Who pays for mistakes on site?

October 15, 2012

Last night i watched Dermot Bannon’s Room to Improve programme on RTE 1 and it raised an old chestnut. When an architect or designer makes a mistake on site why does the client typically pay for it?

In last night’s episode the builder had half-built a chimney before receiving a revised drawing from the architect showing a new location for the chimney? The builder originally quoted €1700 to move the chimney, the quantity surveyor negotiated to have this reduced to €1300. The quantity surveyor then wanted the builder to reduce it further to €650, arguing that his was partially to blame for the cost because he should have stopped building the chimney when he received the revised drawing. The builder was reluctant to do this but in the end the bill was settled at €1000.

What is amazing to me is who paid that €1000. The client! Unless i misunderstood the programme the bill came about because the architect was late in issuing a drawing to site not because the client had asked for it to be moved. If this is the case why wasn’t the architect asked to pay at least a portion of the bill?

I’f i ever caused extra work on site due to a mistake or ommission I always paid the contractor or supplier, not the client. Is it too much to ask other professionals to do the same?



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