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The Construction Contract Administration Knowledge Community (CCA) has been established to help our members better understand the issues, actions and resultant impact of the decisions required in this often neglected part of Project Delivery. It is our goal to provide clear answers to issues of concern to the Institute’s membership and share case studies and best practices. We further hope to provide guidance and direction in developing guidelines for new and evolving approaches to Project Delivery as well as guidance in the continuing education of our emerging young professionals.

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California Contracts especially Residential

  • 1.  California Contracts especially Residential

    Posted 11-30-2015 01:53 PM

    When I downloaded a contract form recently, there was a note at the front saying that I needed to consult an attorney if the project was in California. Later, a contractor informed me that now all residential construction contracts in California fall under the category of home improvement contracts, which have specific regulations.

    Wanting some clarity about this, I asked a construction law attorney, who said that he had not heard anything about it but that I should check with the CSLB because they would probably know. I have been through their website top to bottom and can't find anything about it.

    Does anyone out there know what is up with this?

    Thanks very much!



    PS - I tried to cross-post this to CRAN but it doesn't appear in the drop-down menu, although I am a member. If anyone knows anything about that, please let me know.

    Kate Svoboda-Spanbock AIA, NCARB, CID
    HERE Design and Architecture
    Los Angeles CA
    Open: Call for leaders. Applications due by Monday, November 8 at 5pm Eastern. Click here to view and apply to join the CCA leadership group!

  • 2.  RE: California Contracts especially Residential

    Posted 12-03-2015 04:10 PM

    Hello Kate,

    Apologies for the late response here, I have been traveling and just got settled back. The request that you mention for regarding "Home Improvement Contracts" is specifically relating to the contractor-owner agreement and not to the architect-owner agreement.

    Here are some links for you:

    Learn About Home Improvement Contracts

    Ca remove preview
    Learn About Home Improvement Contracts
    This section explains what is required in a contract and what you should look for before signing any kind of legal paperwork with a contractor. Additional information about home improvement contracts can be found here. Consumers
    View this on Ca >


    We are an Architect-led Design-build Firm in San Francisco focusing primarily on high-end residential work and have our own separate agreements for both architect-owner and contractor-owner relationships. The rules governing contractor-owner agreements that the CSLB website has referred to are something we also abide by and use. Unfortunately, due to the litigious nature of work in California, we do not use standard AIA agreements as we needed to modify things substantially for the scale and scope of work we do. However, you should be fine using standard AIA agreements for professional services from what i see and understand to date. If you have any serious concerns, it would always be wise to consult with an attorney and / or your E & O carrier as well.

    I hope this helps! please do not hesitate to call me if i can be of any further assistance.


    James Walbridge AIA
    Tekton Architecture
    San Francisco CA

    Open: Call for leaders. Applications due by Monday, November 8 at 5pm Eastern. Click here to view and apply to join the CCA leadership group!