Recently, I saw a very amusing sign while visiting the farm animal section of the Museum of Life and Science in Durham on an extremely, blisteringly hot summer day. The sign said:
Sometimes our donkey likes to lay [sic] flat out in the sun.
Don’t be alarmed. . . HE IS STILL ALIVE! (-:
I was very amused that the museum needed a sign proclaiming the non-deathness of its donkey. However, the sign also struck me as a good tip for all of us involved in the construction business. Sometimes, you just have to state the obvious. You may think that it is glaringly obvious that, for example, an extended construction duration will increase the scope of your contract administration fees accordingly. You might be wrong. Sometimes it is not obvious, or at least, not something the owner will admit is obvious. Don’t rely on common sense– go ahead and spell out everything you can in your contract with the Owner.
In the same way the donkey sign keeps the museum patrons from sounding the alarm, a detailed and thorough contract can keep you from having to answer and/or argue about scope of work issues later on.
Sometimes ya just gotta tell everyone in advance that the donkey is alive!