Contact our office for the experienced legal advice you need.  415-510-2823

Should you be on site while your contractors are working?

As a professional architect and designer, you put your time and effort into creating an amazing product for your clients. You can’t do it alone, though, which is why you often hire third-party contractors to help with assembling and constructing the blueprints.

It’s smart to be on site whenever a third party is constructing something you’ve designed. Why? You are there to make sure the client is getting what they want. You’re there to make sure they get what they pay for and that their rights are protected. If a designer sees something going wrong, they usually have no right to stop work, but they can step in and reject or accept work. So, it’s imperative that you’re on site, so that you can let an owner know if they need to stop work and reassess the construction of their structure.

Make sure your contract is clear about your role

It is wise to make sure that your contract is clear about your role as an architect or designer on a project. Any client who signs with you should be aware that you could engage consultants to perform aspects of the build. Delegating duties is necessary for anyone who does design, and that’s something you should make clear to any client you work with.

At the same time, if you delegate duties, you should still be making sure that your hired contractors are doing their work. In fact, usually, it’s engineers, architects or other designers who can sometimes be held liable if one of their hired consultants does not do the job as arranged. There are exceptions, so this is something to discuss with your attorney prior to hiring third parties to complete your work.

Of course, designers and architects won’t design every part of a project. Shop drawings, with elaborations, are often used during actual construction. That means that liability may be shared across multiple individuals or businesses if something goes wrong with a project. That’s something to keep in mind as you decide whom to work with and what kinds of projects to take on.

Whenever you get started on a project, it’s in your best interests to check in regularly with the construction taking place. Doing this can help keep the project on track and make sure that you limit the risk of litigation in the future.