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Construction and Design Contracts Reviewed

Modifying Standard Form Industry Construction and Design Contracts

For more than 100 years, the construction industry has employed so-called "standard form contracts." Commonly used forms include those published by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ConsensusDOCS (a collaborative effort of the Associated General Contractors of America and other trade associations), Construction Owners of America (COAA), and others.

The most common complaint about these types of forms is that most are drafted by a particular sector or sectors of the industry - understandably, with that constituent organization's interests in mind. Therefore, before using standard for contracts, modifications are needed.

Without question, the initial costs of using standard forms is often less than drafting custom contracts. But sometimes, the modifications needed to make a standard form contract acceptable can exceed the cost of an originally drafted contract. Even so, the cost of poorly coordinated contracts can be significant to everyone involved. Modifications must be carefully considered and thoroughly coordinated with all other project contracts.

Given our experience with both standard and custom contracts, our firm can guide your firm or company through the decision whether to use standard form agreements.

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