An agreement, general conditions, drawings, specifications and other documents comprise a typical construction contract. General conditions define each contracting party’s duties and privileges, and the rules by which they are to meet obligations and perform the work they agreed upon.
General conditions provide the legal framework for the construction contract and promote fairness among all contracting parties. When referenced in other owner and contractor sub-agreements, they maintain vital order and consistency.
General conditions detail the rights, responsibilities and relationships of the owner, contractor and prime architect or engineer who will be working with both parties throughout construction.
These conditions stipulate rules regarding subcontractors, changes, time, payments, completion, protection of persons and property, insurance, bonds, correction, termination, suspension, claims and disputes.
Supplementary conditions may revise or add to the general conditions and supersede them.
Various architecture, engineering and construction industry associations offer standardized general conditions documents, which can be used in many projects and construction methods. Owners who regularly or repeatedly contract for construction services typically use their own customized, proprietary documents.
A construction project’s technical specifications stipulate the administrative requirements of the general and supplementary conditions.
Since 1988, Diana Faustmann has been writing on technology, business and culture. Her articles have appeared in various print publications, corporate websites and authoritative online sites. Faustmann holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of the Philippines.