🕑 Reading time: 1 minuteFor writing specifications for construction contracts, care must be taken to ensure consistency of requirements throughout and conformity with what is written in other documents. This consistency can be promoted if one person drafts all the documents or, if parts are written by others, one person carefully reads through the whole finished set of documents. An inconsistency in the documents can give rise to a major dispute under the contract, having a serious effect on its financial outcome.
Writing Specifications for Construction ContractsSome principle guidelines for writing specifications are as follows.
- The layout and grouping of subjects should be logical. These need planning out beforehand.
- Requirements for each subject should be stated clearly, in logical order, and checked to see all aspects are covered.
- Language and punctuation should be checked to see they cannot give rise to ambiguity.
- Legal terms and phrases should not be used.
- To define obligations the words ‘shall’ or ‘must’ (not ‘should’ or ‘is to’, etc.) should be used.
- Quality must be precisely defined, not described as ‘best’, etc.
- Brevity should be sought by keeping to essential matters.
The construction specification has to tell the contractor precisely:
- The extent of the work to be carried out
- The quality and type of materials and workmanship required
- Where necessary, the methods he is required to use, or may not use, to construct the works.