Contractor claims for extra costs resulting from Defective Contract Documents are very common. Holloway’s experience is that there are basically two categories of defective contract documents:

1. Impossible plans and specifications; and,
2. Defective plans and specifications.

Contract plans and specifications are considered impossible when they impose unattainable or impossible requirements upon the contractor, even though the unattainable requirements may ultimately be relaxed to permit performance. Such documents need not be impossible in a literal or physical sense; it is enough that, within the context of the contract, they are practically impossible or commercially impractical, or make consistent results impossible.

One of the primary elements of Holloway’s work over the past 20+ years is the analysis and opinion as to whether documents are defective because of:

1. Design Errors and Omissions,
3. Incompleteness,
4. Inadequate details or descriptions,
5. Conflicts,
6. Incompatibility or inconsistency,
7. Insufficient legibility or coordination to permit satisfactory construction,
8. Un-usability, with normal production methods, of the particular materials and procedures specified,
9. Commercial unavailability of a specified item, or
10. Misleading provisions.

The issuance of an unusually large number or dollar amount of change orders may suggest that the plans and specifications were faulty and not based upon a fully conceived or developed design. However, change orders are a part of most projects and are not, in and of themselves, necessarily representative of a defective design or one that does not meet the design professional’s standard of care. This is typically the subject of our expert work.

We invite you to review an article that Mr. Holloway wrote for Wiley Law and Aspen Publishers on Contract Documents That Lead To Changes, Change Orders, and Disputes.


J. Steve Holloway, GC
The Holloway Consulting Group, LLC
10885 W. Beloit Pl.
Lakewood, CO 80227
Tel: (303) 984-1941

We're sorry, but comments are closed.

Leave your comment: