­di­tion, it is gen­er­ally bet­ter to in­spect el­e­ments of work be­fore they are com­pleted and cov­ered up from view, this may ex­plain why his vis­its do not ap­pear to re­late to spe­cific stages of work.

You do not say any­where that you are dis­sat­is­fied with the qual­ity of the de­sign or work­man­ship; surely this must be the true test?

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