Reading Plans – Other Important Terms
Specifications are written instructions provided by architectural and engineering firms to the general contractor and, consequently, to the subcontractors.
Specifications are just as important as the drawings in a set of plans. They furnish what the drawings cannot: they define the quality of work to be done and the materials to be used.
Specifications serve several important purposes:
• Clarify information that cannot be shown on the drawings
• Identify work standards, types of materials to be used, and the responsibility of various parties to the contract
• Provide information on details of construction
• Serve as a guide for constructors bidding on the construction job
• Serve as a standard of quality for materials and workmanship
• Serve as a guide for compliance with building codes and zoning ordinances
• Serve as the basis of agreement between the owner, architect, and contractors in settling any disputes
B) Building Codes
Building codes that are national in scope provide minimum standards to guard the life and safety of the public by regulating and controlling the design, construction, and quality of materials used in modern construction.
They have also come to govern the use and occupancy, location of a type of building, and the on-going maintenance of all buildings and facilities.
The provisions of the model building codes apply to the construction, alteration, movement, demolition, repair, structural maintenance, and use of any building or structure within the local jurisdiction.
C) Quantity Takeoff
The quantity takeoff or takeoff procedure involves surveying, measuring, and counting all materials indicated on a set of drawings. Normally, standard takeoff sheets are available for the carpenter to use for accurate takeoffs.
These sheets are useful because they provide standardization, continuity, and a permanent record. In addition, they reduce the workload as well as the potential for error.