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Using RFI in Building Your Dream House

So, it’s finally happening after years of looking and dreaming of the perfect place, you’ve finally gotten financial backing, and you are finally building the house of your dreams! You found a great architect, an amazing interior designer, are working with a construction contractor that you trust, and you even have a landscape architect to build your dream garden. You have the perfect combo to build that home that you’ve been wanting to own. But, hang on, maybe you should add RFIs to your list. Wait, what is RFI? And how can it help you build your dream house?

If you haven’t heard of RFI before, you are not alone. It’s seldom heard in a residential construction setting because it is often used in big commercial construction projects like skyscrapers, hotels, roads etc. RFI stands for Request for Information. If you live in the UK, it’s often called a Technical Query.

RFIs are an official request form often written by a contractor or subcontractor that requests for details during the entire lifespan of a construction project starting from the drawing down to the completion stages of a construction project. A contractor RFI is written with the purpose to close any information gaps and clarify any misinformation, but not limited to the following: design drawings, specifications, standards, and contracts.

In a nutshell, it’s a formal written communication for answers. But wait! If it’s just asking questions, wouldn’t it be just as effective as asking the people involved directly or perhaps giving them a phone call, or an email to get the answers? After all, you are building a house, and not a tall skyscraper. You can, in fact, that would be an ideal situation. But, most often phone calls, emails, and verbal field questions can go unanswered. And, in the end, if anything unpleasant happens, it would be a case of he said, she said between you and the contractor or whoever else was supposed to be in charge of fixing that particular problem. And believe me, it’s not going to be a pretty picture. RFIs are a way to make sure that whatever questions that may arise are answered by the person in charge in a timely manner.

Reasons Why RFIs Should Be Written

Now that your curiosity is piqued about RFI’s, let’s take a quick look at why you should start to think about writing RFIs when you are building your dream house.

Elements That Are Included in an RFI

There is no particular format to an RFI because each contractor has their own style in writing one, but to give you an idea on how it looks like, the following are usually present in an RFI.

RFIs in Action in The Real World

If at this point, RFIs seem a little vague, and you’re not really sure how it’s going to help you build your dream house smoothly, that’s ok.  Let’s go a little deeper and see how RFIs answer questions and work in the real world. Here are some of the typical things that are reoccurring in most RFI’s.

At the end of all of these, an RFI can work to your advantage as a homeowner because it provides a more formal setting on answering any issues that might come up while constructing the house of your dreams. So while you are excited about the type of color that you’ll be painting your kitchen, or which tiles to use for the floors, it might also be a good time to discuss RFIs with your contractor. Because, if done right, RFIs can make sure that your dream house will be constructed without a hitch.

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