AIA Documents
January 5, 2012 6:56 PM   Subscribe

AIA Documents- Looking for an basic overview of documents and forms relating to Competitive Bids, Contractors, Invitation, Response. Is there a guide in clear language laying out the typical steps taken at this early stage, and the relevant forms available?
posted by ebesan to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The documents themselves are here: AIA Docs.

Of course, these are just the legal bits without any real guidance for how to use them. A descent overview can be found in the (horribly named) Construction Document Technologist certification by CSI (Construction Specification Institute). The study guide for that is PDPG (Project Delivery Practice Guide). I'm sure there are other summaries out there, and have to admit I've read the predecessors to this book, but not the PDPG yet.

With all that said, this is the sort of thing that professionals train quite a bit to get right, so it would really help to have context for your question. A registered and experienced architect or engineer could really help you avoid some pretty major stumbling blocks on your project if it is of any significant size. If it is smaller then you may want to consider whether a contract written by a third party that you don't totally understand is the best tool for you. If this isn't project related (i.e. you are a student of the field) then the advice may be different.
posted by meinvt at 7:14 PM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

And ... of course Amazon has the PDPG for less cost than the member rate through CSI.
posted by meinvt at 7:16 PM on January 5, 2012

Response by poster: context- is walking through a small residential project going out to bid, getting a clearer sense of the usual documents, the parties, their contractual relationships, and their sequence. This is a huge subject I know, but maybe somewhere is organized, made more accessible? (see Frank (Francis D. K.) Ching on code and construction)
posted by ebesan at 7:35 PM on January 5, 2012

In general the process is simply to put together as much documentation on what you want as accurately as possible and provide it to the contractors you are considering, set a firm date to get bids, provide the same answers to all bidders' questions, and see what you get. Plan ahead to wave informalities and slight discrepancies, there will be plenty. Even working with clients under an AIA contract for architectural services, for smaller residential projects I've frequently seen a very simple few page agreement supplied by the contractor used. You may find as much value in getting proposals along with contractor's proposed contracts and simply reviewing those with your lawyer, if you don't have a professional designer.

I don't know of sources that deal with just this one piece of the puzzle. the PDPG is about as affordable and available a text as I can think of. This is pretty complex area, to the extent that actually representing yourself as qualified/certified on the subject requires not only an education but demonstration of at least two years of field experience.

It may be that a document tailored more to home owners in your situation exists in the real estate field. Maybe try contacting your realtor as well for advice.
posted by meinvt at 4:57 AM on January 6, 2012

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