Metal Roofing and Wall Panel – Helpful Tips for Assisting in the Specification Writing Process

An architectural firm is being asked to put together a competitive bid specification for a project that includes a standing seam metal roof or metal wall panels. The on-staff designers are not necessarily familiar with all the different metal roof and wall panel products available in the marketplace. But the owner has a tight deadline to produce drawings, written specifications and pricing and the architect has to get the work done quickly.

Architect reviewing project blueprint.Meanwhile, there are only days to complete the process if the architect is going to submit designs and specifications on time. Even under these circumstances, if a designer is going to go to the manufacturer for details and product usage information, there are a number of guidelines they can follow that will make the process easier and faster and make sure they get timely, useful information so the specifications are clear and easy to follow—the first time around.

Here are some tips to architects from our company’s product solutions staff which includes seasoned estimators, spec writers and architects.

Make the Construction Specification Institute’s Project Resource Manual required reading for specification writing.  This is the “spec writer’s  bible” by the only organization in the U.S. that has comprehensively considered the entire practice of specification writing for construction, including urging people to follow the four golden rules of specifying —be clear, concise, correct and complete.  This book contains CSI’s recommended practices for specification preparation, bidding and negotiating, and contract administration. There are definitions of terminology, descriptions of typical procedures, and examples of unusual situations.If both drawings and written specifications are being submitted, make sure the specification is noted in one document or the other. They should provide it in the written content or on the drawing to avoid conflicts and discrepancies.

Be explicit about the roofing profile or type of wall panel that is being specified. Our product solutions team reports that it’s not uncommon to see three different kinds of wall panel specified in the same section on the same project.

When specifying, try to avoid terms like “as allowed”, “as approved” or “as directed.” These are often referred to as ”Fake Specs” and result when specific product selections have not been made by the design team. When a project goes out to bid or for pricing, the design team has worked for months or years, while the contractor or estimator will only have weeks to understand and price the project.

At computer working on project drawings.Make your best supposition, for example, “70 percent Kynar 500 PVDF in silver metallic color range”. Even better, start with the manufacturer’s specifications or ARCAT SpecWizards’ and make the major choices presented.  The designer can still make other choices, but the cost and schedule impact will be based on what was specified and not a “fake spec”.

Something similar to this happens when the architect is only paid to do a certain job—i.e. specifications are only written on the drawing but the complimentary written specification has not been requested. And because of the dollars involved, the keynote on the drawing may not have any more detail than the simple statement—standing seam panel only.

This could undoubtedly lead to changes at some point in the submittal process when information like Clip edge, flashing, clip spacing, the kinds of clips and the kinds of screws are needed.

If the architect is encouraged to produce and, the contractor then has at his disposal a complete set of contract documents both written and drawings, the owner will get a better product in the end. For example, if the architect puts grid lines on the elevations of a roof, a lot of time can be saved choosing the right product, its correct amount and where precisely it will go. There is no flopping back and forth. It helps the contractor interpret the document making work go faster if the architect provides additional instruction.

On the other hand, less specification is sometimes done deliberately because it doesn’t lock the builder in and the builder can consequently use a cheaper product.

One more note. Don’t hesitate to ask the roofing or wall product manufacturer for in-depth help. Ask for details. Question whether the manufacturer’s in-house staff can quickly provide shop drawings and design calculations.

Remember, the looser the specification the higher ultimately will be the pricing for labor and materials and the more likely the chance of construction conflicts resulting in change orders.

Free Englert Roofing Mobile App Download:

Easy access to all Englert brochures and catalogs, a color selector for both roofing and gutter colors, standing seam metal roof panel profiles, and a convenient coil calculator to assist in estimating and completing your particular project.

Copyright 2018 - Englert Inc. - All rights reserved - Designed and Developed - Sitemap - Terms & Privacy