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
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:
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
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
| SPRAYFOAM PROFESSIONAL 59
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SPRAYFOAM Professional - Spring 2016
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S CORNER
FOAM BUSINESS NEWS
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
ASK THE EXPERT – How to Write Clear Contracts
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS | ADVERTISERS.COM
SPRAYFOAM Professional - Spring 2016