what guarantees has the architect got to offer?

Your architect has a duty of advice:
Conception. He must inform you on the feasibility of the scheme, the quality of the ground, the potential weakness of existing building, the potential over-cost of your project, the possible damages to your neighbourhood, etc.

Construction. The architect must advise you on the best possible contractors, on the quality and characteristics of the materials etc.

Handover. It's his duty to point out all visible errors or weaknesses.

It's clear that, on each project, the architect engages his responsibility and his reputation. Therefore it is in his interest to obtain your satisfaction: your building and yourself will be his best possible publicity.

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