This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Statutes often require plans and specifications of the work to be done to be prepared before contracts are let therefor. The object of this is usually to enable competing contractors to know exactly what they are to bid on.1 Specifications must therefore be reasonably clear and free from ambiguity.3 Under such statutes a statement of the location and capacity of a garbage crematory is insufficient, as without plans it is impossible to say who is the lowest bidder.3 So a notice for bids for collecting garbage, the bidders to submit their own plans as to the method of disposing of it is insufficient.4 So it is insufficient where the plans but not the location of a court house are submitted to the judges.5 A contract is invalid where the proposals are less advantageous to the city than the specifications.6
11 California, etc., Co. v. Moran, 128 Cal. 373; 60 Pac. 969.
12 Warren v. Boston, 181 Mass. 6; 62 N. E. 951.
13 Johnson v. Rock Hill, 57 S. C. 371; 35 S. E. 568.
14 Commissioners v. Heating Co., 128 Ind. 240; 12 L. R. A. 502; 27 N. E. 612.
15 Brady v. Mayor, etc.. of New York. 112 N. Y. 480; 2 L. R. A. 751; 20 N. E. 390.
16 Newport News v. Potter. 122 Fed. 321 : 58 C. C. A. 483.
1 Ertle v. Leary, 114 Cal. 238; 46 Pac. 1; Andrews v. Ada Co., 7 Ida. 453; 63 Pac. 592; Wells v. Burn-ham, 20 Wis. 112; Kneeland v. Furlong, 20 Wis. 437.
2 Piedmont Paving Co. v. Allmar, 136 Cal. 88; 68 Pac. 493.
3 Ricketson v. Milwaukee, 1G5 Wis. 591; 47 L. R. A. 685; 81 N. W. 864.
4 Packard v. Hayes, 94 Md. 233; 51 Atl. 32.