This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
(To Be Detached And Delivered To Contractor After Signing.)
Received of...................., Contractor, fire insurance policies as follows: .............................., in total amount $2,600.00, issued as required by agreement dated September 15, 1907, for the erection of a dwelling for me at the corner of..........Ave. and. .............St.
In all the foregoing relative to formal contracts, consideration has been given only to such cases as would come up in an ordinary private practice, where it is taken for granted that the relations of parties with one another are such that all that is necessary to insure a satisfactory completion of all agreements is a definite understanding of exactly what is to be furnished and done by each of the contracting parties. No contracts can be drawn, or specifications written, which prevent either party from bringing suit against anybody if they so desire.
The question is entirely different in the case of formal contracts for public or corporation work requiring bonds, where, on account of the impersonal nature of the Owner, it is impossible to adapt procedure to the varying conditions that arise. It is entirely outside the province of the Architect to attempt to arrange details of a legal nature in such cases. The liability of a bondsman is very peculiar, and he can be relieved therefrom because of even very small departures from the agreement. Thus changes in the work or material, changes in the dates or manner of payment, changes in time of completion, etc., can be set up (and generally with success) as reasons why obligations under the bond should be set aside.
As a general thing, bonds are now furnished by large corporations who employ the best of legal talent to dispute, on any ground, their liability should they be called on; and it is unreasonable for an Architect to attempt to protect his patron's interest under such circumstances. Therefore, in cases of this nature, the Attorney representing the public body or the corporation for which the work is to be done, should draw the formal contract and bond, and supervise their execution. Any action during the progress of the work which could in any way affect the specific obligations of either party, should be passed on by such Attorney; and, in case of any change, he will obtain a formal consent of the sureties on the bond, before its final ratification.