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What is a submittal? #

A submittal is a formal request sent by a contractor to a General Contractor or owner seeking approval for something prior to proceeding. Submittals are commonly used when the contractor has selected a material—for example, a particular kind of light, or a plumbing fixture, etc.—that they believe satisfies the requirements of the specification sheet, but for which they would like final approval by the GC or owner prior to actually installing the materials.

Submittals can be an important legal protection to contractors, since they demonstrate that formal sign-off was received prior to installation. If a GC or owner complains that they do not like the material post-installation, the contractor can always point to the submittal as a way to say ‘you approved it!’.

Note: The submittal concept is captured in a more informal way in residential contracting with things like selection sheets, which many contractors rely on to document a client’s choice of light fixtures, tile, etc.

How does the submittal process work? #

The specification sheet for a roofing job specifies a TPO membrane of at least 60 mil thickness. The roofing contractor selects GAF EverGuard TPO, 60 mil, along with associated accessories (vent boots, scuppers, etc.). The contractor presents the product sheets for those items, and send them to the GC (or owner) for sign off. The GC receives the submittal, compares the selected items to the specifications, and finds the selection acceptable. He signs the submittal without further comment, and the contractor is now free to install the selected TPO material.

Submittals management in Knowify #

Knowify offers a clean, easy-to-use submittal tool. You can create submittals and attach any files required; the submittal is then sent to whoever you choose electronically, and they can review and sign off (or reject with comments) the submittal. You and your counter party will receive notifications each step of the way, ensuring that the submittal process proceeds smoothly and efficiently.

See how it works: