Although the architect is employed by the owner he must act fairly and honestly toward the contractor. This of course precludes any attempt to overreach the contractor, or any secret arrangement with the owner to deprive the contractor of any money justly due him.

Thus an architect has been held liable to the builder for damages sustained by him by reason of a fraudulent refusal to issue the certificate made essential by the contract. The architect who acts as a superintendent or arbitrator is supposed to act as an impartial man of science. Where it is shown that the architect is personally interested in favoring the owner at the expense of the builder, or vice versa, as where the architect guaranteed or merely assured the owner that the whole cost of building would be below a certain sum, it has been held that his awards should be set aside if they are unjust, in spite of the agreement that his decision shall be final and conclusive on all parties.

It is the architect's duty to interpret his plans and specifications when such interpretation is requested by the contractor.