You are here:

Construction Law/Ambiguity in BOQ and Drawing


QUESTION: am working  as a  consultant  Qs and our Contract is re-Measured Contract based on FIDIC 1999 (Red Book) .   In the  BOQ description floor tiling  described as ‘ Ceramic tiles’ but as per the drawing  its is ‘Porcelain’ tiles.  As per priority of Contract document Drawings has higher position.  Work is to be carried out as per the Drawings  and Contractor is claiming for price variation stating that their  price as per the BOQ description?   Please explain whether the Contractor is entitle for that ?

ANSWER: Dear Kumara,

Thank you for your question.

Based on provided information, it seems indeed, the Contractor is entitled to such Variation.

But prior deciding that, suggest you should also check the Technical Specifications, which probably prevail over both Drawings and BoQs.

See as well, what is the actual difference between "ceramic" and "porcelain".

Hope that helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thank you very much for the reply.

My  concern is at the tendering stage tenderers were advised to always refer the Drawing and Specification prior to pricing and also the drawing has higher priority over the BOQ. Specification doesn't specify the tiles in this case. Please give your thoughts

Thank you,

Dear Kumara,

Thank you for coming back.

Tendering process is gone, now you're dealing with a signed Contract, based on an offer that has been checked and approved.

As long as those advices were nothing but advices, but no clear instructions, it is too late now to rely on them.

Moreover, in the signed Contract, you have a clear Sub-Clause, giving the order of precedence.

But again, what is the difference between "ceramic" and "porcelain". I am uncertain what "porcelain tiles" would be. Ask the Contractor to bring a written explanation, with details, showing the difference.

I am surprised you have no indication in the Technical Specifications. There should be a little something somewhere. Suggest you check again.

And finally, why are you not issuing an Instruction/ Variation, as the Engineer, to omit/ replace "porcelain" with "ceramic"?

With that, you harmonise the Drawings with the BoQs and shut up the Contractor.

Think of that.

Construction Law

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Questions related to Civil Engineering Contracts, using FIDIC or other Conditions of Contract, concerning Procurement procedures and documents (pre-qualification, tendering and contracting) and Services/ Works Contracts implementation matters including Determinations, Payments, Time Extensions, VOs, Claims/Disputes. Additionally, questions related to dealing with International Financing Institutions. Can also answer questions in Romanian. Can not answer improperly formulated questions.


Over 20 years of experience in the field of design, works supervision, construction, management of aid funds and technical assistance for various types of contracts implementation, including severe conflictual contractual situations leading to Claims and disputes. Claims/ Contract management, Disputes adjudication, Arbitration.

Member of Romanian Professional Association of Roads and Bridges; Listed on President's List of Adjudicators of Romanian Association of Consulting Engineers Former member of the Disputes Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF) of United States – nominee on DRBF President’s Disputes Board Members List and of DRBF Chapter for Eastern Europe Former member of Polish Association of Consulting Engineers (SIDiR) – nominee on SIDiR President’s Disputes Board Members National List Member of “” volunteers pool Member of the "Constructions Disputes Resolution Services” International Panel of Construction ADR Specialists" of United States

- Graduate in 1994 the Construction Institute - Graduate of several FIDIC,Procurement and other courses - Graduate of first Disputes Board Members Mentoring Scheme ( - FIDIC Accredited Adjudicator

Past/Present Clients
- Several State organisations/Ministries , such as Ministry of Transport, National Admistration of Roads, Ministry of Regional Development (former Ministry of European Integration), Public Works and Housing, Central Contracting and Financing Unit in Romania and also in Turkey, Croatia and Macedonia - Numerous Western based private consultancy companies - full CV and other relevant information available at

©2016 All rights reserved.