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How is an AIA down payment allocated - on a line item basis or on an aggregate basis

New York

We gave our contractor a 15% down payment for a job. On the initial invoice (continuation sheet), they reflected that each line item was already 15% complete - no line items started at 0% complete. Therefore, on the first invoice, we began paying for work performed when our down payment had not been exceeded yet. For example, on the second invoice, all line items were still 15% complete, except for one line item that was reported at 40% complete. So, we paid an additional 25% on that single line item, when we still had funds available from our down payment. In effect, the contractor is applying the down payment against each line item rather than as an aggregate payment amount against the entire job. This doesn't seem to align with the intent of how the continuation sheet or the summary sheet are setup.

2 replies

May 12, 2021
I have not seen the contract, but based on experience the funds should be applied to cover work complete. typically a down payment would used to buy materials and that would be reflected on the pay requisition. I would be asking the contractor questions.
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May 12, 2021
Thank you so much ! We used the standard AIA contract without any modifications. The contractor is telling us this is standard operating procedure, which from everything I’ve read, sounds completely false.
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