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Typical Example of Specifications

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TYPICAL EXAMPLE OF SPECIFICATIONS For the sake of illustration of the principles that should govern the writing of specifications for construction work, we shall now reproduce a typical set of building specifications, inserting critical comment on many of the clauses: To accompany contract dated . . . between . . . Owner and . . . tractor, to accompany and be a part of drawings pared by . . . Architect "Conditions—The drawings and specifica tions are intended to co-operate; any work shown on the drawings and not particularly de scribed in this specification, and any work evi dently necessary to the complete finish of the work included in this specification, as specified or shown, is to be done by the Contractor with out extra charge, the same as if it were both shown and specified." An element of uncertainty is introduced in this, the very first paragraph. If the contrac tor has done work under the architect, and knows the completeness with which his plans are prepared and his general method of in terpreting the specifications, he will be able to take chances under this clause that would not be warranted if he were working under an unknown architect. The statement that the drawings and specifications are intended to co-operate is true, and fair enough; but that the contractor must do the work which the carelessness of the architect may have caused to be omitted from the plans, simply because such work would in the mind of the architect make the construction complete, might work a hardship on the contractor. Such conditions should be provided for more carefully, or else specified under extra work.

"The Contractor must comply with the Building Code, the corporation ordinances, the State and other laws; the Contractor shall be liable for any and all penalties imposed by rea son of violations of the Building Code, the cor poration ordinances, the State and other laws, in connection with the work herein specified; and he shall also be liable for all expenses in curred by the Owner and by the Architect for penalties imposed and for defending actions at law that may be brought by reason of said violations."

Of course the contractor must comply with such laws and ordinances as deal di rectly with construction; but that he should be responsible for the fulfilment of rules and laws of any Building Department which may govern design is entirely out of reason. This clause is in keeping with one elsewhere men tioned, concerning the staking out of work and the responsibility and correctness of lines and boundaries, and might in effect make it necessary for the contractor to do practically all the engineering work, which he is not supposed to be qualified to do.

"The Contractor shall be liable for all dam age to life and limb that may occur owing to his negligence or that of his employees or his sub contractors or parties doing work for or fur nishing materials to him during the time that work is being performed at the building, at any time before the completion and final acceptance of the work included in this specification.

"Within twenty days after the award of the contract, the Contractor is to submit in writing the names of all the sub-contractors to the Architect, for approval; in no case will any work be accepted furnished by sub-contractors whose names have not been approved or whose names have not been submitted for approval. The ap proval or disapproval of names of sub-con tractors does not relieve the Contractor from any obligations under his contract.

"Extra Wor.

No extra work will be al lowed unless ordered by the Architect in writ ing. No bill for extra work so ordered will be approved by the Architect unless it is rendered immediately upon completion of the work." This last paragraph is, of course,, a very common one in specifications; but it is seldom explicit enough, and generally leaves the matter and amount of payment for extra work one-sided and apparently entirely to the discretion of the architect. Examples of a better form of paragraph covering this requirement have been given above.

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