It is the duty of an architect to give a definite idea of the reasonable cost of a project.[i] Moreover, the architect should try to stay within the owner’s cost restrictions. Generally, the architect is not entitled to compensation if the cost of construction substantially exceeds the cost limitation.[ii] In connection with the erection of a building, an architect will receive compensation only if the cost of the building is at least reasonably near the amount estimated.[iii] Generally, the jury decides whether the estimated cost is reasonably near the actual cost. A court deals with the issue if the excess is so great that it involves a question of law.[iv]
[i] Williams Engineering, Inc. v. Goodyear, 496 So. 2d 1012 (La. 1986).
[ii] Zannoth v. Booth Radio Stations, 333 Mich. 233 (Mich. 1952);
Peteet v. Fogarty, 297 S.C. 226 (S.C. Ct. App. 1988)
[iii] Kaufman v. Leard, 356 Mass. 163 (Mass. 1969)
[iv] Goodrich v. Lash, 121 Vt. 15 (Vt. 1958)