Skin in the Game (@bobborson mentioned again)

If you’re an architect, architecture student, interested in architecture or how architects work then if you’re not following Bob Borson’s blog ‘Life of an architect’ you should.

One of my favourite posts on architectural fees (Part 2) gives no nonsense advice on how the client should behave:

“1. I am going to treat you fairly with my fees and you’re not going to waste my time.

2. I am going to make myself available to you and you’re going to make yourself available to me.

3. You will tell me your “real” budget and I will be accountable for designing a house that meets that budget.

4. If I design a house that comes in over your budget, I will revise the drawings at my cost.

5. If I tell you that you have changed the program and are at risk for exceeding your budget, and you ignore this advice, you should expect to pay me to revise the drawings

6. If you tell most architects that your budget is $500,000, they will assume that this means your construction budget. Make sure that your budget includes monies for professional fees, landscaping and contingency

7. Make sure that you have a conversation in the beginning what scope your stated budget will cover.”

There’s nothing here I can disagree with; I have written before HERE about both the architect and client having ‘Skin in the Game’. I’d also add an 8th and a 9th item above as:

8. You will be expected to have ‘Skin in the game’; that is a substantial upfront payment prior to work commencing. I realise that many people are adverse to paying upfront but the experiences of projects stalling without payment are too great. The list of ‘stalls’ is now considerable ranging from: death, divorce, split-up, lack of finance, change of mind… and I know how hard I will work on your behalf but in order to do that requires a deposit on services yet to come.

9. You will need to be flexible; the house that you desire may not be what the planners will accept

This POST by Bob continues this theme on ‘The Top 10 Client traits’ and emphasises that essentially the client will also have to put some work and time into the project.

So a reminder on Bob’s Blog:

Watch this space on a book on ‘Business for Architects’…

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