AIA Contracts Makes Life Easy For Kautter & Kelly

About Kautter & Kelly

Kautter & Kelly Architects is a highly skilled architectural design firm with diverse project experience. The award-winning studio designs and oversees the construction of a wide range of building types, requiring advanced knowledge of building technologies and specialization. The Kautter & Kelly portfolio reflects a history of creating spaces to live, work, learn, worship, and entertain.

“I’ve used AIA Contract Documents for over 30 years. The consistency, balance, and protections their product offers are unmatched.”–


So much has changed in the construction industry over the last 30 years. These changes include using materials and processes and the introduction of sustainable designs to protect our environment. Then there’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the leading-edge functionalities it brings to the table, both now and well into the future. Amy Laughlin has seen all these changes and so many more. She’s been the Business Manager for Kautter & Kelly for three decades, and while so many people, things, and processes have changed, one thing has remained a constant: AIA Contract Documents.

Construction sites are living, breathing organisms with people and parts moving in every which way. But it’s there on those busy construction sites where Kautter & Kelly saw the value AIA contracts bring. “The calm in the storm is how I view a contract from AIA Contract Documents. Anything and sometimes, everything goes  wrong on a job, but the constant we can rely on is our contract. It gives us control, helps us maintain order, and keeps everyone on task,” said Laughlin.

The Value Of A Contract

Every architect comes to a project with a plan outlining the various parts of the project, the stages and resources, and the final delivery date. Profits are also a part of that plan, and this is another area Kautter & Kelly has seen the benefits of AIA contracts. “Over the years, we’ve saved a lot of money that would’ve normally gone toward legal expenses. Our relationship with AIA Contract Documents allows us to save and re-direct those resources into other business areas while driving higher annual profit margins.” All the documents in the product suite were created by trained lawyers who understand the various nuances of the industry. Every situation that can occur on a construction project was considered during the product development phase.

“AIA contracts are staples in our processes, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Clear Marching Orders

Everyone, from large to small, plays a role in a successful project. The visibility of the roles differs, but they’re all important. In many cases, those roles aren’t clearly defined, and this is where projects begin unraveling. “With AIA contracts, there’s no guesswork as to who does what and how it gets done. When the participants walk away to begin working, they do so with a clear understanding of where they fit in the project. If there are any questions or confusion creeps in at some point, we refer to the contract. This puts everyone back on the same page.”

“Using AIA contracts puts everyone on the same page. There’s no ambiguity and everyone knows what’s expected.”

Making Things Easy

Ease of use is one of several reasons AIA contracts have been a staple in the Kautter & Kelly toolkit for decades. “The language is free from ambiguity, and the contracts are balanced. This type of contract structure puts all parties in the best possible position. Now with the documents online, what was already a simple, seamless process, becomes even better. Digital means everyone can focus on doing their best work because the legal aspects are in good hands.” New AIA Contract Documents online tools drastically increase efficiency and give parties access to documents timely. Providing clients with online access adds value to any project while heightening the profile of the associated brands.

Message To Customers

Creating an environment where customers can trust you is the business owner’s and its stakeholders’ responsibility. This task is one Kautter & Kelly openly embraces. “We make sure our customers know upfront before any project begins that we plan to use an AIA contract. On the rare occasion when they ask why, we have no problem telling them how the contracts benefit us. More importantly, we also make sure they understand how the contract works in their favor. Once this conversation is complete, they see the clear value and understand the logic behind our choice, and we can move forward amicably.”

Construction sites are challenging. They come with price changes, unpredictable resource lead times, and of course, the unpredictability of the weather. We can’t control these variables no matter how hard we try. But in a world where change is the common language, it helps to have a voice of consistency. A voice that elicits trust regardless of the ebbs and flows of every project. For over a century, that voice of consistency has been AIA Contracts: the industry standard and a name you can trust.