We use written contracts
A handshake or letter agreement is rarely sufficient to describe thoroughly all the roles, responsibilities, and obligations of the owner and architect.
We use AIA documents
These standard forms of agreement, first developed in the 1880s, have been carefully reviewed, court-tested, and modified over many years of practice. Widely used by and accepted in the construction industry, they present a current consensus among organizations representing owners, lawyers, contractors, engineers, and architects.
AIA documents are coordinated with one another. For example, the architect-consultant agreement serves as the subcontract for the owner-architect agreement, and the owner-contractor agreement, usually negotiated later, extends the architect’s services into construction.
Does an AIA document guarantee results?
Understand that an architect cannot warrant or guarantee results. As a provider of professional services—like your lawyer or doctor—an architect is required to perform to a professional standard. Courts recognize this, and so too must responsible clients. Consult both your legal and insurance counsels before signing any agreement.