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Once you have selected your architect, the OAA recommends that you discuss in detail the list of services which you will need for your project. Your architect can prepare a Detailed Task List setting out each of the services you agree will be provided by the architect. He or she will then present to you the fee necessary to provide that range of services. If you feel the fee is not manageable for you, you and your architect can discuss eliminating services, and reducing the fee, until it is acceptable. While it may be tempting to simply continue to reduce levels of service in order to bring down the fee, remember that it is in your ultimate best interest to make sure your architect will provide the necessary level of service to protect you and your investment, and meet the standards of service established by the profession.
Obligations and Responsibilities – Sign a Contract
Any business or professional relationship is bound to be most successful and rewarding when there exists a clear understanding of the expectations of the parties. The relationship between client and architect is no exception. Once you have established the scope of services which the architect will provide, the fee which you will pay your architect, and the other responsibilities each of you will have related to the project, put it in writing.
Council endorses the RAIC’s “Guide to Determining Appropriate Fees for the Services of an Architect”. The document is free to download on the RAIC Web site for RAIC members.