How to Do Construction Submittals

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Construction submittals are documents submitted by the contractor to the architect for his approval for use in a project. They include: product cut sheets identifying manufacturer, model number and manufacturer's specifications; shop drawings identifying detailed dimensions and installation requirements; color and finish selections identified by manufacturers' color charts and finished product components. Construction submittals can eliminate misunderstandings and mistakes in project specification and assist in project coordination.

Identify a standard letter of transmittal or cover letter to accompany construction submittals. Architects who are members of the American Institute of Architects often request G810-2001, called a "Transmittal Letter."

Determine how transmittal records will be kept. AIA Document G712-1972, "Shop Drawing and Sample Record," is the industry standard. The contractor and architect should maintain duplicates of this form, so that both parties can monitor progress.

Make a list all project components that will require construction submittals. The architect usually provides a list in the project specifications. If shop drawing submissions are required, identify them as a separate line item. They will require additional time for preparation.

Schedule the submissions and their required approval dates. Allow time for necessary corrections so that the submission process does not delay the project.

Maintain a record of the architect's approval signatures to resolve possible misunderstandings. An approval signature leaves no room for question.

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