… or why best architects’ work comes for free?
I am often amazed how much time some people are prepared to invest into a buying process of a 20.000€ car. A car that, eventually, in 5-10 year time they would replace with a new one. While on the other hand, when it comes to build a house, with a price tag of the investment ten times higher at least, a house where they would live their dream life, raise their children and spend – maybe – the rest of their time in, that is not always the case.
When with a client it comes to the point, to discuss the price, I often say that to them my service actually comes for free.
Well not free in a way, you do not pay me money for my work. Yes, it is true, I love… No! … I…
“Which one would you choose?”
I was deep into some small talk, enjoying a relaxed evening with my clients with a glass of delicious red wine in my hand, when the question abruptly brought me back to our initial topic.
Fits into a millimeter.
If everybody has done his homework right prior the construction started, the building process is smooth and pure joy to watch.
With building permit in their hands and all the blueprints done, they have intensified the process of selecting a contractor. With quite some experience in their pocket, they thought it would be an easy job to pick one – the best one.
They did their homework to filter the potential contractors down o a manageable number of about seven.
An exemplary tender has been prepared for them.
Each has been granted a full access to the architect (me) in order to resolve…
“… even when everyone around you tells you that it is fine. You know, deep down inside you, when something is not good enough. And there is only one solution… go back to your drawing board and do it better!”
Sometimes, I have the feeling that Glenn Murcutt cursed me with this sentence. It would have been so easy to give up. So comfortable. So releasing. Let the clients allow to let me off the hook.
But it just doesn’t work.
And so sheets of trace paper are pilling, models are endlessly multiplying…
It must be that I am cursed!
Cursed with a curse so strong… but yet so fulfilling!
Thank you Glenn!
Dear Mr. / Ms. / Mrs.
I am very glad and would like to thank you for considering me to be your architect of choice. There are many architects around, some of them really fine ones, so even that invitation alone, is a great honor and means a great deal to me.
“Reading the land” with the client.
Also, I’d like to emphasize that, based on sparse data you have provided, the project sounds very appealing.
Regarding your request to send you a proposal for my work on the project, I’d say that at this point, I see no real need for that and am therefore opting not to do it… yet.
Since this statement might seem a bit odd to you, let me allow to explain it a bit more in detail.
If you aim to base your decision on price alone – lowest or highest regardless…