By the time the plans are finalized for a typical design/build project, the job has gone through several iterations, with certain elements that were once included eventually left out. It is a fairly common occurrence, then, for a client to be upset to “remember,” mid-project, that their windows won't have grilles or that their countertop will be laminate instead of granite.

John Tabor, president of Tabor Construction, in Silver Spring, Md., tries to avoid this problem by including all the specs in his construction agreement. But he takes it a step further: The agreement his company uses includes a clause that lists, in bold type, all the design elements that were discussed but ultimately left out of the project.

“[Clients] might not read the entire agreement before they sign it,” Tabor says, “but they will read that part.” The paragraph begins with the words “This agreement does not include.”

Tabor compiles the list from the notes he takes during the sales and design meetings.