Relationship with Architect
Hi, just need some advice or hear of similar experiences and how you overcame the hurdle. We have engaged an architect to help us draw up plans for a loft extension and refurb of the flat including kitchen redo and bathrooms, including planning permission and going into tendering and project management next. Basically the whole works. T he relationship started out great and they were engaged and handson. We had pretty much let them run with it but once layouts were decided, we realised they had not factored in the limitations of the boiler placement in the kitchen and after much to-ing and fro-ing and us seeking advice from a few gas engineers as to realistically what we can do, we had to change the kitchen layout option (from one with a kitchen island to a traditional u-shape) and happy to pay for the change to be made. Basically the change was not just because we decided we didn't like the first chosen layout but because of the complexitities and costs involved in order to make the first layout work, which was not initially flagged to us. Anyhow, we move on despite our own personal view that the architect should have at least have known before presenting the island layout as an option.
We were also presented with furnishes and materials (wall and flooring e.g) which diverged quite far from the initial imagery they had presented and what we had specified. Scandi - bright, airy and pastel light colours. Our furnishes options were dark and reflected a gatsby, parison bistro lux style if that made sense. Still fab, just not what had wanted. And we also questioned the costs as some of the tiles were almost £200/sqm which was way too extravagant for our budget (we had specified a £100K+- budget but they took that to mean £199K lol). Anyhow, we decided to do some ground work ourselves and came up with some alternative suggestion from say fired earth and asked if they thought some of the options would work together. Basically the response was just we'll make a note of that. Similarly when we mentioned we would like alternatives to a marble countertop as we are a young family with lots of cooking and need some level of practicality, it was met with unspoken "then you can source it on your own" kind of response.
Basically, we don't mind going around to source for tiles etc myself but surely they can at least come back to help feedback if the items will definitely not go together or materials are not good? we don't know. is that too much to ask? and we seem to get the impression that going with their suppliers would entail them getting a commission which if they had highlighted in the beginning, at least it was upfront and we can work with that. it was simply presented to us as "we prefer you use us to order the materials rather than the builder".
then, we also asked if we will see a 3D rendering to get an idea of how the place will look with the furnishes and was met with "this is outside of our scope" and we can show you as the project progresses but it is not a deliverable item. ????
finally, we had queried about a party wall agreement. effectively we were just giving a link to read up about what it is and what to do next? it was a builder who actually asked us if our architect had spoken to us about it prior to us asking the architect. now i am concerned there's other items we are suppose to be aware of which we assume would be flagged to us by the architect, but are not. are we asking too much?
Keen to know if this is a case of us not understanding the scope or being too demanding? and what are some recommendations if we stil want them to see the project through to finish. Appreciate all the advice we can get!