How to write construction specifications

Updated April 17, 2017

Construction specifications must be precise and thorough. Well-written specifications include roles and responsibilities for all labourers, building materials, floor plans and payment expectations. Building specifications must comply with electrical and fire codes, and account for waste removal and environmental factors.

Indicate the location and scope of the construction project, including both the interior and exterior labour to be performed. Include all measurements.

Specify the building products in detail, listing the make and model of the manufacturer, and any warranties. For example, don't write "oak beams." Instead note the wood's thickness and whether it has been pretreated.

Note a payment schedule for the general contractor and all subcontractors. Include information on when requisitions will be due or submitted, establishing a time frame for payment from the client.

Highlight procedures for change orders or delays in the course of construction. All change orders must take into account costs associated with redesign, re-engineering and material adjustments.

Conclude your specifications with architectural drawings and any related blueprints.

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After receiving her journalism degree from Long Island University, Andrea Della Monica worked for daily and weekly newspapers in the New York metropolitan area. As a winner of George Polk award, Della Monica has been interested in advancing press freedoms. In recent years, she has successfully pursued public relations work for major community activist organizations and special interest publications.