As a general rule, an architect acts as an independent contractor, as far as the preparation of plans and specifications is concerned. However, so far as the performance of his/her supervisory functions with respect to a building under construction is concerned, an architect ordinarily acts as an agent and representative of the person for whom the work is being done.[i] Moreover, an architect acts as an independent contractor if s/he has:
- sole control of the work and of the employment, and
- sole control of the management of those engaged in that project.[ii]
Furthermore, any ambiguity in an architect’s contract is to be resolved in favor of the employer.[iii]
[i] Trane Co. v. Gilbert, 267 Cal. App. 2d 720 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 1968)
[ii] Cutlip v. Lucky Stores, Inc., 22 Md. App. 673, 325 A.2d 432 (1974).
[iii] Spitz v. Brickhouse, 3 Ill. App. 2d 536, 123 N.E.2d 117, 49 A.L.R.2d 673 (1st Dist. 1954).