Fees & Terms

Principal work stages and terms (11.10)

Listed below are the principal stages of work that make up our ‘full service’. (Related RIBA work stages are shown in brackets). This is to accompany our fee proposal letter in which we will normally  quote a lump sum fee for Stage 1. Stages 2 & 3 are usually a percentage fee which can be estimated once a design has been decided on. The percentage depends on the type and complexity of the project.  Percentage fees are based on the most up to date current cost information as calculated by a quantity surveyor or reputable building company for the whole project up to completion. Stage 4 is usually charged on a time basis. VAT and expenses such as travelling and printing and unusual postage expenses are added to our fee.  NB VAT is also payable on most types of building work.

The terms of our engagement are based on the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Standard Conditions of Engagement (RIBA 0207 580 5533). Our VAT registration number is 744 7748 92

Pre Stage 1: measured survey of site or existing building.

STAGE 1 (RIBA stages A,B,C & D)

Stage 1A Ideas Plan/Feasibility Study An initial design proposal for discussion and a follow up meeting.

Stage 1B Discussion and amendments of initial design and preparation of drawings  for submission for Full Planning Permission and Listed Building/Conservation Area consent if required.

Our fee includes for one application of each. Fee payable monthly pro rata, to be paid in full prior to submission to the local authority (LA).

STAGE 2 (RIBA stage E)

Design and production of general arrangement construction drawings and accompanying specification notes for submission to LA for Building Regulations ‘Full Plans’ approval.

Fee payable monthly pro rata, to be paid in full prior to submission to the LA.

STAGE 3 (RIBA stage F,G & H)

Production information – e.g window, roof, ground construction details, electrical /plumbing/heating layout, kitchen/ bathroom layouts. Co-ordination of information  from specialist suppliers/sub contractors, structural/mechanical consultants. Preparation of specifications/schedules for tendering or negotiating with selected builder.

Fee payable monthly pro rata, to be paid in full prior to sending documents out for builders or QS to price.

STAGE 4 (RIBA stages J,K & L)

The building contract on site

We can visit site on a regular basis – usually fortnightly, to check on progress and to answer queries from the builder up to ‘practical completion’. We can also supply any additional information as required by the builder. You would make payments to the builder as set out in the terms of the contract between yourself and the builder.

Our fee is usually charged on a time basis or a lump sum fee can be agreed. Payable on a pro rata basis usually monthly.

The standard Stage 4  fee does not include for  ‘contract administration’ or an ‘architect’s certificate’. If you wish us to act as ‘contract administrators’ or you want an ‘architect’s certificate’ at practical completion, this is an additional service, see below.

You will need to let us know at the outset in order that a fee can be agreed and to agree our involvement at Stage 2 and 3.


Payment is due within 14 days of the invoice issue date.  We require payment for each stage before starting on the next. If payment is not received by the due date, interest will be charged on the outstanding amount at 2.5% per month above Bank of England base lending rate and our services may be suspended then determined after due notice, as set out by the RIBA Conditions of Engagement. If a payment is received late (>14 days) we will require payment in advance for any further work.

Percentage based fees will be reassessed at each stage in line with the current value of the building work and/or will be adjusted once the actual value of the work designed and specified is known.  If we have estimated a lump sum fee for an agreed project, this may increase if the project changes in scope or size, or if alterations are requested to previously agreed or approved drawings, or if negotiations/discussions become unusually protracted, or due to inflation or rising building costs.  Reliable estimates of building costs can only be obtained from Stage 3 detailed design drawings and specifications. Unless agreed otherwise our quoted percentage fee is based on the value of the works carried out on a supply and fix basis by a reputable contractor. Cost advice can be obtained from a quantity surveyor(QS) who will charge a separate fee – see below.

Stage 4 is generally charged on a time basis. If a lump sum fee is agreed this assumes fortnightly site visits for the duration of the building contract up to Practical Completion only, 2 visits at or after Practical Completion, and 1 at the end of the Defects Period to check snagging, unless agreed otherwise. Please note the fees for Stage 4 can add up to more than 25% of the overall fee especially if the contract overruns. Be aware that making changes to the design and/or specification during the contract period can have serious cost implications, and is likely to delay the completion date which in itself will increase costs.

Our drawings and specifications should not be used for construction unless or until they have specifically been issued for this purpose by us. In particular Stage 1 & 2 drawings are intended for Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval purposes only. Electronic copies of drawings will be issued in PDF format only. We accept no responsibility for building components, fixtures or fittings, their fitness for purpose is the responsibility of the manufacturer or supplier, in particular natural materials such as timber which is prone to move, warp, distort, change colour, or for any materials exposed to unusual or extreme conditions such as coastal locations. There is no such thing as zero maintenance, all buildings require a regular maintenance programme.

Where work is carried out to existing buildings we cannot guarantee the existing structure is sound or that it can be made damp proof. We also cannot be held responsible for identifying or making allowances for concealed or underground elements

e.g. the location of the existing mains services, underground springs etc.

We charge an additional fee at our standard hourly rate unless agreed otherwise, for a) a redesign or for making amendments to a scheme (unless they are a result of our own omission or error), or for making a fresh Planning, Building Regulations or other applications, or if we are involved in a ‘Planning Appeal’, b) for negotiating notional or actual variations either savings/additions with a builder and/or for altering documents to take account of agreed savings or additions, c) if the contract on site extends beyond the end of the contract period, d) attending more than two design meetings per stage, e) for time spent dealing with contractual disputes, including adjudication and legal proceedings. All charged either as 10% of the value of the notional saving or addition, or at our hourly rate.

Nothing in the document or any letter from us confers or purports to confer on any third party any benefit or right to enforce any term of this letter pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999(England & Wales only). Our total liability under or in connection with any commission whether in contract, negligence or tort or for breach of statutory duty or otherwise shall not exceed the final fee as paid.

We cannot accept any responsibility for the standard of work on site unless we are retained on a ‘Full Service’ basis as contract administrators under a JCT standard form of Building Contract or similar, where the contract documents include a full set of Stage 2 & 3 drawings and a full specification, and then only to a limited extent. Please note that contract administrators have no control over builders and their suppliers or sub contractors other than as set out and defined in the contract.

Unless stated otherwise in our fee letter, our fee does not include a) additional services &/or fees due to other consultants or bodies such as the local authority – see below  c) printing, travelling, unusual postal or courier expenses, d) for models actual or 3D computer models, or artists impressions or perspectives.

Additional services available we can offer (Fee and terms to be agreed separately)

Survey of existing land and buildings. Structure or condition survey. Design work of items not part of the main contract or not supplied by the main contractor. Interior design, detailed design of furniture or fittings e.g. kitchen cabinets. Detailing special or unusual finishes. Preparing 3D computer models, artists impressions/perspectives. ’As built’ drawings, or drawings for publicity purposes. Negotiating or applying for grants. Exceptional negotiations with a local authority.

Architect’s Certificate. If an architect’s certificate is required, this must be agreed at the outset and an additional lump sum fee agreed, also we must be fully retained for all four stages. NB  our architect’s certificate is generally not transferable to a third party.

Contract Administration. We or others can assume this role by prior agreement. The Contract administrator (CA) acts as an impartial intermediary in the contract between yourself and the builder. They assess the value of the work completed, usually once a month, as work proceeds and certify stage payments in accordance with the terms of your contract with the builder. The CA agrees variations and issues instructions to the builder on your behalf.

Services available from other consultants to be appointed separately:

Topographical/levels survey. Structural, mechanical or electrical design and engineering. Plumbing and heating design. Landscape or furniture design. Cost advice including preparing schedules of rates or quantities, cost reports. Legal or tax advice.  CDM co-ordinator (CDM/Health & Safety Regulations). Negotiations or advice relating to rights of light, access, support, boundaries, rights of way, covenants, party walls etc. Project Management. Any reports, surveys or specialist additional information required by the Local Authority e.g. tree or wildlife surveys, contamination reports and Planning Design and Access/Supporting  Statements, Health and Safety Reports, sound or air tightness testing, SAP energy ratings, flood risk assessments. Ecology reports. Ground Investigations and percolations tests.

Moxley McDonald Architects Limited - Company Registration Number: 4659619
Caroline Moxley Chartered Architect BSc(Hons) Dipl Arch RIBA ARB
Ian McDonald Registered Architect BA(Hons) Dipl Arch PGDipl(ArchConserv) ARB