My wife and I started to investigate the potential to renovate and add an addition on to our cottage in 2013. Since I had worked with architects in business, I thought that it would be a good idea to have one look at our project and do a design that would incorporate the existing structure and optimize the layout. I made the mistake of signing a contract with craig Elliot based on time rather than deliverables. Craig visited our site and took measurements as well as providing a list that we filled in to detail as much of our preferences as possible. There was some back and forth before the first layout drawings were received, and it was a very slow process. After the first set wasdone an paid for, Craig indicated that he had made a measurement error and had to redo the drawings. Since he was invoicing time and expenses, we paid him again to correct his error. When we got the second layout. it looked quite good, and I asked for elevation drawings. When we got the elevation drawings, i realized Craig had not understood our requests for vaulted ceilings and windows, so we ended up paying for a third set of drawings. Once these were done it was quite some time before we got the actual construction drawings done, and also had to pay for structural engineering drawings. The design was quite good, but we have had extreme dificulty finding any contractors who would even bid on the project. Most local contractors found the details difficult to price, and the first contractor who quoted said the design would cost $600 per square foot (this is a 100 square foot addition on a very small 50 year old cottage) All in all it has taken us 2 more years to find a second contractor to bid, and ultimately we're unsure that the project can actually be done. My advice is to not be as foolish as i was, and agree to an essentially blank cheque contract with this architect. It was definitely not worth the excessive amount of time and the huge cost.
- Company Response
Paul, I have just happened to see this; of which I am shocked to read. I do not feel you are being fair in your criticisms of myself, and in fact, a lot of what you imply is very misleading.
As you say, the process was slow, however this had to do with numerous delays caused by the authorities, not myself. This began when the authorities suggested that you may not be able to do what they originally told us; however it then took them 2 months to decide. And then we had to wait an additional 2.5 months for them to go to your property.
The variance requirements unfortunately were very onerous and time-consuming (involving the C.A., & three other Consultants). Including the application process itself, this took an additional 3 months.
So, for over 7.5 months, it was not possible for me to work on your drawings.
You may recall that initially you did not know exactly where your side lot line was, however an assumption was made, so I could start on your design. A survey later determined that the lot line was closer than assumed, so you decided to shrink the addition slightly. So saying I made a "measurement error" that you "paid him again to correct" is not accurate / correct.
Prior to my starting on your design, you completed a 'design questionnaire', in which you wrote that you wanted (I quote) "cathedral ceilings, 9 to 10 ft. high" and to "maximize views with lots of windows". However, after the design was almost complete, you then told me that you wanted a 'window wall' - floor-to-ceiling windows, over 14 ft. high, from corner-to-corner. So, yes you did "end up paying for a third set of drawings", however this was entirely because of your oversight / change.
Regarding your difficulty finding a builder and the high construction quote, I am really not sure what else I could have done. You may recall that I had offered to help you, on several occasions. And early on when you had decided on a design, I had suggested you get budget prices, but you had no interest; instead saying "it is what it is".)
I would like to remind you that the fees invoiced for your drawings was within the 'guesstimate' range that I provided to you. (This in-spite of your project being more involved than initially envisioned / taking longer to complete.)
I am very very sorry that you had so many difficulties and aggravation. And I understand the desire to 'get this off your chest'.
However I truly feel that I was not the cause, nor could I have prevented any of this.