FAQs: Modifying and amending AIA Contract Documents

Changing the text of agreements and general conditions –

Am I permitted to make changes to the text of form agreements and general conditions? How many changes can I make? Can I attach, add, or delete entire provisions?

AIA Contract Documents agreements are intended to be adapted to suit particular projects, whether the agreements are purchased in paper or are generated by the software.

You may make as many changes as you like so long as the changes are made so that it is possible to see what has been changed. If you want, you can delete entire provisions, you can add entirely new provisions, and you can attach additional documents.

To determine whether the changes achieve your goals or are enforceable in a court of law, you should consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

How will others know if a form agreement has been edited or altered?

Changes to AIA Contract Documents published in paper form should be made by striking out the printed text rather than completely covering it so that the changes remain visible.

Editing of documents created with AIA Contract Documents software automatically shows when the final is generated. At the user’s option, the changes will show either by strikeouts and underlines in the text of the document itself or in a separate Additions and Deletions Report.

Can I delete or change the document title of an agreement or general conditions created in AIA Contract Documents software?

No. Certain parts of documents created by AIA Contract Documents software cannot be edited or deleted in order that the origin of the document can always be identified.

You may be able to substitute a term in the document title by stating elsewhere in the document that the term is to be given a different meaning.


Resources for modifying AIA Contract Documents –

Does the AIA publish any information about editing or adapting AIA Contract Documents?

AIA Contract Documents publishes several commentaries and guides available for free download. In addition, you may visit AIA’s website for extra articles and resources.

Does AIA Contract Documents assist in drafting an agreement or a contract provision?

No. AIA Contract Documents does not provide advice on how to draft a contract.

Where can I get information about how to write contracts or make changes in form agreements?

AIA Contract Documents does not provide legal advice about how to draft an agreement to meet a particular situation. 

Some general information about contracts is contained in the Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice

How do I adapt AIA Contract Documents to meet the requirements of state or local law or regulations?

AIA Contract Documents agreements and forms are not tailored to any particular state’s requirements. Instead, their provisions are drafted to be generally applicable in most states.

Where the law of a state or other jurisdiction imposes specific requirements, agreements must be adapted accordingly. AIA Contract Documents does not publish instructions on how to modify agreements to conform to the requirements of particular states or jurisdictions.


Insurance and liquidated damages-

How do I modify agreements to meet state or other jurisdiction insurance requirements? Do you recommend coverage amounts?

No. AIA Contract Documents are not tailored to the requirements of any particular jurisdiction. Only a legal or insurance professional who practices in your area can advise you on local requirements. AIA Contract Documents does not make recommendations on how much insurance coverage is required.

How do I provide for liquidated damages?

Laws regarding liquidated damages vary by state or other jurisdiction. You should obtain advice on liquidated damages from a lawyer authorized to practice in your jurisdiction.

The Owner/Contractor agreements published by the AIA contain spaces or fill points for inserting liquidated damages provisions.


Projects without Architect but other professional – 

Can I use an AIA Contract Documents agreement between Owner and Contractor if there will not be an Architect on the project or if the Architect will not be involved during construction?

All agreements between Owner and Contractor published by AIA Contract Documents assume that an Architect will be involved in the project. Editing an agreement to delete the Architect’s role would require substantial changes. To determine whether the changes you make to an AIA Contract Document achieve your goals or are enforceable in a court of law, you should consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Can a design professional other than an architect use a form of agreement between Owner and Architect by changing the word “Architect” to “Engineer” or “Designer”?

There is nothing that would prevent using an Owner/Architect agreement for engineering or other design services so long as the form is edited to describe the parties’ rights and obligations accurately, including compliance with state licensing laws and regulations.


Modifying or amending agreements after signing –

How do I amend or modify a contract between an Owner and a Contractor after the agreement has been signed?

AIA Document G701™, Change Order, may be used to amend existing Owner-Contractor contracts on projects using any of the following General Conditions:

A201®, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction;

A105™, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor for a Residential or Small Commercial Project;

A104™, Standard Abbreviated Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor.

AIA Document G731, Change Order, Construction Manager as Adviser Edition, may be used to amend existing Owner/Contractor contracts on projects using the following General Conditions:

A232™, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, Construction Manager as Adviser Edition.

How do I amend or modify an agreement between Owner and Architect after signing?

To amend owner-architect agreements you could use one of these documents:

G801™, Notice of Additional Services;

G802™, Amendment to the Professional Services Agreement.

Is there a Subcontractor change order or another form to amend A401™, Standard Form of Agreement Between Contractor and Subcontractor?

Yes. AIA Contract Document G701S™, Change Order, Contractor-Subcontractor Version.

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