Any Construction Project Worth Completing Is Worth A Comprehensive Contract
When commercial property owners and commercial contractors draft their own contracts, they usually use an American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) form contract. When doing so they bind themselves contractually (sometimes unknowingly) to the American Institute of Architects General Conditions form.
The AIA General Conditions form predefines, among other things:
- The right to stop work
- Requirements or conditions for progress payments
- When substantial completion is to be determined and how substantial completion is to be defined
- When the final payment is to be made and what conditions must be met before final payment is made
- Termination of the work and the contract
- Insurance coverage
- How change orders are to be made and paid
- Additions to the cost of construction and extensions of time for completion
- Uncovering and correcting work
- Time limits on making claims for additional costs
Carefully Constructed Contracts Provide More Extensive Protection
If an owner or a contractor had something in mind that conflicts with the general conditions, it will be too late to change the general conditions if the AIA contract has been entered into without first making changes to the general conditions to fit the project.
On the other hand, with home improvement contracts, the terms of the contract are usually vague and incomplete with no written general conditions at all.
With restaurant franchises, they often have their own set of contracts and general conditions, which are often ridged and need amending.
All too often construction professionals, owners, contractors and inexperienced attorneys draft contracts without a comprehensive knowledge of the proper language to be included in the general conditions and end up running into disputes which they did not account for. These disputes can result in huge delays and losses of millions of dollars.
The importance of expertly drafting a proper set of general conditions cannot be overstated — it is imperative to seek out the aid of experienced counsel if you are drafting or amending a contract or general conditions.
We Are Completely Focused On Construction Law
For more than 30 years, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael P. Berkley, P.C., have become intimately familiar with the AIA General Conditions and are ready to represent contractors and property owners in any construction-related contractual issues.
Many general practicing attorneys simply haven’t cultivated the experience and expertise to handle drafting and rewriting the general conditions. This is in order to allow the parties to have their “meeting of the minds” put into writing and to specify those details the parties find important to have spelled out in their contract. Because we focus solely on construction law, we have a comprehensive knowledge of this language. We are able to draft and edit contracts in a way that protects your rights and avoids unnecessary risk. When the stakes are this high, it’s important to protect yourself — we’re looking forward to working with you.