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.
As a general thing, the only object the contractor has in mind in taking the work is the pecuniary profit to himself in the transaction. It is rarely that satisfactory results can be obtained from a man who is losing money; generally he so manages that the owner is as great a loser, and the architect is blamed for the losses of both.
While the contractor is under obligations, after taking the contract, to carry out the work "as directed," it is well to remember that his assumption of the contract was a purely voluntary act on his part, and that he was under no obligation to take it. It is his right to know, before he puts in his bid, just what he is expected to furnish and to do, and not to be left to furnish what in the judgment of some one not interested in him are materials of "best quality" or "good quality." Nothing will so much tend to draw from him the best results, as to feel the sentiment of co-operation before referred to on the part of the owner and the architect.