Architects, Lawyers & Contracts
Yeah, yeah, yeah boring stuff, but it is what is inside my head right now. So, today I spent two and half hours reviewing the architectural contract that could be worth up to 1.9 million. Hopefully less depending on the final estimate for construction. I prefer strictly fixed fee contracts but this contract had started negotiations before I became involved. I am stuck with a percentage of the cost of construction because I was finishing up another project (School of Architecture - University of Waterloo).
I will describe percentage fees in this post. There are other standards that I prefer but for this project architectural fees are based a percentage of construction.
Architectural fees are not standardized. Each project requires an examination of the complexity of the work proposed. However, most architects will indicate standard fees of 8%-12% of the construction project cost. We typically listen to the talk of standard fees and standard contracts, smile sweetly, then negotiate a fee and contract that is appropriate.
The complexity of the project, the approach and expectation of a level of service determine the fees. The four levels of service are economy, basic, average and high. An economy level of service can be ask low as 3.5% while a high level of service can be as high as 16%.
In Ontario, the "Standard Architectural Contract" significantly favours the architect. Do not automatically accept a “Standard Architectural Contract”. That so-called standard has the developer assume all the risks and liabilities at a high cost. SCREW THE STANDARD and negotiate a fair contract for both parties.
Once I get this out of my head, perhaps I may try to write something of more interest.