Who pays for tests/inspections rule of thumb?

Hi! I’m struggling to understand some language in B101 and A201 re: when (under what circumstances & during which project phases) is the Owner responsible for covering tests & inspections required by law vs when is the Contractor is responsible.

B101 5.9 between O&A says:


The Owner shall furnish tests, inspections and reports required by law or the Contract Documents, such as structural, mechanical, and chemical tests, tests for air and water pollution, and tests for hazardous materials.

A201 13.4.1 says:

Tests, inspections, and approvals of portions of the Work shall be made as required by the Contract Documents and by applicable laws, statutes, ordinances, codes, rules, and regulations or lawful orders of public authorities. Unless otherwise provided, the Contractor shall make arrangements for such tests, inspections, and approvals with an independent testing laboratory or entity acceptable to the Owner, or with the appropriate public authority, and shall bear all related costs of tests, inspections, and approvals.

Additionally, the Section 2 Testing + Inspections During Construction video for the new CE course says:

if the Architect forgets to include a test in their specs, but the test is required by law, the Contractor must provide the test at no additional cost to the owner.

SO! My question is–understanding B101 is the contract between Owner & Architect while A201 references the contract between Owner & Contractor–does the Owner’s responsibility to pay for tests required by law go away once construction begins?

Or is there any rule of thumb to delineate who pays for what tests required by law and when?


In general think of the contract documents as paperwork designed by the AIA (an architect’s entity) to protect the architect and then owner. The architect owner contract will ask the owner to pay for the costs of tests so that the architect is protected both financially and liability-wise. The contract between the owner and contractor will have the contractor pay since they are trying to protect the owner in the paperwork.

Let me know if you need further elaboration and I can have @coachchrishopstock respond.


@coacheliserenwick thank you! Will keep this in mind as I read B101 and A201 more closely :slight_smile: