Most of the Conditions of Contract stipulate the precedence of contract documents in order to avoid disputes or variations. If no clauses showing the priority of documents are present in the Conditions of Contract, it is vital that the owners should establish a precedence of documents in the contract. This will help ensure that there is a clear delineation of the contractor’s scope of work, which will potentially reduce severe conflicts and costly change orders for changes to the scope of work.

The precedence of documents written clearly in the Conditions of Contract establishes a clear path for determining the contractual scope of work in the event a conflict between documents is discovered. This allows the owner the opportunity to decide whether the contractual scope of work is acceptable, or whether it wants to issue a formal change order to modify the work scope. Lack of an order of precedence clause in the contract will almost always result in a change order when discrepancies arise.