The amount and extent of what elements are to be included in the final set of contract documents vary greatly from project to project. Some can be very simple and others require all of the above. It is only possible to determine just how much will be needed after examining the needs of each project. There is no more good reason to over draw a project than for doing less than what is needed. It is fair to say, that the more detail provided in the final set, there will be less room for errors, omissions and misunderstandings which is almost always interpreted to mean a better building with less cost and fewer headaches in the process.
Contract Documents Listed:
- The final set of sealed Architectural plans
- Sealed and dated Engineer Plans
- Specifications & Conditions
- The Contract for Construction
- Change order form
- Schedule of Values for progress payments Form
- Application and Certificate for Payment Form
- Certificate of Substantial Completion Form
- Certificate for Final Payment Form
- Addenda, if any, issued prior to the execution of the Contract for Construction
- Proof of Insurance
- Contractor Disclosure Statement
This is a special section that is used to format the process leading up to the final contract for construction. It often includes a list of how you want the estimate and/or bid to be broken down into line items. It is used again later to compare with the payment request schedule during the course of the project.
Additional Unit Pricing:
If there are items that need to be considered that cannot be fully described before starting on the project, additional items for unit pricing can be included. Try to be as specific as possible and state the amount.
Items listed here are those items you are going to provide at your expense depending on what you select. Allowance figures are just estimates provided to assist in making sure everything is accounted for in determining the final total all inclusive cost.
For residential construction whether new or remodeling, the additional detail provided is specific to the job being done. It will include names and model numbers of specific materials, paints and fixtures. It may also include very specific information about how and to what standards certain materials may be applied during the work. All other required specific information not included in the plans and the short form specifications will be included here.
Specifications also provide information about how the builder is to provide his service and helps the owner make sure some basic information that is not shown on the plans can be conveyed into the contract documents. Some other issues that are often included might be the hours of operation, how to accommodate owner live-in situation, dust control, use of utilities on site and information about when and how payments are to be made.
Contract for Construction:
This is the actual document between the owner and the contractor which refers to the plans and specifications to describe the work to be done, how it is to be done and when payments are to be made as the work progresses. A good contractor and a good contract are vital to a well built project with a minimum of problems during the course of the work.The contract should always include the Payment Schedule and the final fixed all inclusive price .
The contractor provides an itemized list of the general phases that will be included in the work that he is to do. Each item will cover a certain percentage of completion of the project. Each item listed will include the price assigned to that phase. This becomes the payment schedule. The contractor will ask to be paid upon the completion of each phase. Make sure you know how you will be able to determine whether or not the phase has actually completed.
This section covers how certain procedures are to be followed, such as time allotted to make a payment once the application has been submitted or how to resolve disputes.
No matter how hard we try, no set of contract documents will be 100% complete. There will always be decisions to be made during the construction process. It is important that the owner and the builder set up good communication channels and work together to use the contract documents to assist them in completing the work as intended. All change orders should be done in writing and sketches should be included to describe those changes when appropriate even if it takes a little time. Verbal changes can lead to misunderstandings which quickly can become amplified as they are built and expenses start adding up.