Why use a specification?

Why use a specification?

The purpose of a specification.

The main purpose of a specification is to provide sufficient descriptive information about the project including the quality of materials and workmanship.  This information together with the completed drawings provide the necessary information for a contractor to realistically price the work and subsequently build the project to the standard required.

For the client:

  • The information enables them to obtain like for like quotations ensuring all tendering parties are quoting for the work described rather than based upon their interpretation of the drawing.
  • Ensures the client will get best value of the job.
  • Conveys best practice ensuring the site will be kept tidy, that the storage areas will be placed where they cause minimal disturbance.
  • Protects clients from added extras that were missed out from the costs because the scope of works was not clearly defined.
  • Should there be a disagreement over the building of the garden the methodology can be tested against the specification and if the contractor or designer are at fault there is course for address.


For the designer:

  • The specification provides the opportunity to convey information that could not be shown within the drawings alone.
  • Ensures the contractor and client have all the information to make and receive accurate costs for the project.
  • Ensures the project will be built in an approved manner following best practice.


For the Contractor

  • Accurate costs for the project can be determined as the information is available supporting the drawings.
  • Provides a fair quotation framework ensuring the prices can be compared.
  • Prevents competitors undercutting their quote by using inferior materials or omitting elements to secure the work.
  • Protects the contractor by detailing all elements and materials required.


From whatever side of the fence you site be it as the designer, contractor or client a specification is a must for most projects.  External Designs has recently invested in a detailed specification model and will be urging clients to consider the fee as an essential part of their projects costs.

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