When designing a commercial space like a mall or an individual store, your specifications play a number of vital roles:

  1. They communicate your vision to project managers and contractors.
  2. They help estimators keep track of costs.
  3. They help get the bidding process started by listing preferred and/or acceptable suppliers.
  4. They provide legal protection in case contractors try to substitute inferior quality solutions.

While not as detailed as final architectural drawings, it’s critical that they’re correct. With that in mind, it’s surprising how often we get problematic specifications.

The good news is that we have a number of resources available for architects, engineers and designers that can help you avoid inconvenience and delay. If all else fails, our customer service department is available to help.

Here are the most common problems we see with the specifications we receive.

1. Out of Date Specifications

This is the single most common problem we see. MasterFormat is updated surprisingly frequently, with some of the most recent overhauls in 2010, 2012, 2014 and even a new version for 2016. While the guide isn’t prohibitively expensive, it seems the changes are happening fast enough to confuse some people who are in the habit of using their old sources.

Solution: Stay Current with EasySpec

Our online EasySpec specifications could not be friendlier. Simply choose the product you want, then choose your desired options from the menus (custom options require architectural drawings). Once you’re done, click on the “Generate Drawings” button at the very bottom. The most current specifications are also available in Word and PDF formats.

2. Imaginary Customizations

While we fully support (and even enjoy) working on custom products, we do occasionally see some modifications that can’t be realized. These include gauges of aluminum that just don’t exist and curve radii specifications that use the inverse number.

How to Measure the Angle of a Curve

The correct angle is on the inside of the curve, and shows deviation from a 180° straight line.

Solution: Ask for a Specs Review

We’re always happy to review your specifications in advance to ensure everything is current and correctly described. Again, this will save you delays and embarrassment if problems surface during the bidding process or even later in the project.

There are a variety of ways to contact our friendly customer service department, and we’re always happy to help.

Convenient Architect Resources

We offer a variety of easy to use tools that help you get it done right and get it done faster. From downloadable CAD objects to entire continuing education courses, you’ll find a wealth of resources that will make it easier to plan your designs effectively.

Visit our Architects’ Corner