Terms and Conditions

Our Hours of Business:

The normal hours of business are between 9am and 5pm weekdays.
Messages can be left on voicemail or email outside of these hours. 
Appointments can be arranged outside our working hours when this is essential.

Charges and Expenses:

Our fees are generally based on time spent dealing with each project. This will include meeting with you, research, preparation of drawings, submitting applications, considering and writing reports, correspondence sent and received and the making and receiving of telephone calls. 
In addition to the time spent we will take into account a number of other factors including; the need to carry out work outside our normal working hours, the complexity of the project, the speed at which action has to be taken, any particularly specialist expertise that the project may demand etc. In particular property or land matters for example, where the size of the estate or the financial value reflects the importance of the project and responsibility placed on the company, typically we will agree a fee to represent you in any sale negotiation transactions which is usually a percentage of the agreed sale price.

Our current basic hourly rates are set out as follows. These rates will apply unless a different rate has been agreed with you and confirmed in writing. We will add VAT to these rates at the rate that applies when we carry out our work, currently 20%.
– On Site Building Consultation Work £95 per hour door to door from PE11 3PU, minimum 1 hour call out applies during our normal working hours.
– Preparation of reports and subsequent submission to relevant parties £75 per hour.
– Call out charges outside of normal working hours and weekends are £250 per call out for the first hour, then £95 per hour thereafter door to door from PE11 3PU. 
– Please Note – if a meeting is not cancelled at least 2 hours prior to the arranged time, any pre-arranged site/home appointments will still be charged for if a representative from our company attends site and is not met by the person requesting a site meeting. In the event that the appointment is requested by a contractor who fails to attend, these costs will be passed onto the client instructing us. 

Our Architectural Design Fees will be offered in the form of a fixed-fee quotation based on each individual project, following a free initial consultation lasting no more than 1 hour. 

Domestic Project Management fees are usually between 12% and 15% of the overall contract value. We will offer a quotation based on individual projects including commercial contracts. 

We reserve the right to change these fees should your project become more complex or urgent. The new rate will be agreed with you and confirmed in writing. Our hourly rates will be reviewed periodically to reflect increases in overheads, costs and inflation. 

You may wish to set a limit on our charges and expenses, which may be reached without further authority. We will inform you when your limit may be exceeded and take your further instructions. 

Our company has to pay out various other expenses on behalf of clients such as Licensed Site Location and Block Plans. These additional plans form part of your drawings, therefore are an essential purchase, which are calculated on the area of the project site. We will include these into our statement of fees. 

As Architectural Consultants we will inform you of any other fees you may incur such as Flood Risk Assessments, Tree Surveys, Building Surveys, SAP, Pressure Testing and other associated services. We do not generally pay for these services on your behalf, but will offer you a quotation from the relevant parties directly if needed. Should you wish us to pay for any additional services on your behalf, we have no obligation but may in occasional circumstances by prior agreement in writing. For us to settle any additional fees we will require full payment in advance for each service and we will add an administration fee of 25% of the invoice value. 

If for any reason your project does not proceed to completion, or planning permission is not granted, in accordance with your original instructions and intentions, we will be entitled to charge you for all work carried out and expenses incurred unto that date. We do not operate on a ‘success fee’, our fees are payable upon agreement and instruction to carry out our work on your project, upon signing your original quotation, or settling your deposit which acts as your formal instruction and is legally binding. We do not offer a refund of deposits once work has commenced on your project. 

We are entitled to retain any copyright, drawings, reports or other property belonging to you which has come into our possession, pending payment of our costs, whether or not the property is acquired in connection to the matter for which the costs were incurred. This is known as a ‘general lien’, we are not entitled to sell property held under general lien but we are entitled to hold property, even if the value of it greatly exceeds the amount due in respect of our costs. 

If you do not agree with one of our bills you can query it with us and we will let you have a detailed breakdown. Please do not delay in contacting us if you have any financial disputes. 

Payment Arrangements:

Architectural Design – We will normally send you an invoice upon instruction for 50% of the agreed Design Fee, which should be settled within 7 days and prior to carrying out our architectural measurement survey, the balance being due upon completion of the designs, prior to release and submission to Local Authority. Should you need more time to consider your options, our fees still need to be settled within 3 months of the date of instruction. 

Working Drawings – We will normally send you an invoice upon instruction for 50% of the agreed Drawing Fee, which should be settled within 7 days and prior to the balance being due upon completion of drawings, prior to release and submission to Building Control. 

Interior Design – We will normally send you an invoice upon instruction for 50% of the agreed Design Fee, which should be settled within 7 days and prior to carrying out any measurement survey, the balance being due upon completion of designs, prior to release. Should you need more time to consider your options, our fees still need to be settled within 3 months of the date of instruction.

Consultation Work and Other Projects – We all clients to pay sums of money on account, usually 5 hours in advance at the standard hourly rate as stated under ‘Charges and Expenses’ in this document, which enables us to research and commence work on your project. We may produce regular bills thereafter, we find this helps clients budgeting for costs as well as keeping clients informed of their financial expenses which are being incurred while working on particular projects. If such requests are not met with prompt payment, delay in the progress of a project may result. In the unlikely event of any bill or request for payment not being met, we reserve the right to stop acting for you further and we also reserve the right to withdraw all active planning applications. 

Payment is usually due within 7 days of invoice. The due date is clearly shown on all invoices. If our invoice is not settled within this time we will charge you interest at 20% per year, calculated on a daily basis from the date the invoice is due. 

We accept the following methods of payment:
BACS payment/faster payment – our details will be at the foot of your invoice.
Bank Draft or Building Society Cheque – details will be at the foot of your invoice.
Personal Cheque – please note we require cleared funds prior to carrying out your work or release of drawings/documents. (These can take up to 7 days)
Cash – In person only, please do not post cash.

Joint Instructions:

If we are instructed by two or more persons, instructions from one will be deemed to be instructions from all. 

Financial/Cost Advice:

This company is not authorised by the Financial Services Authority, however we are often asked for our opinion on project costs and land or property values. We are able to offer our opinion based on national average per square metre on new build work and will form our opinion on land and property values based on current marked trends. We strongly recommend that you obtain at least three quotations from reputable contractors for any work you wish to carry out. Our company is happy to offer a Tender Management Service should you need assistance. 

Storage of Drawings and Documents:

After completing our work, we are entitled to keep all your drawings and documents all the time there is money owed to us for our fees and expenses. In addition we continue to own the copyright of all drawings and documents and have the right to amend or copy from these for future use. We will keep your drawings and documents on electronic file for a minimum of 15 years from the date of your final invoice, after that date we have the right to destroy your file should we consider it reasonable. 
We have the right to copy and drawings or documents as may be necessary. 
If we retrieve drawings or documents from storage in relation to continuing, or commencing new instructions to act in connection with your project, we will not normally charge for such retrieval. We may however, charge for printing additional copies of drawings and documents under our discretion according to the requested quantity and size. 

Communication Between You and Us:

Our aim is to offer all our clients an efficient and effective service at all times. 
Please be aware that we do not notify any changes to important business information such as bank details, by email. 
Our standard level of service together with a list of responsibilities (yours and ours) is set below so you know what to expect from us and what we expect from you. 

Level of Service:
– We will update you on your project regularly and explain matters as they arise.
– We will communicate with you in good time.
– We will update you on any costs of your project as they occur.
– We will inform you as to whether your likely costs will be justified and where appropriate offer alternative suggestions.
– We will update you on the likely timescales for each stage of your project and any important changes which affect the estimates. 

Our Responsibilities:
– We will review your project regularly.
– We will advise you of any changes, requests and objections to your project. 
– We will advise you of any circumstances and risks of which we are aware or consider to be reasonably foreseeable that could affect the success of your project. 

Your Responsibilities: 
– You will provide us with clear, accurate and timely feedback.
– You will advise us straight away if there are any changes in your circumstances or instructions. 

Equality and Diversity:

We are committed to providing equality and diversity in all dealings with clients, third parties and employees. please let us know immediately if you require any adjustments to our standards of service in order to make matters easier for you, such as providing larger print correspondence. 

Cancellation Rights:

If your instructions to us have not yet commenced, you would generally have the right to cancel those instructions without any cost to you within 7 days of instruction. You will cancel your instruction by either delivering or posting a letter to the effect, or sending an email to info@richarsarchitectural.co.uk cancelling your instruction /You may not however cancel the agreement once we have been instructed to commence work and/or a survey has been carried out on your property, research into your project has begun, consultation has commenced and costs have been incurred. By continuing with your instruction you are agreeing that to avoid any delay in your project we may start work on your project straight away and we do not have to wait for the cancellation period to expire. You are also agreeing that the 30 day period provided by the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 does not apply. 

Data Protection:

We use your personal data primarily to provide Architectural Services to you, but also for related purposes for instructing third party contractors and services purely relating to your project. Our use of personal data is subject to your instructions, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), other relevant UK legislation and our professional duty of confidentiality. Under data protection legislation you have a right of access to the personal data we hold about you.

Confidentiality:

Any information or documentation you provide is confidential and subject to professional privilege.
The drawings and documents we provide are completely confidential although when submitting planning applications this information is freely available in the public forum.
We cannot absolutely guarantee the security of information communicated by email or mobile phone, unless we hear from you to the contrary we will assume you consent to our methods of communication.
We reserve the right to use our drawings and photographs for marketing purposes and for our portfolio, but will never disclose your personal details including your address or location unless we have your express permission. 

Termination:

You may end your instructions to us in writing at any time and we can keep all your drawings and documents whilst there is money owed to us for fees and expenses. If at any stage you do not wish us to continue doing work and/or incurring expenses on your behalf, you must tell us clearly in writing. 
If we decide to stop acting on your behalf, for example if you do not settle an invoice or comply with a request for payment on account, we will tell you the reason and give you notice in writing or by email. 
We reserve the right to withdraw planning applications submitted by us on your behalf if your invoice for Architectural Design Fees remains outstanding and overdue during the planning process. 

Applicable Law:

Any dispute or legal issue arising from our Terms of Business will be determined by the Law of England and Wales, and considered exclusively by English and Welsh Courts. 

Terms and Conditions of Business:

Unless otherwise agreed, and subject to the application of the then hourly rates these terms and conditions shall apply to any further instruction given to you by this firm. However we do reserve the right to change these terms and conditions and reserve the right to stop acting for you further if you will not agree to any such change. 
Your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to an acceptance of our terms and conditions of business. 

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