What Are Architectural Contracts?
Most of us have a general understanding of a how a contract works. Two parties enter into an agreement for a particular service or good. When it comes to architectural projects, you need a contract too. Why?
Why Do I Need A Contract?
Like any other contract agreement, you want to ensure that you are getting what you are paying for. That’s why many architects and contractors will have their clients sign a contract. This not only holds both parties accountable, it also helps you understand the phases of your project and payment milestones. The purpose of the contract is to communicate clearly and create coherence between individuals. It brings all the professionals, who are responsible for making your dream a reality, together as a team. It should support a team effort by being fair to all parties. Don't be shy about reviewing this contract at the end of each phase. This will help you and your professionals stay on track.
What Is Included In An Architectural Contract?
Each architectural contract will vary a little bit because each project is different. But we've put together a broad idea of what could be included in an architectural contract agreement.
Included in the contract:
-Scope Of Work
-As-built drawings of existing structure
-Research planning department’s restrictions and requirements
-1/4” Design plans of three concepts
-Two concept sections at 3/8” scale
-Three client design review meetings
-Architectural renderings of interior spaces
-Construction Document phase:
-3/8” scale Building section
-Material specifications and recommendations
-Interior Elevations as necessary
-Structural load calculations and details
-Title 24 Energy Calculations
-Building sections and required construction framing details
-Building department submittal
-Plan check corrections as required by the building department
-Completed and approved construction documents and calculations
-Design package so many weeks after signing this contract
-Construction documents so many weeks after approval of the design package
- Plan check process depending on the City turnaround times
It is very important that you sign a contract with your architect. This will help keep you from misunderstandings and miscommunication. Be sure you fully understand the terms of the contract before signing and if you have an questions about the contract itself, don’t be afraid to ask your architect. They are there to help you along the way.