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The Perils of Substitutions

While you may have spent years developing a reliable specification based on research and product performance to be sure your work is exemplary, you may be asked to review proposed product substitutions with which you have limited knowledge or experience. Since you may be perceived as obstructionist if you object or viewed as approving the substitution if you fail to object, oftentimes the architect will agree to use a new, untested product—especially if it saves the owner money.

Agreeing to use a new, untested product results in items being added to the contracted work scope without adequate supporting specifications or product data. If the product then fails, you as the architect are often blamed.  Many times, the manufacturer will maintain that there was improper storage or installation of the product that voids its warranty, while the contractor maintains the product was used only because the architect approved it.

Find out how to avoid this scenario before it begins. While there is no absolute way to eliminate such risks, there are ways to manage the situation to your advantage.  This article identifies the steps you can take to manage the process successfully for all involved. Read the article and find out what you need to do.




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