You should set a simple, clear and fair selection process to choose the project’s designer. When searching for a designer, websites such as Architectural Designers New Zealand, or the New Zealand Institute of Architects provide an easy to use designer search tool for you to narrow down your selection. After researching several options, you should request a small group to submit a proposal that includes:
- scope of works and services
- statement of deliverables – the products they will submit at each stage and their level of detail
- sample of projects that show relevant experience
- fee schedule
- terms and conditions of engagement.
Design Service Agreement
This legally binding document seals a working partnership between you and the designer. In addition to refining the items that were included in the proposal the agreement should include:
- a full scope of services. This includes inputs, tasks and deliverables for each stage of the project
- fees. This includes conditions for payment, disbursements and sub-consultant fees
- general conditions. This covers liability, insurance, disputes, notice of defects, variations and termination, copyright and more.
Most professional institutions have a standard form of contract that clearly spells out all obligations and expectations. It is important to use a recognised and understood form of contract to ensure everyone’s interests are protected. It is highly recommended that contracts are reviewed by a lawyer.