What third parties are involved in architect's projects?

When you start a project with Lapworth, we are not only your architects, but also your lead consultants. We look to assemble a team of experts that complement our design work by bringing their knowledge and experience to make sure that your project is safe, well-costed and compliant. Some of the professionals we work with regularly are:

  • Structural Engineers
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Building Regulations Inspectors
  • Party Wall Surveyors

We offer to provide and project manage these services on the majority of our projects, as we often have a preferred or trusted third party that we have vetted and worked with before, so you don’t have the headache of finding your own professionals to do the work.

Of course, if you accept to let us project manage these third parties, you’ll be advised of all the consultants and fees, and can exercise a reasonable right of approval over our choices.

Unexpected extras

Depending on the scale, location, complexity and specific aspirations, we might need to deal with additional consultants for your architectural project. These are often requested by the council’s planning department to move forward with your application, and common examples of this might be:

  • Topographical, traffic or noise surveys
  • Heritage consultations
  • Arboricultural reports

Although we try and foresee these reports at the design and early planning stage, unfortunately, this extra information or data set often comes with cost – you’re paying for a specialist’s time and expertise after all – and should be regarded as an essential outlay, albeit an unexpected one. Unfortunately, there’s no getting round this, as this information is essential to the progress of your application.

We know how frustrating this can be, so we work hard to mitigate this by letting you know as soon as possible about these unforeseen issues. That way, we can work with you to try and reduce the impact of this extra work on the timeline and cost of a project. As part of our duties, we can liaise with both you and the third parties to make sure that the work is completed by them and paid up by you in  as smooth a manner as possible. 

How to deal with third-party costs

Experience has shown us that good communication and a dose of patience are the best ways to manage expectations and is we do our utmost to make sure that you, the client, are aware of any additional costs. 

With this new data, the project can then move on as before to completing or adapting the design as necessary before moving on to planning permission. 

It’s in everyone’s interest to move forward as quickly and smoothly as possible, so if your architect comes bearing expensive news, remember that you’re investing in your future asset. 

Your architect can help you project manage these extra consultants, so paying them promptly for their services will help lessen delays – and potentially costs further down the line.

These extra costs are just part and parcel of the incredibly complex business of managing an architectural project but, when it’s all finished and you’re enjoying your new home, acting promptly and decisively will have saved you time and grief. 

As stressful as it may seem at the time, these extra costs are part and parcel of any building project, and this is exactly what your contingency is for! Conventional wisdom suggests keeping back around 5% of your projected spend for precisely this kind of expense, so don’t forget to include it in your budget – you’ll be glad you did!

Categories: Architecture