Contract drawings do not depict every detail of every component of a construction project. Some aspects of the work are fleshed out in drawing details. Other details, however, are left unaddressed in the contract. The contractor is required to propose this detailing through the submittal of shop drawings, usually prepared by subcontractors and fabricators.
The problem with this system is twofold. Design responsibility, and a certain degree of risk, is shifted to the contractor. Yet the contractor is not given information needed for accurately pricing its bid, possibly motivating the contractor to carry a contingency in its bid price.
In a recent case, a contractor argued that the absence of a drawing detail justified the contractor’s exclusion of that component from the bid price. The contractor was informed that it could not use the lack of detail to read the requirement out of the contract, even if the omission made it difficult to accurately price the bid.
I’d like input on how much detail can a contractor reasonably expect in the contract drawings? What are the appropriate limits on the use of shop drawing submittals? Please feel free to comment below.
In next Monday's issue of Construction Claims Advisor:
- Periodic Subcontract Payments Not Tied to Value of Work
- Smaller Projects Could Not Be Aggregated to Meet Experience Requirement
- Retainage Raises Questions of Balance and Fairness