by Ron Holmes
AIA CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS — THEY ARE JUST FORMS
Many developers and contractors believe the AIA Construction Documents are the industry standard and require no review by attorneys. Think again.
The AIA Construction Documents are crafted by The American Institute of Architects, not developers or contractors, and (no offense to architects) they favor the architect more than they favor either the owner or the contractor.
For instance: the plans and specifications (Instruments of Service) are deemed owned by the architect, even though the owner pays for the plans and specifications. As the architect’s property, the owner has no right to use the plans and specifications without the architect’s consent.
If you are a contractor, beware of the standard form of Subcontractor Agreement, which requires the contractor to pay the subcontractor even if the contractor is not getting paid by the owner.
Although AIA documents are industry accepted documents, have your attorney analyze the document and advise you of the pitfalls presented by same. A little bit of money spent now may save you a whole lot of money later.