Introductory

Introductory 5

THE contract for plumbing work in a building usually stipulates that the work shall be done according to the plans and specifications. This condition makes the plans and specifications as much a part of the contract as though they were embodied in the indenture itself, and in order that no after dispute shall arise as to the true intent and meaning of the work to be performed, or material to be provided, the plans and specifications should be so complete and full that they will cover every requirement; and so clear, concise and plain that they can be readily understood by a person of average intelligence having a reasonable knowledge of the plumbing business. In order to prepare a good plan and write the specifications, it is necessary for the designer to understand plumbing practice in all its phases. Further, he must have a full knowledge of the various materials and fixtures suitable for this branch of building, together with their advantages and limitations. It is assumed that he is familiar with the various systems in vogue and can properly proportion drainage systems, water supply and other pipes, systems and apparatus, used in plumbing.

The advantages of having well-prepared plumbing plans and specifications are sevenfold. There are many men of financial responsibility engaged in the plumbing business who do not possess sufficient skill and knowledge to properly lay out a system; and, unless the plans are full and complete, and the specifications explicit, these men cannot intelligently estimate on the work; consequently, they will either refuse to figure the cost or will estimate so high as to be out of the contest. If, on the other hand, the plans and specifications are so well prepared that nothing is left to conjecture which can be shown, described, or explained, the architect and owner will have the benefit of responsible competition and will secure a better installation; for it is to be presumed that a person skilled in laying out plumbing systems and writing the specifications will prepare a better and more nearly complete layout than will a contractor who seldom is called upon to lay out his own work, and then only on small installations. Furthermore, by carefully studying the plans and then laying out the plumbing work on separate sheets, the very best runs, with the use of the least possible material, can be planned with a considerable saving in the cost of the installation; and so fully can the work be laid out that there will be a noticeable absence of the vexatious "extras" which every-good architect tries to avoid. This in turn rebounds to the credit of the architect, whose best means of advertising is through pleased and satisfied clients.

Another valuable feature of full and complete plumbing plans lies in their usefulness for future reference in case of alterations or repairs to the plumbing work in the building.