A Must-Have for Residential Remodelers: AIA Contract Documents’ New Remodeling Agreement

By Susan Van Bell, Esq., AIA Contract Documents Consultant and Content Contributor

April 6, 2022

AIA Contract Documents has recently released A113-2022 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor for Remodel of a Single Family Home. This is the first document published by AIA Contract Documents that was specifically developed to address unique aspects of a home remodeling project. A must-have for residential remodelers, A113 is a streamlined document that provides the essential terms and conditions that define the responsibilities of the owner and the contractor on such projects and helps to mitigate the associated risks.

A113 is an owner/contractor agreement for construction only, and it does not include design phases or construction administration services provided by a third-party architect.  Design and construction documents can be provided by an architect hired separately by the owner or by a design-build contractor who provides such services. A113 is intended for use in a relatively straightforward project, such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel.

The contractual and licensing requirements for remodeling of a single family home may vary in different jurisdictions.  A113 contain fill points to prompt the parties to consider whether there are jurisdictional requirements, such as consumer protection notices, warranty requirements, mechanic’s lien notification requirements, and other jurisdiction-specific or statutory requirements that the home builder must comply with.  The owner is required to provide information that is specific to residential projects, such as information about property or site covenants, conditions, and restrictions, as well as Homeowners’ Association requirements.

A113 also addresses issues that are specific to remodeling projects. One issue that is unique to remodeling is that the owner is often residing on the site during the course of the project. A113 contains provisions in which the owner can include special requirements, such as limits on site access. For example, the owner might want to specify that the contractor’s employees cannot enter certain areas of the house without permission or that the contractor’s working hours have to end at a certain time of the day. There are also provisions in which the owner can specify items to be salvaged or items to receive special protection.

With respect to schedule and payments, A113 contains fill points to provide the dates of commencement and completion of construction. The parties agree on a payment schedule based upon completion of construction milestones.

The contractor is required to carry standard insurance coverages: commercial general liability, automobile liability, workers’ compensation, employers’ liability, and builder’s risk insurance. The owner must have liability and property insurance.  The property insurance should cover the replacement value of the owner’s property that might be damaged or destroyed and not otherwise covered by the contractor’s builder’s risk insurance. This is unique to remodeling because the work is often within an existing structure, and coverage is needed for adjacent structure and contents.

The document contains a provision and process for the contractor to terminate the contract if the owner fails to make payment. It also provides that the owner may terminate the contractor for a substantial breach of the contract documents, with a provision for how to allocate the remaining unpaid contract balance incurred. A113 does not contain a provision for the owner to terminate the contractor for convenience.

Other important issues that are addressed in the document include consultants and subcontractors, warranties, changes in the work, rejection and correction of work, and project completion.

In a residential remodeling project, the client relationship is especially important. The owner in this type of project is emotionally invested in the success of the project. This new document provides the important contract provisions that the contractor and owner need to manage expectations and achieve a successful completion of the project.

Susan Van Bell, Esq. was Senior Director of Content for AIA Contract Documents for over ten years. She is currently a consultant.

AIA Contract Documents has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors.