Many architects, designers, and contractors are very familiar with standard form contracts. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is one of the most popular forms in the construction industry. Our Orlando construction lawyers are very familiar with these forms and know they are generally great forms to use. However, as expert construction contract attorneys, we know there are both pros and cons to using a standard form such as the AIA. Before you agree to the terms therein, we’ll share a few pros and cons with you below.
The Pros and Cons of an AIA
It’s one thing to know the benefits of an AIA standard contract but do you know what the disadvantages are? This is why it’s vital to thoroughly review the pros and cons of an AIA contract so that you will be able to ensure the contract meets your needs and you will be able to resolve issues and disputes fairly as they arise. The pros and cons are as follows:
The pros include:
- Contract terms are easy to understand.
- The contract thoroughly addresses unexpected issues that may arise in a project.
- There is a great deal of case law available as a reference to address provisions that may not be understood by parties.
- AIA contracts are easy to get and are inexpensive.
The cons include:
- They do not fit every project.
- Will likely need modification to fit unique project needs.
- Contract terms may favor certain members of an organization.
- Architects tend to have a more significant role in project delivery.
Selecting the Right Contract
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of this type of contract and comparing that with your project needs should help you get an idea of whether the contract will work for you. Since many standard contracts are developed by organizations, they usually benefit members of that organization more. For example, Associated General Contractor (AGC) forms benefit contractors more while AIA contracts benefit owners/architects more.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Inherently standard contracts can be used in lieu of one drafted from scratch. However, keeping the above in mind, you may want to have an attorney review your AIA contract before you sign it. Also, the AIA has contract document families to choose from, please become familiar with them and choose your form wisely.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.