10 Mis­takes in Con­struc­tion Con­tracts (and How to Avoid Them) — Leav­ing Gaps Due to Obvi­ous Errors in the Bill of Quan­ti­ties (7)*.

The bill of quan­ti­ties makes non­sen­si­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions? You are sup­posed to name employ­ees for each part of the ser­vice? Offer a tech­ni­cal­ly super­flu­ous posi­tion? And, of course, dis­close your pur­chase prices? This can’t pos­si­bly be meant seri­ous­ly, can it?


If you’ve found your­self in this sit­u­a­tion at times, you’re like many oth­er con­trac­tors. An item in the bill of quan­ti­ties seems so non­sen­si­cal that it looks like an over­sight — or like mali­cious intent. The ques­tion is, how do you deal with it now?

Inad­e­quate solu­tion

Many entre­pre­neurs do not fill in any­thing. They leave the posi­tion blank, a price or prod­uct infor­ma­tion is miss­ing, even though required. These entre­pre­neurs act accord­ing­ly to the mot­to: What can­not be meant seri­ous­ly is not meant seri­ous­ly either. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this is usu­al­ly a rather bad mot­to. Gen­er­al­ly, the client wants not only cor­rect, but also com­plete infor­ma­tion from you. He also is enti­tled to this. If the miss­ing infor­ma­tion is not mere­ly com­pa­ny-relat­ed, but per­for­mance-relat­ed — which is almost always the case with prices — then he may only demand it with­in very nar­row lim­its. In most cas­es, these lim­its are exceed­ed. In oth­er words, your bid will be exclud­ed. And even if the client is allowed to make addi­tion­al demands, this does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean that he must do so.

Suit­able solu­tion

Before sub­mit­ting a bid, you should do two things if you have dis­cov­ered — loose­ly and non-juridi­cal­ly speak­ing — non­sense in the spec­i­fi­ca­tions: Ask ques­tions and file com­plaints. In addi­tion, you should seek legal advice on what you can and can­not state in a legal­ly secure and mean­ing­ful man­ner. After sub­mit­ting your bid, you should be ready: If the con­tract­ing agency excludes your bid, have that deci­sion reviewed by an attor­ney imme­di­ate­ly. Some­times there are ways and means to get you back into the eval­u­a­tion. How­ev­er, don’t let time pass here; often it’s only a mat­ter of days.

*This legal tip is not a sub­sti­tute for legal advice in indi­vid­ual cas­es. By its very nature, it is incom­plete, nor is it spe­cif­ic to your case, and it also rep­re­sents a snap­shot in time, as legal prin­ci­ples and case law change over time. It can­not and does not cov­er all con­ceiv­able con­stel­la­tions, serves enter­tain­ment and ini­tial ori­en­ta­tion pur­pos­es and is intend­ed to moti­vate you to clar­i­fy legal issues at an ear­ly stage, but not to dis­cour­age you from doing so.

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