Basic Principles of Writing Specifications

Specifications define the quality of any construction work. Therefore, specifications should be clear. Language for specifications should be such that no chance of ambiguity lefts. Specifications are the important part of contract and it has legal value. In case of any dispute, one can even consult with court.  Most of disputes occur, only because of not properly explained specifications. Therefore, following principles of specifications should be considered while writing that prevent conflict and ambiguities.

1.       Description of Material

It is very important to write in detail about the construction material. Type and size of construction material should be clearly mentioned. Besides this, ingredient ratio and mixing method of concrete and mortar should also be clearly defined. If treatment of any material required before use, then it should be mentioned in specifications.

2.       Workmanship

Workmanship covers the method of construction, inspection of work, surface preparation, surface compaction and curing. Procedure of every single item should be mentioned in detail.

3.       Tools and Plants

Different equipment, tools and plants required during construction should be clearly mentioned in specifications. Arrangement of machinery before construction is only possible, if it is mentioned in specifications. It should also be mentioned that either contractor has to arrange on its own or client will arrange equipment for the contractor.

4.       New Work Protection

It should be clearly mentioned that how new work will be protected from rain water, temperature, freezing and other atmospheric changes. New work includes excavation, brick masonry, concrete pouring, plaster etc…

5.        Expression

Expressions should be very clear. Specifications have legal value, therefore sentences should be short and complete. For conveying complex information, short sentences should be used. It break up information into smaller and easier to process units. Long complicated sentences can confuse reader and doubtful the main point. Every single paragraph should only be limited to only one issue.

Vocabulary should be such that it not creates a dual meaning. It should be such that every reader grasps the same meaning. Language, format and usage should be consistent. Beside this, specifications must also be consistently enforced. Specifications only remain effective, if it is consistently enforced. Without it even well written specifications become ineffective.

6.       Clauses of Specifications

Clauses of specifications should be written in ascending order, in short follow the construction schedule. First thing come first. For Example: Clauses related to excavation should come before foundation or footing related clauses.

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