Contracts 101

As an Architect you proceed with the design of a building you draw, design, detail, model, etc. You go about it with almost no thought whatsoever, it’s second nature. Contracting writing can flow just as easily with these basics in mind:

Purpose of a Contract:

  1. Define the Project Scope
  2. Establish and clarify relationships
  3. Allocate responsibilities and risk
  4. Confirm mutual understanding in writing
  5. Establish compensation for services

Contract Checklist:

  1. Understand the scope of the project
  2. Use no superlative language – “highest standard, best, complete, most, economical, finest” etc.  The wrong use of language can negate basic legal protections and exceed your insurance coverage, create unreasonable duties, and establish expectation of perfection
  3. Express no warranties or guarantees – expands duty and is generally excluded from professional liability coverage
  4. Do not use language creating unobtainable expectations
  5. Include in contract preparation any and all pertinent members who will be responsible for executing the work
  6. Use historical data as a basis to help establish fees and schedules
  7. Know you can fulfill your obligations as defined by the contract or modify them
  8. Define procedure for project termination or suspension
  9. Review, review, review, and then have someone else review the contract

 

Each contract you write will afford you more confidence and another skill set to your experiences. Given the current econ status there is no reason not to be writing contracts…….actually getting them executed, well that’s another post. 

 

** I’ve been careless on properly referencing the image to its source…meaning I haven’t and just used an image search engine. Inform me if I’ve used a copy written image and I’ll write a contract on the terms of removal of said image.

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