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How to Write an RFI (Request For Information)

The RFI (Request for Information) form is used in construction when the contractor needs additional information on a specific process or item in the project. One of the more common circumstances that requires this is missing information or contradictions on the drawings or specifications.


It is vital that the contractor has a clear understanding of what the intent from the engineer and owner are, so they can properly perform their work to the requirements. Assuming the wrong intent can lead to damages or re-work, so it's best to ask for clarification on anything that is ambiguous or missing from the contract documents.


These are the step by step directions on how to write an RFI Form for construction:


1. Fill out the RFI Form on Excel, Word, or a similar program

2. Save RFI Form as a PDF File

3. If you are a General Contractor, Send RFI Form PDF to the following (as applicable):

a. Engineer & Engineers Assistant

b. Owner/Owner’s Representative(s)

c. CC The Following:

i. Superintendent (Your Company)

ii. Project Manager (Your Company)

iii. Subcontractor (if affected by RFI)

iv. Any other relevant parties

4. If you are a Subcontractor, Send RFI Form PDF to the following (as applicable):

a. General Contractor

b. CC The Following:

i. Superintendent (Your Company)

ii. Project Manager (Your Company)

iii. Any other relevant parties

5. Document the RFI in your RFI Log with the following information at a minimum:

a. RFI Number

b. Description

c. Date Sent

6. Upon receiving the RFI Response do the following:

a. Send to any affected parties, such as the following:

i. Superintendent/Field Lead

ii. Project Manager

iii. Subcontractor

iv. Any other affected parties (vendors, etc…)

b. Document the RFI in your RFI Log

c. Save RFI Response in your RFI Folder

d. Establish if this RFI Response adds/removes cost to your project

i. If so, proceed with a Change Order


To download the RFI Form and RFI Log, click on these links.


Tips:

  • Be thorough and precise with your RFI question. Vague questions leave room for interpretation and may result in an insufficient response.

  • Include photos, marked up drawings, sketches and any relevant images attached to your question(s). Images go a long way in describing your question!

  • Need a response right away? Note that the RFI is “Urgent” or “Critical” in the RFI Form and the email.

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