Construction forms are necessary since they provide a detailed history of the construction process from the planning stage up to the completion stage. The contents of these documents highlight the decisions and activities that together comprised the construction process. Therefore, when properly prepared, these documents provide an accurate history of construction projects. In essence therefore, construction documents facilitate monitoring and evaluation of construction projects. In addition, they can be used as evidence when disputes and litigations arise (Hyland, 2005, p.68).
2.1 Application for payment
2.1.1 Explanation of the Form
Once in the construction phase, contractors can request for payment from the owner by preparing the application for payment form (Demkin, 2008, pp.588-589).
2.1.2 Information required in the form
Information pertaining to stored materials, that is, those materials required for the successful performance and subsequent completion of the work must be filled in this form. In addition, the contractor must include representations of the work; the contractor includes a representation stating that the work cited in the application is not only completed but adheres to the contract documents. Representations also indicate whether the contractor has distributed previous payments to the appropriate subcontractors and that the proposed payments at the time are due. The contractor is required to either sign or notarize the representation. Further, the form contains a summary of any change orders, the amount that the contractor projects will be required for the successful completion of the project as well as the sum amount for retainage for the already completed work and stored materials (Demkin, 2008, pp.588-589).
2.1.3 Parties that fill the form and how it’s routed
The form is prepared by the contractor following which it’s given to the architect who compares the details filled by the contractor in the form with the amount of work completed as well as the stored materials observed. The architect then certifies a sum that he or she believes to be appropriate to compensate the contractor by preparing a certificate of payment. In essence therefore, application for payment and certificate for payment are presented as a dual form to the owner by the architect who then reimburses the contractor accordingly (Demkin, 2008, pp.588-589).
2.1.4 Miscellaneous notes learnt while researching the form
These include continuation sheets which are used to list the planned values for the proposed work. The contractor also prepares a warranty that is presented together with the application for payment to the architect and subsequently the owner in which he or she indicates that materials cited in the application for payment are new, work to be reimbursed adheres to the requirements in the contract documents and is defect free. Certificates of payment as previously mentioned are prepared by the architect for clarification purposes. In this particular document the architect certifies that the works cited in the application for payment by the contractor have actually progressed as indicated and that the work conforms to the requirements in the contract documents (Demkin, 2008, pp.588-589).
3.1 Substantial completion
3.1.1 Explanation of the form
It is a document that certifies that the work or a designated portion of the work is sufficiently complete, that is, it conforms to the requirements in the contract documents and hence can be used for its intended purpose. It is prepared in the substantial completion stage of construction phase (Demkin, 2008, p.590).
3.1.2 Parties that fill out the from and how it is routed
The certificate is prepared by the architect after he or she has made two inspection visits to the project site when it nears its completion phase. The certificate of substantial completion is signed by the three members of the construction team, that is, the owner, contractor and architect (Demkin, 2008, p.590).
3.1.2 Miscellaneous notes learnt when researching the form
The architect when preparing the certificate must also include details relating to the date and notes denting the owner’s acceptance of any work that does not conform to the contract requirements. A punch list prepared either by the contractor or the architect in consultation with the contractor is normally attached to the certificate of substantial completion. It comprises of a list denoting the items that are to be completed or corrected before the project can be finally closed out (Demkin, 2008, p.590).
4.1 Lien waiver
4.1.1 Explanation of the form
It’s a document in which general contractors and subcontractors declare in writing that they have released their right to place and subsequently enforce a lien on the owner’s property. Normally, the contractor exchanges the lien waiver for payments. However, if the owner fails to pay the contractors for work performed, they have a right to invoke the lien waiver. Lien waivers are submitted by the general and subcontractors together with their application for payment form during the construction phase and it protects the owner from having to make extra payments or double costs for materials, labor and services. In this application therefore, the contractor signifies that the previous reimbursements received had been appropriately used to cater for all expenses in regard to labor, materials and equipment used in the period covered by that specific payment. A valid lien waiver is one which is signed by the potential lien claimant. In addition, delivery of a signed lien waiver to the owner validates the lien waiver. Conversely, contractors never prepare nor append their signatures to lien waivers that release their rights over work that is yet to be completed. As such, they must clearly specify the work to which the lien waiver is applicable (Hyland, 2005, p.68).
4.1.2 Parties who fill the form and how it’s routed
Once a subcontractor fills out the form, it is recommended that he or she delivers it to the general contractor who holds it in trust until the owner disburses their payments following which the general contractor delivers them to the owner (Hyland, 2005, p.68).
4.1.3 Legalities implications associated with a lien waiver
A lien waiver has very severe legal ramifications for both the contactors as well as the owner. By enforcing a lien waiver, a contractor makes a claim against the owner’s property. On the other hand, delivery of lien waivers to the owner prior to payment validates the lien waiver. Moreover, any ambiguities pertaining to the lien rights that the contractor wants to waive are normally interpreted against the contactor. The contractor therefore ends up losing his lien rights in both cases (Hyland, 2005, p.68).
5.1.1 Explanation of the form
This is a letter used to pass drawings, specifications, architectural and engineering sketches from subcontractor to the general contractor or the architect. Copies of the transmittal form may be sent to the owner if the information contained in the form is important for the owner to know (Levy, 2010, p.176).
5.1.2 Information contained in the form
It contains details pertaining to the date the transmission was sent, who sent it, detailed descriptions of all the documents in the package, description of the action required as well as a remarks section (Levy, 2010, p.176).
6.1 Field report
6.1.1 Explanation of the form
This is a written summary of the work which is prepared periodically by the architect or by his field representative after a field visit. It’s prepared for the purpose of maintaining a concise record of the work progress (McCarthy, 2007, p.70).
6.1.2 Information needed in the form
Information contained in field reports include work progress, notes regarding the acceptability of the completed work so far, specific details on certain aspects of the project like masonry and comparison of proposed schedule to actual work performance. Moreover, the field reports are also vital in the communication of potential and any new problems that may arise to the owner (McCarthy, 2007, p.70).
6.1.3 Parties who fill the form and how it’s routed
After preparing the form, the architect presents it to the owner for review and so as to keep him up to date with the progress on the project. Field reports are utilized during the construction phase. The information contained in the form is vital since it keeps the owner abreast with the progress of his or her project (McCarthy, 2007, p.70).
Field reports are crucial in resolving disputes on work progress between the owner and the contractor. The function of the architecture during field visits must also be clearly described to avoid disputes that may arise. The architects function may be to “observe” or to “inspect” (McCarthy, 2007, p.70).
7.1 Change order
7.1.1 Explanation of the form
This particular form is used to record any changes made to the original contract documents after the signing of the contract has already been done regardless of who initiates the change. They are prepared during the construction phase (Demkin, 2008, p.590).
7.1.2 Information required in the form
The contents of the form entail instructions to the contractor to make the certain adjustments also cited in the form to the project. As such, information contained in change orders may include details on variables like allowances, changes in construction directives, notes of any owner acceptance of nonconforming work and extensions of the 1 year correction period for any works not performed or corrected until after the substantial completion (Demkin, 2008, p.590).
7.1.3 Parties who fill out the form and how it’s routed
Changes in the original contract that necessitate a change order may result from changes made to the already issued construction drawings instituted by the design team. Alternatively, owners may initiate the changes if they are not satisfied with any aspect of the project. Architects on the other hand must prepare a change order whenever they make changes that impact on the cost and planned time of the project. Change orders are addressed to the contractor. They are filed by all parties in the file termed the change order file. A change order must be signed by all the members of the construction team that is, the owner, architect and contractor regardless of who initiated the change (Demkin, 2008, p.590).
7.1.4 Legalities associated with change orders
The owner can use change orders to make a claim against the architect for not carefully evaluating the cost of the project and hence making the owner incur extra costs (Demkin, 2008, p.590).
8.1 RFI (request for information)
8.1.1 Explanation of an RFI
An RFI is a form that is generated by the contractor and addressed to the architect or other parties. It’s used to seek clarifications in regard to certain issues contained in the contract documents that are not clear or seem defective to the contractor and/ or subcontractors. It’s normally prepared during the design phase or the early stages of construction phase (O’Brien, 1998, p.57).
8.1.2 Information needed in the form
The form’s header generally contains the name of the contractor and the name of the specific project. It also details pertaining to the RFI number since they are usually numbered consecutively, date the RFI was written, a specification and drawing section , the subject and a space in which the contractor writes his/her request for information. It is filed by the architect who responds to the RFI. The information contained in the RFI forms is essential since it indicates that the contractor brought to the attention of the architect as well as the owner that problems existed in the project plan (O’Brien, 1998, p.57).
8.1.3 Parties who fill the form and how it’s routed
The form is prepared by the contractor and is addressed to the architect. Copies of the form are filled by both parties (O’Brien, 1998, p.57).
8.1.4 Legalities associated with RFIs
The contractor can quote the number of RFIs in claiming that the project has or had been poorly managed. Details on the dates in particular are useful in disputes as well as litigation cases since they indicate whether the architect was prompt in addressing concerns raised by the contractor (O’Brien, 1998, p.57).
9.1 Bid ref. sheet
It’s a sheet in which the contractor provides details of projects that he or she has worked on and successfully completed, the contact details of contented customers as well as those of his/her business contacts or associations. It’s a document prepared by the contractor and delivered together with the bid proposal as well as a cover letter to the owner or his representatives. It’s prepared during the bidding phase of the construction project.
10.1 Bid form
10.1.1 Explanation of the form
It’s a form that is that has blank lines for the contractor to record the numerous price assumptions for individual portions of the project used at arriving at his or her quoted price of the project. Bid forms are available in several formats depending on the state and jurisdiction of the construction project. The essence of the bid from lies in its ability to provide a uniform presentation of the projected costs of the project. It’s used during the bidding phase (Kelleher et al., 2010, p.546).
10.1.2 Information needed on the form
Details captured in the form include estimates of quantities of materials to be used as well as a tally of subcontractor quotations. The vitality of this information cannot be over-emphasized because it is crucial in the establishment of a baseline for the budget of the project (Kelleher et al., 2010, p.546).
10.1.3 Parties who fill the form and how it’s routed
The bid form is prepared by the architect and the owner and issued to bidders who fill in the required information. They are then returned to the owner so that he can select a contactor from the bidders who participated in the bidding process (Kelleher et al., 2010, p.546).
10.1.4 Legalities associated with the form
Bid forms are useful in instances where the contractor wants to make claims for additional compensation. Moreover, they can be used to aid in the establishment of the contractor’s original understanding and interpretation of contract documents incase disputes arise during the construction phase (Kelleher et al., 2010, p.546).
Different construction forms are utilized during the various phases of a construction project. However, the overall importance for the various forms is to facilitate the process of project monitoring and evaluation as well as to serve as evidence in case of disputes and litigations.
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John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
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Federal Government Construction Contracts: A Practical Guide for the Industry
Professional. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
4. Levy, S.M. (2010). Construction Process Planning and Management: An Owner's Guide
to Successful. Massachusetts: ELSEVIER Inc.
5. McCarthy, R.C. (2007). Managing your library construction project: a step-by-step guide.
USA: Highsmith Press.
6. O'Brien, J.J. (1998). Construction Change Orders: Impact, Avoidance, Documentation.
New York: McGraw-Hill Companies.