April 30, 2022

Signing the contract with your architect

You’ve found an architect that fits your needs, what’s next? No matter how friendly the architect is, and how well you understand each other you must put your agreements in writing through a proper contract.

My father used to tell me that every transaction that is above €10k, needs to be put in writing. And unfortunately, it turned out more often than not that he was completely right.

Summary

  • Download a standard contract.
  • Have it reviewed and amended by your lawyer.
  • Ensure it consists of the essentials.
  • Wait till you’ve received the signed contract before you start the work.

What should I include in the contract?

Here are some essentials that must be included in the contract: 

  • Deadlines for the different stages
  • Penalty fee for delays
  • Agreed upon fee
  • Payment details
  • Price ceiling
  • Scope of works
  • Agreed upon Quality 
  • Liability Insurance 
  • Cancellation option (I like to work with stages, so after each stage, we can stop the business relationship)
  • Annexes on which the price is based (building standards, timeline, sketches, etc.)

You’re all set for success

Now that you’ve completed the formalities, the architect can start working on the designs. If all goes well you won’t need the contract, but if unexpected events arise you will be very grateful that you invested some time into a proper contract. 

Just one final warning, as we see this happen time and time again. Don’t start working until you’ve received the signed contract. If you let the architect begin without a contract, they’ll be in a much stronger position as they know you’re now dependent on them.

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