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Question DetailsAsked on 12/7/2017

We are working with an architect/project mgr on some home repairs and he misquoted a price. How do we settle this?

We hired an architect to design our backyard and also act as the project manager for this and a large renovation project in our house. In putting together the design for the back, he recommended that we do a masonry wall in one area to hang a TV. It is a relatively small area so I told him I thought this was overkill. I said he could get a quote for it but if it came back too expensive that I just wanted to do a wood wall. I found a picture of what I was thinking and sent this to him. He came back with a quote for $920 for the masonry so we decided the price wasn't bad and we'd move forward. Now I got the bill from the landscaper and it is $9,200! The architect said it was his mistake but we need to pay it. I would have never even considered the masonry wall if I knew it was this expensive . We have also had several other issues with him (he made a previous quote mistake for $3k) and the overall project is way over budget and 3 months behind schedule. How should we handle this?

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FIrst, check with the architect to have him double-check the quote and the landscaper to make wure it wasnot actually $910 and the billing accidentally got an extra zero added.


Otherwise, and especially since you say you have had other issues with him plus another $3000 quote mistake, sounds like his internal quality control is bad or non-existent. I would be looking at the TOTAL overruns which are his fault (the $3K plus whatever the other instances were) plus the difference between $9100 and $910 (what you would have willingly paid for the masonry wall), and tell him (in writing, as a claim) you are going itemizing the mistakes he has made, and expect him to make good on that amount - by cutting his fees to the extent that cover it plus cash to the total amount, and if he does not make good on it then you will be filinbg a claim with his insurance company. As an architect and/or construction manager he should be carrying at least $1 million in E&O insurance - Errors and Omissions professional liability insurance, which is intended for just this sort of error by a design or construction management professional.


Course, working conditions will be difficult after that, but legally and contractually and professional ethics-wise he cannot abandon the job just because you file a claim against him for his errors - without your willing consent he has to continue to provide his best services to you to the completion of the work (or his contract terms, whichever applies).

Answered 11 months ago by LCD




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