This is where frequently asked questions will be answered. The list of questions is expected to be more comprehensive in time, as more situations and questions arise.
How do I know if I need an architect for my project?
The architect is the prime professional when it comes to building and construction. Seek the professional services of an architect if your project involves anything related to building and construction. This means that if you're planning to get something built, get an architect. It is especially much more vital to work with an architect as early as the conception of the idea to build so the process will be properly guided, and no time and other resources will be wasted.
As stated in the UAP (United Architects of the Philippines) SPP (Standards of Professional Practice) Documents 201 (Pre-design Services), the architect has capabilities to provide services that take place even before designing begins. Such services can help you determine the best use for your lot (if you have a lot, but don't know what to do with it yet), through Site Utilization and Land-use Studies, determine a suitable location for your proposed project idea through Site Selection Analysis, and many more.
How much does an architect charge for his services?
Again, different professionals in the industry may give different answers depending on their experience and prominence in the industry. Some professionals' services belong to certain niches and may have more specialized capabilities which they may incorporate in their regular design services, such as expertise in green building technology, or a degree in heritage conservation. These advantages in the industry make their services more valuable and specialized which may justify a higher rate of compensation.
As for VMILOS, we follow the basic recommended rates stated in UAP SPP (Standards of Professional Practice) Docs 201 (Pre-design Services), 202 (Regular Design Services), and 203 (Specialized Architectural Services), under methods of compensation. Note that the methods stated in the references are formulas on how architects arrive at their fees but are not mandatory, and may vary depending on the circumstances of each project.
When do I have to pay the architect for his services?
Different professionals in the industry have their own standards when it comes to payments, some charge for a consultation fee up front, and some prepare a professional services contract and send billings accordingly.
For VMILOS, it is standard practice to do the latter, and provide free consultation services for prospective or inquiring clients. With regards to Regular Design Services, a payment scheme and schedule shall be agreed upon contract-signing and shall be followed accordingly for billing purposes.