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Adam Pressley FRAIA
Architect No.6007 (NSW)
Why you should pay for your Architects first visit
Some people are surprised when I explain our initial site visit has a service fee associated, when really they should be re-considering the real cost of any 'free’ initial meetings.
Here are some reasons you should want to pay for that initial consultation and why I charge for a first visit:
If your project is important then you will want an architect who's engaged from day 1.
With free visits, the architect may just be looking to see if they are interested in taking the project and will adjust their quote to suit. As the visit is free there is no obligation or expectation that they should be prepared to give any useful guidance or meaningful feedback about your project.
Your time is valuable and good advice early helps you make the most of it.
It's too easy to cast your net widely, pay nothing, and get ‘free' advice that is worth nothing. This can waste a lot of time and leave you with without any clear direction on how best to move forward. Your first decisions are often your most important because they set up how the whole process moves forward.
What type of budget do you have?
Quality advice is rarely the quickest and cheapest because it takes consideration and time.
Professionals with the relevant skills experience and knowledge to give you quality advice generally don’t come for free.
I want to use my professional knowledge to give clients the best possible advice. This means I need to spend at least two hours on-site initially. In addition there is time spent in-office investigating before any site visit to make sure I am well prepared and have the relevant information on hand to give quality advice.
Consider the full fee structure and who ends up paying for the visit.
My fees are lower overall because my clients don't pay for other peoples first meetings. If first meetings were free, I'd be running around town a lot and this cost would end up in my quotes and overhead. Plus I'd have less time each week to devote to completing your project, and everything would take longer.
I also do my best to keep my fees low, and just charge for the work that my clients need. The time we spend getting the initial brief defined and the scope of work clear, allows us to tailor our service and quote to your needs more precisely. This in turn leads to a more concise scope of work and lower fees. It's the reverse of just quoting an overall % fee to cover the work you need - we don't do this.
Posted: 17 Jan 2020
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