bruno paolucci architecture

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Listed below are the principal stages of work that constitute a ‘full architectural service’. It is a simplification of the RIBA recommended work stages.  These are shown in brackets.

The fee for full service is calculated as a percentage of a ‘ballpark’ estimate of building costs or a budget figure, the percentage depends on the type and complexity of the project.

The overall fee may be adjusted along with the estimate at each stage when the extent of the work becomes more apparent. The overall fee is generally divided into four separate stages.

Being employed for only some of the stages, known as ‘partial service’ can also be discussed.

VAT will NOT be added to Architectural fees. Expenses such as travelling and printing will be added.
Please note VAT is payable on most types of building work.

The terms of engagement are based on the RIBA
(Royal Institute of British Architects) standard Conditions of Engagement CE/99. A copy can be obtained from the RIBA tel 0207 580 5533.

STAGE 1 (RIBA stages A,B,C & D) 40% of total fee
Part A Ideas Plan/Feasibility Study for discussion. This includes a site visit to take measurements, scheme design and follow up meeting (15% of the Total fee). Note: This does not include for a full measured survey, only for initial measurements.
Part B Discussion and refinement of initial proposal leading to preparation of scheme design suitable for submission for Planning Permission/Listed Building/Conservation Area consent if required.
The fee includes for one application of each and is to be paid in full prior to submission to the local authority (20% of the Total fee).

STAGE 2 (RIBA stage E) 20% of total fee
Design of construction, structure & drainage etc. suitable for submission for ‘Full Plans’ Building Regulations approval.
Fee to be paid in full prior to submission to the local authority.

STAGE 3 (RIBA stage F,G &) 20% of total fee
Production information e.g. details of windows, electrical and heating layout, kitchen and bathroom layouts. Co-ordination of information from specialist suppliers/sub contractors, structural/ mechanical consultants. Preparation of specifications, schedules etc for ‘going out to competitive tender’ or negotiations with selected builder. Note: ‘Full Plans’ Building Regulations submission may be made at this stage also or expanded upon depending on nature and size of Project.

Fee to be paid in full prior to us sending out documents for pricing.

STAGE 4 (RIBA stages H ,J,K & L) 20% of total fee
Appointment of builder. Negotiating savings - see below. Preparation of the contract. Issue of drawings and specification for construction. Administration of the contract on site for the contract period. Visiting site as necessary to check on progress. Answering queries & supplying additional information as required by builder. Assessing value of work completed as work proceeds and advising stage payments. Inspection at end of defects period and preparation of draft final account.

Please note that at this stage our main role is that of impartial ‘contract administrator’.

Fee to be paid in full prior to end of the building contract period.


If we have estimated a lump sum fee for an agreed project, this may increase if:

  1. The project changes in scope or size.
  2.  If alterations are requested to previously agreed or approved drawings
  3. If negotiations/discussions become unusually protracted.


The fee will also be reassessed in line with the current value of the building work at each particular stage.

Reliable estimates of building costs can only be obtained from Stage 3 detailed design drawings and specifications. Prior to this stage, if requested, we can liaise on your behalf with a quantity surveyor who is qualified to provide cost advice for a separate fee - see below.


C          Additional  Chargeable Fees
Other than the items outlined in section B above, we would charge an additional fee which would be at our standard hourly rate of £80 p/hr unless agreed/stated otherwise for:

  1. If the planning authority rejects the first application for planning permission and we are asked to make a fresh application.


  1. If we are involved in a ‘Planning Appeal’ then an additional charge would be made to cover the extra time involved.
  1. If the planning authority does not reject the first application for planning permission but requests alterations /revisions be made to the proposed scheme that would then make the submission acceptable in their eyes. In this instance we would be asked to make additional submissions to the existing application.


  1.  For negotiating notional or actual savings with a builder and also for altering documents to take account of agreed savings as part of preparation of contract documents.
  1. If additional work is requested or asked to be incorporated that was outside the original agreed scope.


  1. Abortive Work Revisions and Changes: If changes are made or requested to the agreed scheme and scope of works by the client. This will relate to work that has already been executed thus necessitating a revisit by us and re evaluation of the scheme.
  1.  If the contract on site extends beyond the end of the contract period, for meetings over and above two meetings per stage.


D          PAYEMENT
Payment of our invoices is due within 14 days of issue date of invoice. We require payment for each stage before starting on the next. Prompt payment is appreciated. If payment is not received by the due date interest will be charged on the outstanding amount at 2.5% above bank base lending rate, and our services may be suspended, then determined after due notice as set out in RIBA CE/99.

E          Existing Buildings
Where work is carried out to existing buildings we cannot guarantee the existing structure or that it can be made damp proof. We also cannot be held responsible for identifying or making allowances for underground or covered over elements if they are not known e.g. the location of existing mains services, underground springs. Unless agreed otherwise our fee includes for standard finishes only.

F          Document Status
Our drawings and specifications should not be used for construction unless or until they have been issued for this purpose by us.

In particular Stage 1 and 2 drawings are intended for Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval purposes only and are not intended for construction.


G          SITE WORKS
We cannot accept any responsibility for work on site unless we are retained on a ‘Full Service’ basis as contract administrators under a JCT standard form of building contract in which the contract documents include a full Stage 2 & 3 set of our drawings and specification.

Please note that as contract administrators we have no influence or control over builders and their suppliers or subcontractors programmes or sequence of work other than as set out in the contract.


Our fee does not include;

  1. Fees due to any other body or consultant e.g. the local authority and structural engineer,
  2. Work listed below in ‘additional services’ for which we would be happy to quote a separate fee, or

c)    For printing, travelling, postage expenses etc. If requested we can estimate what these additional costs are likely to be.


(Fee and terms to be agreed separately if required):

  1. Project management.
  2.  Planning supervisors (CDM Regulations).Note: At present not strictly required for private dwellings.
  3. Survey of existing land and buildings. Structure or condition survey.
  4. Any design work of items not forming part of the main contract, or not supplied by the main contractor.
  5. Interior design/decorating, detailed joinery design of furniture or fittings e.g. kitchen cabinets.
  6. Detailing special or unusual finishes.
  7. Preparing artists impressions/ perspectives, models or ‘as built’ drawings.
  8. Negotiating or applying for grants.
  9. Preparing for and submitting a planning appeal.
  10. Conducting exceptional negotiations with a local authority.
  11. Carrying out negotiations relating to rights of light, access, support, boundaries, rights of way, party wall matters.


The following advice would be supplied by other independent specialist consultants, and they are appointed and paid direct by the client, although we are happy to liaise with these consultants on our clients’ behalf if required.

  1. Structural Services
  2. Mechanical or electrical services,
  3. cost advice, preparing schedules of rates or quantities,
  4. Legal or tax advice.
  5. Party Wall Matters
  6. Thermal Calculations such as SAP ratings.



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