• 10 Essential Construction Documents For Any Project

    Construction documents are the final documents that consist of all specifications, materials, and other constraints regarding the implementation of the final design. They help keep track of the correct work happening at the current time. From time to time in India, these documents have evolved in their structures. The documents have been more formalized for accuracy checks and completion of work on site. Construction documents have their purposes, from covering daily information to documenting changes, tracking permit applications, and others. Hence, looking at the role of documents, one must verify every document before starting the whole construction project. These documents are the written agreement between the client, the contractors, and the architect regarding the project and its details.

    Construction Documents
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    Every project has construction documents that consist of different specifications that vary according to the project. The following 10 essential construction documents that will be common in every project.

    1. Construction Agreement

    Construction Documents
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    This document provides the scope of the work for the project. It includes information such as :

    • Who will complete the work on the project
    • The scope of work
    • A full description of the project
    • Supplies information
    • Payment information including who is going to pay for the project
    • A general schedule and timeline
    • Provisions for any delay in work
    • Contractors protection
    • Documentation about local contract laws
    • Insurance
    • Claims Processing

    2. General Conditions

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    This construction document goes over the contractor’s obligations. It will cover all the basic legal conditions for the overall project. This document will cover the legal framework and details. Also, it will cover the details about how one can resolve problems or disputes during the construction process.

    3. Special Conditions

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    Despite forming a legal framework for the whole project, different projects can demand different specifications. This specification then needs to be agreed upon on paper for everyone to be aware of the work that will be implemented. Special conditions are an extension of the general conditions that are to be notified. This document goes over any aspect of the project that does not apply to the rest of the project. For example, if a special kind of texture is to be done on the main exterior wall that will affect the cost of the project, it has to be specified.

    4. Scope of Work

    Construction Documents
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    For any project, the scope of work has to be specified. To know the scope of work, this document with all the details will be very helpful during the construction process. To build a good project, a good scope of work document that will have every detail about the entire project is necessary. This document will help in identifying and constructing a basic timeline for the project. This document will also cover aspects of the allotment of work and the kinds of materials that are going to be used during the project. 

    5. Drawings

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    These documents are something that allows the client to see the visuals of the design before starting the project. They include all the architectural drawings as well as the structural drawings. These documents become the agreement for various aspects of the design that cannot be recorded verbally. Drawings are the point from which the contractors can keep a check on the ongoing work on the project.

    6. Specifications

    Construction Documents
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    This construction document states the various technical aspects of the project. There will be all the details included in the specifications, starting from the material to the techniques that will be used for the construction. The details that will be mentioned in the specification are:

    • Equipment that is used on the site
    • Techniques necessary to build the project
    • Accepted change of the materials during construction
    • Material quantity required
    • Best practices
    • Common standards and rules or codes
    • Testing or certification is required when the project is done.

    7. Bill of Quantities

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    This document is an itemized list of all the materials, tools, labor, and parts used on site during the construction. Each item’s price is mentioned in this document. To keep a check on the budget of the project, this document is required. Clients can benefit from this document as they can see the breakdown of the prices of the items that are to be used. A bill of quantities can keep track of tools and materials used for the client.

    8. Construction Schedule

    Every project will have a particular schedule that has to be followed. This construction schedule is important to be formulated to keep track of time for completion. This document will also provide ways to alter the schedule when necessary during delays. For example, the permits for commercial projects will take time; they can alter the timeframe for the project. The schedule will cover the options for when material permits or test results are delayed. A good construction schedule includes the components needed for the project as well as the time for its completion. This schedule also includes the required permits needed for the project.

    9. Schedule of Values

    Construction Documents
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    When one starts a project, they calculate the materials that will be required for the whole project. This also includes their prices and the values they are available at. This schedule of values helps one evaluate every item according to its quality and quantity. This will help one change the quantity and quality of the item if required before the commencement of the work. This list is very comprehensive and goes through every item of construction from start to finish.

    10. Cost Estimate

    Two types of costs happen in the whole construction process. These are the soft and hard costs.

    Where the hard costs include

    • The expected work to be completed
    • Estimates for labor
    • Contingencies
    • Overhead costs
    • Landscaping costs

    And the soft costs include

    • Inflation
    • Inspection fees
    • Equipment needed to complete the job

    Generally, the ratio of the hard and soft costs of the project is between 70% and 30%.

    This construction document can be issued in a lump sum or broken into sections.

    As mentioned above, these are the basic construction documents that are needed before constructing any design. Here, there are basic authorities who decide the overall list of the construction documents required during the project. The architect is basically responsible for the construction documents regarding all the drawings and their technical aspects. The contractors are responsible for understanding and implementing every construction document on the site. These documents are the tools for the workers to work according to the design and requirements. The construction documents are thus the basis of any construction project. Without these documents, one cannot rely on anyone for the completion of the project. The construction document can be the overall outlook of the whole project for the client. Also, they will be helpful for the architect to help understand the design visually and technically. 

    Content Writing and Research By: Ar. Rajeshwari Pandya Modi 

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