If it is a modest amount of work I do it. If it is continual, and clearly things that have been agreed to earlier, I carefully explain to them that I can't keep making infinite changes and anything past "this last change" will be additional services. IF it is a change in scope I will tell them so before I do the work and get them to agree to the extra before I do the work.
John E. Crowell
Deer Hill Architects LLC
40 Lowell Street
Peabody, MA 01960
Important that you "discipline" your client (and yourself) to be careful about this. Not to say, you should never allow it, but you need to develop some friendly language about it for your clients, and use it whenever you need to...something like:
"You know, that could be a pretty good idea, and I'd be happy to pursue that for you ( --if you truly would be glad to do it, that is --), and if you think it's worth adding some additional amount to our fee so we can develop it for you, we could look into it. I say this, Mr. Client, because, you know, we didn't have those new requirements or needs that we've just identified today factored in to our proposed scope of work for your project, and I'm always trying to be careful with your funds spent on design and construction drawings so you will have funds available for construction.... If you can justify some added design expense for that (new idea/new need), then we'd be happy to add this to our scope....Let me take an hour to think that through and figure out how extensive a change this would be, what it might take for us to make those changes, and I'll get back to you with a modest additional fee proposal to add it. I don't think it should be a lot of additional expense, but let me take the time to think about it and I'll be back to you ASAP."
This usually puts a client on notice, and gives you a shot at increasing your fee to cover unintended things that come up. Of course, it helps most if you can do this early-on and make a habit of it -- even before you've exceeded available time, rather than after you're way beyond your fee limit. Also, it helps hugely if you happened to define this in your proposal, by writing something like: "Anything not specifically listed in this proposal or stated as "included" in architect's scope of services will be considered an additional service, and if desired by client it can be added to the original services scope and fee, with client's authorization."
Hope this helps,
Community Heritage Partners
Address: 214 W. Grant St. Lancaster, PA 17603
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Elmer Lin, NCARB, CSI
2120 18th Avenue San Francisco, California 94116
T: 415-566-7442 F: 415-566-1431
I like to charge hourly for the schematic design phase in order to protect myself from indecisive clients. Then, AIA Document B105-2017 "Standard Short Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect", for example, says "At the request of the Owner, the Architect shall provide additional services not included in Article 1 for additional compensation. Such additional services may include, . . . revisions in the Project scope, quality or budget, or due to Owner-requested changes in the approved design. . . ." There may be some argument over what the "approved design" is. Therefore it is a good policy to have the clients sign off on the schematic design before moving on the construction documents in order to establish the "approved design" for future reference. I sometimes put in a clause stating I will only provide a certain number of schematic design concepts as part of my basic services and that additional schemes are additional services. If you use standard AIA contracts and are careful how you edit them you can protect yourself from clients who endlessly keep changing their minds. Then don't be afraid to enforce your written agreement to protect yourself from being taken advantage of.
So I go to Dunn & Bradstreet to search for their company. Nothing. Being an LLC they should be registered in their state. A search on the California's Secretary of State website yielded no results.I cancelled our appointment.