Each year associations across the country hire firms to create documents that offer contractors instructions on how to address issues with their buildings. These documents, referred to as specifications, outline the materials, scope of work, and other details for a particular project: The goal is to foster a clear understanding of how to properly complete a project describing the products and standards required. At Kipcon we’ve been helping clients by providing exacting and effective building and site specifications for years. Today we’re going to explore the key aspects of specification documentation so that you can gain a greater understanding of what you can expect from this practice.

What types of projects might require building and site specifications?

While there are a vast number of potential projects that would require specifications, there are a few that our clients experience most often. Issues with decks, parking garages, pavement, siding, drainage, balconies, roofs, and at times even retaining walls may require special attention.

In addition to general issues,  a desire for upgrades or new amenities may lead to the need for site specifications. Unforeseen circumstances like flooding, natural disasters, fires, and ice damming may lead to issues that require building specifications to address. Finally, as your association reviews your reserve study, you may find that some of your components require maintenance or replacement due to their age.

How do contractors and associations use building and site specifications created by firms like Kipcon?

Associations request support with specifications from a firm like Kipcon to address issues with their buildings. Your contractor will acknowledge in your contract that they have read and agree to the Specification and will perform the work described therein.

Contractors look to these documents so that they know what’s needed to implement solutions to those problems. These documents are not designed to define the means or methods of execution (that falls to the contractor to address). But they will define the products and quality standards required for the construction of the project.

Key Specification Sections To Consider For Major Projects

The first section of the document is an Advertisement For Bids detailing when the bids are due, dates for pre-bid meetings, and relevant questions regarding bidding.

Next you have your Instructions To Bidders explaining the methods required for how to ask questions about the project and how to submit bids. For example, you might request any questions be submitted in writing by a particular deadline and request bids be submitted in sealed envelopes.

After that, you have your Bid Proposal form including the format of your bids (lump sums, quantities, and the like).

Next, you’ll request the Certificate of Ownership of the contracting firm, a Bidders Affidavit (confirming prices and for how long), and a Qualification Questionnaire including references.

Then there are a series of sections that include your Non-Collusion Affidavit, Site Visit Form, Form of Bid Bond, Consent of Surety, and your Affirmative Action Plan.

The section that follows these forms is known as the General Conditions section. Here you define the relationship between the various parties and the rights and responsibilities each carries. This is also where you define the cost of the project, as well as methods, and conditions. This is also where you’ll define the limitations of payment and under what circumstances you’d reduce or retain payment.  Usually, this takes the form of a certain percentage retained from each payment. That retainage is released only after all work is complete and all punch list work is tended to in its entirety.

Your General Conditions also define your project schedule and offer details on any penalties imposed for late work. After that, you’ll define Insurance requirements like workman’s compensation, general liability, builder’s risk, bond, and motor vehicle insurance. Finally, your remaining sections deal with items like schedules of value and indemnifications. These final details help to address any loose ends legally and procedurally and ensure you have everything in place to move through a successful project from the outset.

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How Kipcon Can Help You Streamline Building Specifications For Your Next Project

As an experienced and trusted engineering firm, associations trust our team to craft documents that their contractors rely on. Our specifications provide a thorough understanding of the challenge as well as detailed recommendations about how to fix them. That way your contractor knows how (from measurements to materials and even preferred manufacturers) to implement the best possible solution. In addition, you can rely on our team to support your contractor selection and bidding process as our specification documents are a natural precursor to your bidding process.

Have a problem with your fire-damaged structures, ice damming, retaining wall issues, or another building concern? At Kipcon we can help you create specifications that provide clarity and can even perform inspections along the way to ensure your contractor builds according to your documents.

To learn more about how Kipcon can assisit you with building and site specifications for your next project, be sure to contact Kipcon at (800) 828-4118 or click here!


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