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Writing an Effective Construction Request for Information Part 1

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Construction projects are complex, and in order to be completed successfully, every moving piece must be working in sync. Construction professionals require a communication tool that will keep projects moving along in the most cost-effective and time-efficient manner. A Request for Information (RFI) is one of the keys to accomplishing this goal. In this two-part series, our Memphis construction attorneys will provide tips to help you write more effective RFIs.

What is an RFI?

There are various “Requests” in construction. In addition to the RFI, there are Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ), and Request for Tender (RFT). In this article we will focus on RFI.

The initial construction documents such as the contract agreement, drawings, and specification may not adequately address every project matter. An RFI is commonly used by contractors when clarification is needed. For example, a subcontractor may need clarification from the general contractor for their specific work. The RFI helps the contractor to gather the necessary information from the construction, design, or engineering team to further flesh out project details.

Well-written RFIs enable all contractors to resolve missing details or ambiguities early in the construction process to eliminate the need for costly corrective measures.

What is in the RFI?

An RFI will include information that is specific to the construction project. RFIs should be categorized as a substitution or modification, clarification or additional information, or construction deficiency. The following elements could potentially be included in the construction RFI:

Bidding Phase: The RFI should include a reference to the particular specification, identification of the clarification needed, and the impact the clarification will have on the schedule.

Construction Phase: The RFI should include identification of the deficiency or contract document clarification, reference to the specification, and the impact the clarification will have on the schedule.

RFIs can be used to facilitate communication and expedite decision-making. Efficiency is achieved by ensuring that RFIs follow the same basic format and flow of information.

In part two or our series, we will provide some tips for writing RFIs.

If you would like to speak with a Memphis construction attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.