Architect Services

Modern Architects Durham, Newcastle, North Yorkshire & the North East

This describes Preliminary and Basic Architects Services which architects in Durham will normally provide. These services progress through several work stages based on the RIBA Plan of Work. It also notes other services which may be provided by an architect together with a resume of the standard conditions of appointment.

Stair Tower

An extension to an office with a stair tower linking offset floor levels


Preliminary Architects Services

Work Stage 0: Strategic Definition and

Work Stage 1: Preparation & Brief

  • Discuss the client’s requirements; assess these and give general advice on how to proceed.
  • Advise on any need for specialist contractors, subcontractors or suppliers.
  • Carry out such preparatory work as may be necessary to determine the feasibility of the client’s requirements.

Preliminary Architects Services would normally charged on a time basis.

Basic Architects Services

Work stage 2: Concept Design and Work Stage 3: Developed Design

These cover the initial concept design and developing the design ready for any planning application.

  • Prepare an outline proposal and develop a scheme design; prepare a cost estimate; where applicable give an indication of possible start and completion dates for the building contract.
  • Health and Safety Strategy
  • Make where required application for planning permission. (NB The permission itself is beyond the architect’s control and no guarantee that it will be granted can be given.)

Work stage 4: Technical Design

  • Develop the scheme design; co-ordinate any work of specialist contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers or other architects in Durham.
  • Carry out cost checks as necessary; advise on the consequences of any subsequent changes on the cost and programme.
  • Make and negotiate where required applications for approvals under building acts, regulations or other statutory requirements.
  • Prepare production information including drawings, schedules and specification of materials and workmanship in sufficient detail to enable a contractor to prepare a tender.

Work Stage 5: Construction

  • Invite tenders from approved contractors; advise on tenders submitted. Alternatively arrange for a price to be negotiated with a contractor.
  • Advise on the appointment of the contractor; where required prepare the building contract and arrange for it to be signed by the client and the contractor.
  • Administer the terms of the building contract; visit the site as appropriate to inspect generally the progress and quality of the work; make where required periodic financial reports to the client.

Work Stage 6: Hand Over & Close Out

  • Administer the terms of the building contract relating to the completion of the works.

Work Stage 7: In Use

  • Give general guidance on maintenance; provide a set of drawings showing the building and the main lines of drainage.
  • Provide ‘as constructed’ information; and a Health & Safety file.

Basic Services are normally charged on a percentage basis.


Other Services

This describes other architects services, which are not part of the architect’s preliminary and basic services, but which may be provided to augment them.

  • Make measured surveys, take levels and prepare plans of sites and buildings.*
  • Make inspections, prepare reports or give general advice on the condition of premises.*
  • Make structural surveys to ascertain whether there are defects in the walls, roofs, floors, drains or other parts of a building which may materially affect its safety, life and value.*
  • Take particulars on site; prepare specification and/or schedules for repairs or restoration work and inspect their execution.*
  • Make an inspection or valuation for mortgage or other purposes.
  • Prepare special drawings, models or technical information for the use of the client.*
  • Provide services in connection with demolition works for architects’ Durham projects.**
  • Design or advise on the selection of furniture and fittings; prepare detailed designs for works of special quality.*
  • Provide services in connection with landscape and garden design.*
  • Prepare schedules of rates or schedules of quantities for tendering purposes; value work executed where no quantity surveyor is appointed. Fees for this work are recommended to be in accordance with the professional charges of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
  • Provide services in connection with structural, mechanical and electrical engineering.
  • Provide information; make applications for and conduct negotiations in connection with local authority, government or other grants.*
  • Conduct exceptional negotiations with planning authority.*
  • Prepare and submit an appeal under planning acts; advise on other work in connection with planning appeals.*
  • Conduct exceptional negotiations for approvals under building acts or regulations; negotiate waivers or relaxations.*
  • Submit plans of proposed building works for approvals of landlords, mortgagors, freeholders or others.*
  • Advise on the rights and responsibilities of owners or lessees including rights of light, rights of support and rights of way; provide information; undertake any negotiations.
  • Provide services in connection with party wall negotiations.*
  • Provide specially prepared drawings of a building ‘as built’.*

Other Services are normally charged on a time or lump sum basis.

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are services which William Gray Associates can provide.


Conditions of appointment

This describes the conditions which normally apply to an architect’s appointment. If different conditions are to apply, they should be set out in the Schedule of Services and Fees or letter of appointment.

Duty of care

  • An architect will exercise reasonable skill and care in conformity with the normal standards of the architect’s profession

Architect’s authority

  • An architect will act on behalf of the client in the matters set out or implied in the architect’s appointment; the architect will obtain the authority of the client before initiating any service or work stage.

Contractors, sub-contractor and suppliers

  • A specialist contractor , sub-contractor or supplier who is to be employed by the client to design any part of the works may be nominated by either the architect or the client, subject to acceptance by each party. The client will hold such contractor, sub-contractor or supplier, and not the architect, responsible for the competence, proper execution and performance of the work thereby entrusting to that contractor, sub-contractor or supplier. The architect will have the authority to co-ordinate and integrate such work into the overall design.
  • The client will employ a contractor under separate agreement to undertake construction or other works. The client will hold the contractor, and not the architect, responsible for the contractor’s operational methods and for the proper execution of the works.

Site inspection

  • The architect will visit the site at intervals appropriate to the stage of construction to inspect the progress and quality of the works and to determine that they are being executed generally in accordance with the contract documents. The architect will not be required to make frequent or constant inspections.


  • Copyright in all documents and drawings prepared by the architect and in any works executed from those documents and drawings shall, unless otherwise agreed, remain the property of the architect.

Suspension and termination

  • The performance of any or all of the agreed services may be suspended by the client, and the architect’s appointment may be terminated by either party, on the expiry of reasonable notice given in writing.

Settlement of disputes

  • A difference or dispute arising on the application of the Architect’s Appointment to fees charged by a member may, by agreement between the parties, be referred to the RIBA, RIAS or RSUA for an opinion provided that:
    • the member’s appointment is based on this document and has been confirmed in writing; and
    • the opinion is sought on a joint statement of undisputed facts; and
    • the parties undertook to accept the opinion as final and binding upon them.
  • Any other difference or dispute arising out of the appointment and any difference or dispute arising on the fees charged which cannot be resolved shall be referred to arbitration by a person to be agreed between the parties or, failing agreement with 14 days after either party has given to the other a written request to concur in the appointment of an arbitrator, a person to be nominated at the request of either party by the President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, provided that in a difference or dispute arising out of provisions relating to copyright noted above, the arbitrator shall, unless otherwise agreed, be an architect.
  • Nothing herein shall prevent the parties agreeing to settle any difference or dispute arising out of the appointment without recourse to arbitration.