The Hidden Cost of Free Advice.

In this day and age, we are all familiar with the sales techniques that are used by cold callers, advertisers and criminals to get us to part with our money. We are constantly bombarded with sales messages.

I always find it surprise that in this day and age, people are so willing to accept a sales pitch at face value when it involves their property.



This weeks blog was prompted by a conversation from the owner of a historic property, who informed me that they had damp in the roof. They had spoken to a roofer that had recommended removing the original slates (which are no longer produced) and replacing them with Spanish slates.

It was a drastic move and to my mind completely unnecessary and extremely expensive. The slates were not the problem, it was the surrounding flashings, the gutters and the stone detailing that had been covered in cement. The areas where work was required could be opened up and repaired and the original slates put back again. This would have retained important historic fabric that would improve the look of the building, perform better and cost significantly less.

The building owner couldn’t be dissuaded, they had committed to the work.

It is an example of a phenomenon known as “Confirmation Bias”. This occurs when we make a decision to take a particular course of action. Our mind then convinces us that this is the right decision, even when later evidence indicates that it was clearly the wrong decision. The further we travel down a particular road, the more the mind tries us prevent us from admitting we made a mistake and turning back.

Convinced that they had done well by saving themselves a couple of hundred pounds in architects fees, they were willing to pay thousand of pounds more than was necessary work.

Remember –

  1. There is no such thing as free advice.
  2. You are going to pay, one way or another - you may as well pay for good, reliable advice, speak to an independent expert.



MAAC studio are accredited conservation architects and principal designers working with traditional buildings throughout Scotland. 

If you need independent advice give us a call ?