Construction Specifications: An Important Part of the Remodel Contract

Construction specifications are an important part of any remodel


or building contract. The more you know about products and materials, the more control you have over the budget and finished project.

Before you sign the contract, you need to make decisions on the materials and products to be used in your project. Generally speaking, choose the brand, model number, finish and type. Other considerations (specific to each product) have to do with function, quality, performance and color.

When you are planning for a kitchen remodel - include: Cabinets and countertops, backsplashes, appliances and hood exhaust, convenience receptacles, sinks and faucets, light fixtures and flooring, wall colors and window coverings.

For a bathroom remodel you may want to specify: Bath fixtures, shower surround, shower head and faucets, toilets, sinks, vanities, towel bars, light fixtures and exhaust fan, tile, flooring and mirrors.

When considering interior remodels do not overlook all of the details: Wall textures, convenience receptacles, paint colors, ceiling finishes, lighting fixtures, flooring materials, window treatments, doors, door hardware, shelving units or built-ins, baseboards and moldings.

If you are installing or repairing a stairway, there are all sorts of things to consider; tread depth and width, banisters and rails. And if you have a fireplace you will need to make decisions on; chimney, flue, material finish, mantle and so on.

Are you are making changes to the curb appeal? You might want to consider: Awnings, front doors and hardware, mail boxes, address numbers, driveway and finish, garage doors, fences, gates, stucco or siding, roofing landscaping and lighting.

Of course, if you are doing a complete remodel, addition or building a new home, you may need to spec these items: air conditioning and heating systems, foundations, insulation, plumbing pipes, electrical receptacles and switches, water heaters, drywall, wall textures, and windows.

Visit showrooms, read construction trade magazines, and visit manufacturers websites. During your research, decide what level of quality you will be happy with and know what it costs. Request brochures, product information, even installation specs. Get samples - down the road these samples will assure you that you are getting what you paid for. In the end, you will have made informed decisions regarding building materials and products.

Construction specifications should include all supplies to be used, all services rendered and all terms and conditions to be abided by. Owner specs should be part of every contract before it is signed. Both the owner and the contractor should agree to these specs and confirm with a dated and signed contract.