Whether it is from a lack of understanding, too-tight deadlines, inadequate compensation, or plain laziness, there are a number of mistakes that architects (specifiers) commonly make during the preparation of project specifications for masonry construction. These errors lead to contractor confusion, deficiencies in the quality assurance program, and improperly built masonry.

This article is the first of a two-part series that will highlight some of these altogether too common mistakes. It will provide direction toward the correct approach in writing the specification requirements.

Possible problems discussed include failure to omit irrelevant items, conflicting performance and descriptive requirements, referencing outdated standards, color uniformity of units, and confusing between mortar, grout, and concrete.