Having completed many UK projects with myself as project manager over the years we decided it was time to give me a break and use an architect who also has a separate fee to project manager a 'semi-renovation' of casaletto in Rieti. All has been going well until our builder presented us with extras for which we have no idea if the price is fair or not - to which most we have agreed to to keep the project going'. Included in these costs were €550 just to cover holes left by the electrician/plumber which seemed harsh as another local builder said he'd never charge for this if he was doing an entire job including total re-plastering as is the case with us. This and €1100 to move a smallish quantity of soil with a digger already on site has made us question everything thoroughly now. We've come a cropper as the builder offered at the end of the day, to undercut another local builder and gave us an inclusive price reduction of about 9% on the indivudually itemised initial preventivo if we gave him the total job. We have gone with this builder but now, as the architect tots up the list of what he has done and what he has not done from the preventivo, he is ending up wanting the same money because they are referring back to the individual prices from the first preventivo before we 'got real' and negotiated. Some work he hasn't done at all but becuase they are now referring back to the first prices it means we've ended up paying a much higher amount but haven't had all the work done. The preventivo lists at length for example how we will have three layers of plaster with a fine finish and all that is involved to leave it finished. When we visited last we decided however that the second layer of rougher plaster was fine and even checked with the builder he was happy for us to not ask him to do the final 'skilled' coat of smooth plaster as initially agreed. We welcomed that it would bring down the decorating costs too as the walls could then be left unpainted abd all windows are spray coated aluinium so no decorating costs there at all. There are extras that we've asked the builder to do - a terrace wall to build and depuratore fitted ecc so that he has earned at least 17k more than the first preventivo so I think we are not being unreasonable to have expected not to pay for plastering not done, doors not supplied and fitted, flooring laid etc...However, in referring back to the first prices and not the negotiated 'reduced' prices it now means for us even though we legitimately can remove some costs it works out the same for him more or less... one happy builder! However we have not yet agreed to how to refer back to the preventivo and what costs we are prepared to accept... it is hard not to feel a builder is 'pushing his lunch when he wants to charge more for the process of hand sanding down a wall and applying a coat of diluted acryllic fissitivo than fpr supplying real skill and materials to do a final last fine coat of plastering...and then he thinks he can charge us decorating on top which we've clearly not had. Should we refer to a 'quantity surveyor/geometra' type person for a fair assessment of what to pay? An 18 year old apprentice slapping a coat of watered down fixative (costs virtually nothing in material terms) over plaster is hardly something I'd be expecting to find a M2 price on...but maybe I'm completely wrong...? How did other renovators' final reckonings go? And what exactly is the relationship between an architect and builder in terms of 'their arrangement' usually?