fired my architect

I Just fired my architect

I just emailed my architect the following message:

Dear ______,  I have decided to take a different approach to the remodeling project at the _____________ and will no longer need your services.  I would like to terminate our agreement effective today 12-2-2015.  Please send me the current autocad files for the drafting you have completed.    Thank you for all your time and effort the past few months.

I fired my architect for several reasons:

1.  They had a poor communication style.  They frequently wrote and said “No you cant do that..”.  The problem was they did not clearly understand my request and needs.  They made assumptions that were not correct and then ended up giving me incomplete and incorrect answers.
2.  They didnt listen and let their personal experience and desires overrule my needs and requests.
3. When I sent an email several weeks ago asking that we improve communications they responded with a reluctant agreement.
Ultimately they are better off working with a different customer and I will be better off working with an architect that better suits my needs.
So why did I hire them?  For 3 reasons.  First they were recommended by an engineer who i have worked with several times very successfully.  Second I interviewed them and I had my partner interview them and we both agreed they were “OK”.  I had a few reservations but with a good reference and they were responsive I put aside my “feeling” and made the rational choice.  Third – they offered an ala carte service option.  I didnt need nor want all the services that some architects offer so the ones I hired were the best choice.
Damages?  None really.  The contract we had signed stipulated that the relationship could be terminated at any time for any reason – always make sure your contract has this specified.  I had given them a deposit to start the project and deliver initial designs and then a 2nd revision of designs when a 2nd payment would be made.  They completed the 2nd revision and I paid for the work.  The work they did is valuable since much of the give and take and meeting with the city has been completed and it is much clearer what can be done for this project and what is not practical.
Lessons learned?  While references are important – your “gut” feeling is what needs to lead you.  If you are generally successful in life and usually make good decision you should listen to your “gut”.  If an architect or contractor your are interviewing has great credentials and comes with glowing reviews but you do not feel right about hiring them – do not hire them.
Another lesson learned?  Make sure your contract in regards to termination and payment are equitable and you can cancel your contract anytime and not be “damaged” very much financially or schedule wise.