SPRAYFOAM Professional - Spring 2016 - (Page 59)

ASK THE EXPERT HOW TO WRITE CLEAR CONTRACTS BY SPFA'S CONSULTANT COMMITTEE: MASON KNOWLES, ROGER MORRISON, PHIL ROBARGE, JOHN HATFIELD, ROBB G. SMITH, HENRI FENNELL S PFA gets calls regularly from customers, designers, architects and others looking for straight answers to their questions on SPF. Our panel of experts recently addressed this topic: Q uestion? How can I write my proposals so that I don't get into arguments with my customer over SPF thickness measurements? When contracting to provide a specified thickness of SPF, it is always better to arrive at a meeting of the minds before you pull the trigger than dispute the issue after the application. Proposals themselves can plant the seeds of confusion or clarity with just the lack of or addition of a few words or a key phrase. Here are examples of vague proposal language, which often will result in after-application disputes: 1. Thickness (only): Proposals that read "...spray a 2-inch thickness of SPF..." or "...spray 2 inches of SPF..." are bound to result in arguments. You, as a contractor, may be intending that 2 inches to be an average with some leeway for texture and tapering but your customer (and, in all likelihood, their consultant) will interpret this to mean "2 inches minimum." The wording, "2 inches minimum," means that a spot with 1¾ inches of SPF is a defect that will need to be addressed. 2. Nominal thickness: Some contractors will propose spraying "a nominal 2-inch thickness" or "nominally 2 inches of SPF." The problem with the word "nominal" is that it has no specific meaning and is completely open to interpretation. Arguments are bound to occur. 3. Minimum thickness: "Minimum thickness" means just that. Anything less than that minimum is a defect. If that is your intent, specifying minimum thickness is acceptable but you had best avoid spraying anything less than that. 4. Thickness Range: A proposal that states "thickness will be between 1½ inches and 2½ inches" can mean an "average of 2 inches" or "1½ inches minimum." Thickness ranges are confusing. 5. Average thickness: The nice thing about the word "average" is that it has a mathematical meaning and can be measured and verified. The bad thing about "average" is that a "2-inch average thickness" can have areas of 1/8 inch of SPF and still be acceptable. 6. Average with tolerances: Examples include: "2 inches plus or minus ½ inch" or "average 2 inches, minimum 1¾ inches, maximum 3 inches." The problem with tolerances is the maximum thickness. Lacking some unusual circumstance (an example would be a stud cavity where gypsum wallboard is to be installed over the SPF), thicker SPF is usually not a problem; specifying a maximum only leads to additional misunderstandings and disputes. Best proposals qualify "average thickness" with minimums, disclaimers or clarifiers. 1. Average with minimum(s): Proposals which read "...SPF to be applied at a thickness of 2 inches average, 1¾ inches minimum..." are clear and can be accurately measured and verified. A thickness of 1¾ inch is no longer a defect (provided, of course, the average is at least 2 inches). 2. Average with disclaimers: Some projects are inherently complex where exact thickness cannot be assured before the fact or where www.sprayfoam.org | SPRAYFOAM PROFESSIONAL 59 http://www.sprayfoam.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SPRAYFOAM Professional - Spring 2016

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S CORNER
PRESIDENT’S POST
FOAM BUSINESS NEWS
SPFA TODAY
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
KEYNOTE SPEAKER – RICHARD R. RAWLINGS
OSHA STANDARD FOR CONFINED SPACES:
SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION: TRANSPARENCY AND CHOICE
INDUSTRY’S CHALLENGES SHAPE OUR EVOLUTION
SPF RESEARCH ON AIR QUALITY – PART 2
NEW CONSTRUCTION NEEDS OPEN DOORS FOR SPF INDUSTRY
TOP TRUCKS FOR SPF CONTRACTORS
BEHIND THE FOAM
2015 SPFA CONTRACTOR AWARDS
SPEAKING SENSIBLY
ABAA NEWS
ASK THE EXPERT – How to Write Clear Contracts
UPCOMING EVENTS
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS | ADVERTISERS.COM

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