Types of construction contracts

Contracts in the building industry protect the owner, contractor and architect during the construction process. There are hundreds of different contracts for numerous different stages in the development process. Read on for information about the most commonly used contracts drawn by The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

General Condition of the Contract for Construction (AIA # A201-1997)

The General Conditions Contract states the responsibilities, rights and relationships of the owner, contractor and architect; this is typically one of the first contracts to be drawn on a project.

Change Order (AIA # G701-2001)

Change Orders are filed when changes in the work specified in the General Conditions Contract are called out, including any changes to the contract sum or time. Expect to see this contract at almost any point in the construction project.

Application and Certificate for Payment and Continuation Sheet (AIA # G702-1992 and G703-1992)

Certificates for Payment are forms for the contractor to apply for payment and for the architect to verify that payment is due; they require the contractor to show the completion of the contract to date.

The continuation sheet breaks the contract sum into portions of the work in accordance with a schedule of values as required by the General Conditions Contract.

Certificate of Substantial Completion (AIA # G704-2000)

A Certificate of Substantial Completion records when a substantial or designated amount of the work is finished. The contractor completes a list and the architect verifies that the work is substantially complete.

Contractor's Affidavit of Payment of Debts and Claims (AIA # G706-1994)

This affidavit is submitted by the contractor with the final request for payment. It states that all payrolls and bills for materials and equipment connected with the work have been paid.

Expert Insight

Construction contracts can be extremely confusing and intimidating for the inexperienced. Seek legal consultation (preferably with a professional who specialises in construction law) when drawing contracts.

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About the Author

J. Cavan Barry is an architecture student with over a decade of experience in the general construction field, and four years in architecture. Barry also has nearly a decade of automotive repair experience and is an avid auto enthusiast. After finding an interest in creative writing, he began writing a novel and recently finished the first draft.

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