273. Every specification should be preceded by the general conditions governing all contractors. These may advantageously be printed on a separate sheet and used as a cover to the written specification, and should not be repeated in the latter.
The general conditions used by different architects vary more or less, according to the experience of the architect. Legal provisions relating more particularly to the carrying out of the contract are sometimes included in the specifications, but it seems best to incorporate them into the contract only.
The following form has been used by the author for a number of years with satisfactory results :
General Conditions: - The contractor is to give his personal superintendence and direction to the work, keeping, also, a competent foreman constantly on the ground. He is to provide all labor, transportation, materials, apparatus, scaffolding and utensils necessary for the complete and substantial execution of everything described, shown or reasonably implied in the drawings and specifications as belonging to the work included in his contract.
All material and workmanship to be of the best quality throughout.
The contractor must carefully lay out his work and be responsible for any mis-takes he may make, and any injury to others resulting from them.
Where no figures or memoranda are given, the drawings shall be accurately followed according to their scale; but figures or memoranda are to be preferred to the scale in all cases of difference.
In any and all cases of discrepancy in figures, the matter shall be immediately submitted to the architect for his decision, and without such decision said discrepancy shall not be adjusted by the contractor save and only at his own risk ; and in the settlement of any complications arising from such adjustment, the contractor shall bear all the extra expense involved.
The plans and these specifications are to be considered co-operative; and all works necessary to the completion of the design, drawn on the plans, and not described herein, and all works described herein and not drawn on the plans, are to be considered a portion of the contract, and must be executed in a thorough manner, with the best of materials, the same as if fully specified.
The architect will supply full-size drawings of all details, and any work constructed without such drawings, or not in accordance with them, must be taken down and replaced at the contractor's expense.
Any material delivered or work erected not in accordance with the plans and these specifications must be removed at the contractor's expense and replaced with other material or work, satisfactory to the architect, at any time during the progress of the work. Or in case the nature of the defects shall be such that it is not expedient to have it corrected, the architect shall have the right to deduct such sums of money as he considers a proper equivalent for the difference in the value of the materials or work from that specified, or the damage to the building, from the amount due the contractor on the final settlement of the accounts.
The contractor will provide proper and sufficient safeguards and protection against the occurrence of any accidents, injuries, damages or hurt to any person or property during the progress of the work, and shall be alone responsible, and not the owner or the architect, who will not in any manner be answerable for any loss or damage that may happen to the work, or any part thereof, or for any of the materials or tools used and employed in finishing and completing the work.
The contractor must produce, when called upon by the architect, vouchers from the sub-contractors to show that the work is being paid for as it proceeds.
Every facility must be given the architect for inspecting the building in safety, such as ladders, scaffolding and gangways, and provision to be made to the architect's satisfaction for protection from falling materials.
The drawings are the property of the architect and must be returned to him before the final payment is made.
The contractor is to keep the building at all times free from rubbish and shavings, and on completion to remove all rubbish and waste material caused by any operations under his charge, clean up the house and grounds, and leave the work perfect in every respect.
If the contractor is to pay for insurance on the building it should be so stated in the specifications and also incorporated in the contract.