Several years ago, we constructed a new Proposal document that doubles as our Owner / Architect Agreement. It’s 5 pages long and, together with a separate 2 page “Standard Terms and Conditions” document, it includes all the protections of the AIA document… but looks and reads much friendlier.
Fivecat Studio specializes in large residential additions and alterations, so we’re dealing with homeowners. Back when we used AIA Documents, we spent way too much time negotiating contracts (or waiting for our prospects to recover from their shock). Very often, the agreement ended up going to their attorney for review and, of course, revision. It was never a pleasant experience.
We haven’t met any new attorneys since we moved to our friendly document and the time between proposal and commencement has been greatly reduced. It’s one of the best business decisions we ever made.
How about you? Are you using AIA Documents, or another agreement? Are you using agreements?