A Request for Information (RFI) is a construction document that clarifies contractors’ or subcontractors’ queries. Contractors need a construction RFI template to correctly write the required details.
You don’t need to look for a standard RFI template. Instead, there are many templates available that allow you to professionally write a construction RFI. However, you must follow a template while writing an RFI because general contractors only forward professionally written RFI documents to other project members.
This article will guide you on why contractors need a construction RFI template.
Reasons why contractors need an RFI template
An RFI document must follow a template for better project understanding. A definite RFI template helps contractors to clearly draft their requirements and communicate with the following stakeholders:
- General contractors – They manage subcontractors and assign them onsite responsibilities.
- Project managers – They supervise the ongoing construction at the jobsite and at the office.
- Architects – They design construction architects and blueprints according to the requirements.
The above construction project members review the RFI document and respond to the query. They might reject your request to get the required information if you don’t follow a suitable RFI template. As a result, you must rewrite RFI and face the consequences of project delay.
Following an RFI template gives the following advantages to contractors.
1. Early identification of construction issues
An RFI template helps you separately enter each detail of the required concern. That template will ensure better understanding from the receiver, and you will eventually get the required information.
The time you save in writing an RFI using a template can help you identify the weaknesses in a construction project. The contractor and project manager will quickly identify your query through the RFI template and inspect the situation.
Since contractors, project managers, and architects have more technical knowledge of the project, they will respond to the RFI by mentioning the construction issues. They might also mention the steps to fix the potential construction flaws and avoid unnecessary expenditure.
2. Solutions to fix the issues
A suitable RFI template allows the recipients to identify possible solutions to fix a construction issue. Since you professionally wrote and submitted the RFI document, it will be easier for the analyzers to assess the situation and respond with the best solution.
Construction issues are usually complex to handle. For example, you might not know what material the curved beam should be made of. Only the architect or the general contractor of that project can answer that question.
The more details you add to the RFI template, the more feasible solution contractors and architects will come up with. That’s a big plus in the construction industry because it can save you money by opting for budget-friendly alternatives without compromising the quality.
Some templates have the customized section of “Substitute Decision”. The RFI reviewers can fill in that section to inform you about the alternative solution.
3. Shared accountability
RFI templates enable contractors to share accountability among different project members and stakeholders. No single person will be held accountable if anything goes wrong during the construction project. Instead, the RFI document will tell which members are responsible and must be held accountable.
The document has the names of managers and contractors who write and review the RFI. Since every RFI is recorded before and after every reply, the construction workflow becomes completely transparent. Shared accountability also plays an important role in the following construction activities:
- Resource utilization – You can track each resource’s utilization and ensure no one is using the equipment except for the construction objectives.
- Procurement – Make sure the billing cycle is registered and associated with the vendor’s active account.
- Paying expenses – Professionally record construction expenditures and keep updating the financial statements.
4. On-schedule project delivery
According to a report, almost 10 RFI documents occur for every $1 million construction budget spent. The bigger a construction project, the more RFI it generates. Regardless of the number of RFIs occurring for a project, you must properly manage them for on-time delivery.
A construction RFI template helps contractors to streamline the workflow and complete the project on time. Since construction projects need continuous evaluation, the need to write an RFI is always there.
Examples of RFIs in construction projects
Here are some common RFI examples used for the following purposes in construction.
You can communicate with the architect or design engineer to explore design changes for the construction project. Sometimes a design component needs changing, and you can’t proceed without the updated visual document. So, you can write an RFI to the architect and tell them about the design that might have an issue.
Another example is you might need clarification for a design and can’t work any further without getting an expert response. You can write an RFI to the architect or project manager and ask them about the complex design part.
Remember that the RFI template you use must be clear to understand. Failing to use the correct template might lead to miscommunication, eventually leading to project delays.
You can communicate with the general contractor about the material change after assessing the deterioration of the current material. The general contractor receives the RFI and examines the material.
You will receive the general contractor’s response in reply to the RFI template you sent them. The whole communication will be recorded.
Advantages of using online RFI templates
Many construction documentation services offer online RFI templates. Here are their advantages:
- Visual documents attachments – You can add relevant documents with the RFI, like graphs and thermal images, to support your query.
- Integration – Some templates allow you to integrate other services and products with the RFI, like MS Excel.
- Virtual meetings – You can hold virtual meetings on an online RFI template and get instant feedback.
- Users’ profiles – You can track individual performance and overall project progress.
Contractors need a correct RFI template to write and send their queries. An RFI template helps them to professionally fill in the details and be concise while describing the issue. Doing that provides only relevant information to general contractors.
When the RFI repliers receive a professionally written request on a template, they quickly respond. That makes you complete the construction on time and meet the client’s satisfaction.