This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
It sometimes happens that the details in the plans do not agree with the specifications prepared by the architect to go with the plans, or the small scale drawings do not agree with the detail drawings. "When this occurs it is necessary to determine which - the plans or specifications, the small scale drawings or the detail drawings - shall prevail. This question arises most frequently after work has been performed according to the plans or specifications, the small scale drawings or the detail drawings, and the other side claims the work does not conform to the provisions of the contract, relying on conflicting provisions elsewhere. Then it becomes necessary to determine which is controlling. "Where there is a discrepancy between the drawings and specifications, or between the small scale drawings and the detail drawings, there is some conflict as to what the order of preference should be. The more general rule, however, is that specifications take precedence over drawings and detail drawings over small scale drawings. . This rule must of course give way where in any contract the provisions indicate a contrary intention. Where there a discrepancy between two sets of drawings of equal importance it seems well settled that the contractor is bound only by that set which he has seen and on which he has based his estimates. Where the discrepancy is between two different clauses in the specifications the facts of the case control; the question is decided on common sense rather than on technical reasoning.
The greatest care should be taken to avoid such questions.