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Contract Terms in Architectural CAD Drafting Services

The millennium has ushered in many new specializations, one of them being architectural CAD drafting services. In previous Articles we have looked at various aspects of these services, right from technical to managerial to techno commercial. In our previous article we looked at Exclusions in architectural CAD drafting services, where we discussed those tasks which most service providers do not perform, and the reasons why. On the same lines, this article looks at clauses and items normally included in contracts for architectural CAD drafting services firms. It must be mentioned that this writer dies not deem to give legal advice here, nor frame the clauses in legalese. The approach of the article is to look at the spirit or the need behind various terms and clauses. For this reason, broad categories have been created.

Scope of work The foundations of the relationship are not, as we often get deluded ourselves into, money, speed, relationship, branding, sales or CRM. These are supports, embellishments etc. But the client hires the architectural CAD drafting services firm for work. Here are some points that help to define the task:

Drawing list:Complete with details on:

  • Scale
  • Software
  • Output file
  • Task to be performed in each sheet


Schedule: this must include client's responsibilities, inputs, and reviews with deadlines. An ideal schedule specifies:

  • Drawings deliverable on each date
  • Party responsible those drawings (service provider or client)
  • Time zones and time defining terms like 'EOD' (End of day)
  • Consequences on further schedule in case of interim delays
  • Extensions: where there is creativity, Parkinson's Law must apply, resulting in probable extension of deadlines. The contract must deal with the impact of such schedule changes on the client as well as on the architectural CAD drafting services firm
  • Access: Trivial as it might sound, it must be agreed upon at what times in their time zones would certain people be available acceptable protocol for replying (especially with emails).

Money We may cry ourselves hoarse that money is not the Raison d'être of our business, but the number of points cropping under this heading - money - makes us believe we do, after all, live to eat!

  • Fee: goes without saying, the contract must quantify the fee specifying he currency
  • Payment terms: The last things a client wants is stoppage of work because of non-payment to the architectural CAD drafting services firm
  • Milestones: a corollary of the above point, stages and triggers of interim payments must be defined with complete clarity
  • Mode: To avoid a check-is-in-the-mail situation, the mode of payment, mode of dispatch, payee name, bank details, and most of all the address at which the check (or transfer) is to be dispatched must be clear as crystal


  • Periodicity
  • Trigger
  • Mode
  • Receiver, approver and payer


  • Days receivable
  • Starting date
  • Overdue payments
  • Recovery


  • People
  • Change
  • Communication
  • Exit
  • Copyright

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About the Author


The AEC Associates are, as the name suggests, your partners in ever dynamic and invigorating AEC domain; your service providers for all disciplines of the architecture, engineering and construction industry. We will assist you in all your drawing, drafting, documentation, CAD/BIM and value added services. A well-knit consortium of professionals, our combined experiences spans across continents, millions of square feet in construction spread through a wide gamut of executed projects. Our Vertical focus includes: Architectural, Structural and MEP.


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