We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Construction Specifications?

By Ken Black
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Construction specifications, or construction specs for short, are documents that instruct contractors what needs to be done at a construction site. They are available for review before a contractor bids on a project, and are often relied upon by the contractor in order to provide an accurate quote. While the specifications may not address all issues that will come up, the goal is to cover as much as possible. In the event that unexpected issues arise, they may outline how to deal with them, either through change orders, or consultation with the owner or architect.

Construction specifications will usually provide a number of lists as well, including the materials that are to be used, where they are to be used, and how much should be used. Contractors who disagree with the specs need to consult with the architect before bidding. If the contractor does not feel the job can be done with the materials specified, the best option is to avoid bidding. The other option is to ask that the construction specifications be amended to allow the use of alternate materials.

Construction specifications will also usually provide a time by which the project should be completed. It will also on time, or at least finish by the deadline. This will likely be the major factor in determining whether an interested contractor bids on a project. Those without the staff to handle the time constraints, or who have other conflicting projects, may decide they cannot do the job.

The scope of the work will also be set forth by the construction specifications. If there is any demolition or excavation, for example, that may be handled in the main specifications, or possibly by a completely different set of construction documents. Any electrical or plumbing work needed will also be included in the specifications. In some cases, this may be bid on separately, depending on the type of project being done. In other cases, it may be the responsibility of the general contractor to hire subcontractors for this work.

To help formulate uniform construction standards, the Construction Specifications Institute was formed. This group works to come up with a single standard for style and format, depending on the type of specifications needed. It also offers certifications for those who write and manage such specifications. The Institutes's main goal is to improve the quality of the building life cycle, hopefully leading to higher quality projects.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon76483 — On Apr 10, 2010

The spec can be changed only by a formal change to the Contract for Construction. It could be a change by ASI, Architect's Supplemental Instructions (if there's no cost associated with the change), or by Change Order (if there is a cost associated with the change).

By garyprice — On Jun 11, 2009

How is it that a spec can be changed after a bid? An example would be the requirement of an AISC certified fabricator per specs and then after bid choosing a non certified fabricator.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.