Are contracts important for architects and engineers?
Many times it may seem like just because the project is small you don’t need a contract. Or my firm works for this client on a regular basis and we trust them. Or my firm will start the project and get a signed contract at a later time. The bottom line is that contracts are very important.
Contracts are the ‘guidelines’ as to how the project is going to proceed and who is responsible for what. Without the contract the parties do not have an understanding of what is required of the architect/engineer or the client. Architects and engineers have a general role in a project; however, the contract describes the specific scope of services associated with the specific project.
Without a contract, now matter the size of the project, your firm increases the risk that would have otherwise been defined by a contract. Even small projects can have large claims, so don’t be deceived by the size of the project, the claims can still be large and that risk can decrease with a contract.
Even if you have worked with a client several times it is essential to have a new contract for each project. Every project has its own unique details and issues that may arise; the contract will help to mitigate the risk of the differences of the projects with your client.
It is important to have a contract even prior to the start of the project. Again, this lays out the details of how the project is going to proceed. You may get clients that want your firm to start before the contract is complete and signed. It is best to have the contract in place then to start the project so there are not any gray areas when your firm does begin.
Contracts are vital for architects and engineers. It lays out the details of the project and best protects your firm from additional risk. If you have questions or would like to discuss further call or email your Professional Underwriters agent.