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I had a great experience with Ben! He got to know my project, a basement built-out, really well and made several improvements to our drawings that pushed us through the permit office. He picked up the project from a former architect without concern (something not all architects will do) as he understand the amount of work we'd already put in and didn't want to loose. He improved upon all of it and was the critical factor to jump start our project. He's personable, smart, fair, professional and very communicative. I am grateful to him for his work for us and I would absolutely recommend him.Dec 19, 2015Verified
Very unprofessional. Utterly disappointing. Tarcher kept "loosing" our emails, was sick, out of town, late for our appointment, countless excuses, no delivery. I warned my partner about being disappointed in his lack of communication and professionalism. But my partner decided on giving him a chance because Tarcher showed him that he published a book in 1991 on the type of architectal style his house is. Big mistake. No updates on the project for MONTHS after Inital payment. Just kept giving him chances to work because Tarcher was the one who reached out to me for the project I posted, and showed my partner he was capable and is a professional on craftsman homes. Tarcher does not regard us, his clients as valuable. He is incredibly unorganized and full of excuses. Unfortunately my partner now is now forced to look for another architect. He stated he was going to deliver last week....when the week was up, no response from Tarcher. Took my partner's money, and never delivered. Wasted 6 + months waiting for plans that never came. Time is money. And he screwed us over bad. Never again!Oct 5, 2017Ben Tarcher and Associates, Architects's reply
I believe the client writing this review owns an unoccupied home in Oakland which had been neglected for years and had trash and debris throughout making access to the entire house almost impossible. There was no electricity or lights in the home either. I went to measure and examine the site over 6 times and continued to ask them to clean out the entire home to make it safe to measure. It took at least four months for them to do that. During this period I continuously attempted to contact them via text messages and calls with no response. I informed them that I had moved my office and was unable to perform normal duties as I was living in my trailer while re-doing my home in preparation for sale so I was essentially "out of business" from October 2017 through January of of 2018. Even with these distractions and no office I managed to measure and draft existing conditions of the site. Consuming the small retainer I received from them. I continued to try to contact the clients in order to proceed with the design but they did not respond or return my calls or text messages. They finally responded in May and told me they were attempting to hire (or have hired) another Architect. So be it. I tried my best under some dire personal circumstances to help them with their project without support from them. As Frank Lloyd Wright once said in essence...good Architecture stems from the quality and participation of a good client. I did not have a "good client" in this case and experienced a disappointment due to a lack of involvement from them. I did perform as much as I could and did produce as built drawings and offered to give them these drawings. Again they said they would get back to me without any response to date!
I hired Ben to do a feasibility study of a major remodel to a multi-unit building, and then a plan revision w/ city planning and building permit approval on a 2 story addition. It's a shame, but any value Ben might have had as an architect, was greatly overshadowed by his personal money problems. And his tendencies to become a desperate and fraudulent when dealing with them. On both projects, Ben requested to be paid in full half way through the project, citing his personal money problems (truck was broken during the feasibility study, mortgage due during the 2nd). With no mention of work delivery or obligation to a delivery. And sending 5, then 10, 20 , -- 30(!!) emails and texts a day asking to be paid. I agreed on the first project because it was a small project,- and asked him to further produce a design proposal based on the study, which he never produced. On the second project after I already agreed to doubling the project fee (he cited expanded scope), he tried to double bill me after forgetting a payment. Instead of applying a cancelled check to the bill, he actually came up with a new invoice with a matching amount for a minor service billed at exorbitant hourly billing (~10x the # of hours). Upon being asked to provide proof of work done with receipts, date/times, which are invariably a mess - he says he's not an accountant and not obligated to it. It's not just on invoicing either that Ben is this way. The same happens when there are problems w/ the design,questions on calculations, delays or when he can't remember some fact such as how the square footage was calculated. No matter how absurd, he will always insist it's the client's fault, or his drafter's, or the structural engineer's, or the city's. This is just a sad story of a professional. Just avoid.Oct 30, 2015VerifiedBen Tarcher and Associates, Architects's reply
This client is a young and very and very naive want to be developer and has demanded services beyond the scope of the original agreements for her projects, and on the spot. She does not understand that a fixed fee does not necessarily require invoices and that "additional services" required additional fees as spelled out in the agreements. She also seems to not understand that as per agreement, payment is due when the work is completed. The project in question was performed in a very through and timely fashion and was originally presented to us as "some changes" to a set of contract documents produced by another Architect with whom she parted ways because "he did not perform" in a fashion she desired. The only "fraud" with regards to this project had to do with a misrepresentation on behalf of Ms. Sun of the scope of work she wanted us to complete and the extremely reduced rate she wanted to pay for our services. When the project was completed and a request was made for payment she refused for some yet to be determined reason. She claims that the additional services we later invoiced for (a completely new site plan for a single family residential re-build) only required small changes to the original site plan but as it turned out the original site plan was completely unusable. It was specifically spelled out in the agreement that if a new site plan was required, it would fall under "additional services" and require payments beyond the original fixed fee. This client does not understand how Architects work nor how development works and is a twenty six year old spending her father's money in a reckless and uninformed manor and when she doesn't get her way (not willing to pay for services rendered) she calls others liars and frauds. Unfortunately in this instance it is Ms Sun who is the Liar and Fraud!
Architect Ben Tarcher did a great job on a kitchen and bathroom remodel in my one-story bungalow. He had to deal with an unusual space configuration yet managed to fit in a highly functional (and lovely) new kitchen and move the laundry up from a scary basement. Ben also worked well with the contractor which was very important because I am not always easy to reach. I recommend him highly.Dec 18, 2015
If youre looking to do any rehab work on your home, Ben Tarcher & Associates should be the FIRST architects you should consider! I purchased my first home, a three unit Victorian house (built in 1908), at the end of 2012. The house was a real-fixer up! Notwithstanding its charm and obvious potential, the property was riddled with defects, including the need to (1) build a foundation (as none existed), and (2) completely gut the two downstairs units. Ben completely redesigned the two downstairs units. He provided me with a number of distinct architectural scenarios for using the space. Ben proved to be a fantastic resource. I found him to be extremely professional, creative, and a clear communicator, all qualities I appreciated as a new home owner.Dec 30, 2015