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vivian cummins architects  accredited in conservation     riai registered practice
 
 

  

 


photograph of refurbishment and extension to dwelling at newtown by vivian cummins architects vca

Frequently Asked Questions
 
Why choose Vivian Cummins Architects?
What do Vivian Cummins Architects charge?
Do Vivian Cummins Architects have other charges for their work?
When do Vivian Cummins Architects charge for their work?
What happens if the client does not like the design?
How much does it cost to build?
When is the builder paid?
 
 
 

Why choose Vivian Cummins Architects?

We are qualified, registered architects with the Royal Institute of Architects for Ireland.

Since 1 May 2007 no one may use the title ’Architect’ unless registered under the Building Control Act 2007. You can check that an architect is qualified and registered at www.riai.ie

We can bring a diverse range of skills to your project including design, technical, cost control and environmentally friendly expertise.

We can provide appropriate references from previously satisfied clients.

We carry professional indemnity insurance.

Most importantly as registered architects we can certify your building on completion to ensure compliance with all building regulations and planning permission which is essential if the building is ever sold in the future.

 
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What do Vivian Cummins Architects charge?

Depending on the project type there are three methods by which we calculate our fees:

LUMP SUM FEE

Most of our fees are calculated on a lump sum basis agreed in writing with the client following an assessment of their requirements.

PERCENTAGE OF CONSTRUCTION COST

Percentage fees are used for more complicated projects and these are usually converted to lump sum fees following the tender stage.

HOURLY RATE

Hourly rates are used for relatively simple exercises.

While clients are usually looking at the front end of a project to save money in fees an alternative approach may be more advantageous. The qualified architect whose fees are a little higher can often deliver a better solution and a more cost effective building. The focus on cost savings at the outset should be on the bigger picture and include total budgeting including sustainability, energy-saving and life cycle costs to operate and maintain your building over its lifetime.

 
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Do Vivian Cummins Architects have other charges for their work?

All projects will have a certain amount of expenses involved in addition to architectural fees. These include such items as newspaper planning ads, planning application fees and printing and copying. An itemised schedule of expenses will be appended to each fee proposal and these may be paid directly by the client.

 
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When do Vivian Cummins Architects charge for their work?

We invoice for our work at the completion of each stage as outlined in the fee agreement.

 
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What happens if the client does not like the design?

The development of a design is a two-way process between the client and Vivian Cummins Architects.

We present a series of sketches and design solutions for the client’s input and their response is taken on board at each stage until the optimum solution is arrived at.

There is never a ‘take it or leave it’ design solution.

 
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How much does it cost to build?

There is not one set answer that can be given to this question. It is like asking how much does a car cost.

The cost of a project is affected by quality, complexity, size, scope, time and site conditions. As the expected level of quality and finishes goes up, so does the cost.

A very simple 200 m2 / 2000 ft2 house (without kitchen fittings, sanitary appliances, painting, decorating and tiling) with no adverse site conditions could be delivered to a client for €1,200 / m2 (€ 110 / ft2) excluding VAT and fees. To go below that figure could be inviting problems such as the builder going bankrupt, ending up with a time-consuming adversarial approach to ‘extras’ or working with a ‘cowboy’ contractor who has no insurances etc.

The average cost per square foot or metre decreases as the size of a building increases due to economies of scale.

We do not recommend self-build projects due to the complex nature of complying with current Building Regulations.

 
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When is the builder paid?

A good building contractor will never seek to have payments made up front.

When we supervise a building construction contract on behalf of our clients we inspect its progress regularly and issue certificates for payment based on the builder’s performance.

A retention amount is usually recommended to cover any defects that may arise.

It is worth noting that most banks and building societies now insist that certificates for payment to building contractors are issued by registered and suitably qualified architects and engineers.

 
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