Specs & Selections - Frequently Asked Questions (Clients & Trade Partners)

This article contains the most commonly asked questions Trade Partner & Client interactions with specs/selections.

Click a question or topic to jump to the corresponding answer.

What is the difference between the Specifications, Client, and Trade Partner Info boxes?

There are two main things to keep in mind as you decide how to use the Specification, Client Information, and Trade Partner Information boxes on the Specs & Selections.

#1 - Visibility

Different people will be able to see different information, depending on where you place your information:

  • Specifications- Builders, Clients, and Trade Partners will see this.  This information will carry over to your proposal, bid requests and purchase orders.
  • Client Information- Builders and Clients will see this. Trade Partners will not.  This information can be included on proposals if needed.
  • Trade Partner Information- Builders and Trade Partners will see this. Clients will not.  This information will populate on bid requests and purchase orders.

#2 - Types of information

  • Specifications - Just like it sounds, anything that you may be writing in specifications in your contracts or purchase orders can go here. This is often the technical building information that applies to the spec or selection item. 

    Example: Clopay Gallery Series Double Layer Insulated Garage Doors. Single Car Door: 9' X 8'. Double Car Door: 18' X 8'. 

  • Client Information- Use this section to inform clients of exactly what details you need them to enter on an open-ended choice or additional guidance on considerations to make when choosing a predefined option. If you send them to vendors to make a selection, put the vendor details here. If you have other advice to pass along, this is the spot for that, too.

    Example: Ferguson is our preferred vendor (ask for Jane), but we can work with other local showrooms. Map to Ferguson: www.ferguson.com/static.pl?S=locations_directions&loc_id=279.

  • Trade Partner Information- This is the spot for any details that are only relevant to your trade partners, such as install details or exclusions that need to be made explicit to them.

    Example: Entry door window to be rectangle with grille, long grooved panel. No exterior hardware. 

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Can a trade partner upload a file to a Specification item?

Trade Partners are not able to upload files to specifications, because these items are considered to be decided and locked.

Trade Partners with web access can add files to the project's main Files page.  If the builder would like to re-upload the file to a specification item, that can be done from the builder's side.

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What is the best to way to include vendor quotes and information for selection items?

One of the great things about CoConstruct is that it can help you corral lots of information, but with very little effort.

For example, when setting up your selections, you can attach files containing quotes and selection information from your vendors. It's all there for you and your clients, but the attachments save you precious time from having to manually enter lots of detail on your own.

Then you can set up predefined choices tied to each quote, or give your clients an open-ended choice box where they can enter their selections after reviewing the attachments.

This process will give your clients the thorough information they need to make selections, while making the most of your busy day.

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How can I use selections to set up client appointments with vendors?

Does this scenario sound familiar: "Mrs. Smith, can you meet with the electrician next Tuesday at 11:00? No? Well, how about Friday at 4:30?"

This back and forth exchange to arrange appointments between clients and vendors can be time consuming. Save time by using your selections as a vendor scheduling tool.

Once you have possible appointment times from a vendor, list each as a choice option in a selection item. From there, the client can choose their appointment date and time and you can notify the vendor.

It can also serve as a handy reminder for you to follow up with the client and vendor to make sure the meeting happened and that the processes hasn't stalled out.

Use the comments area as a 3-way communication tool between you, your vendors, and clients, to coordinate appointment times and meeting information.

This is just another way to put selections to work for you!

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How do I add a vendor website link to a selection item?

To add a link into any of the information sections on a spec or selection item, just type in the web address - like www.coconstruct.com. After you save the item, when it appears on the main specs & selections page, you'll see that the system will automatically link it for you.

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What does it mean if a client may decline a selection item?

If you check the box for "Client may decline this selection item", CoConstruct will automatically add a "I do not want this selection" choice when the client goes to enter a decision.


You should leave this option unchecked whenever the client has to make a choice – even if they are just signing off on the standard option that you offer. Examples could be flooring or countertops.

But, you may want to give your clients the choice to decline any selections that are not mandatory. These may be options that you offer that the client does not want or items that the clients requested, but then changed their minds once they saw the price. Examples may be radiant heated flooring or an enlarged patio.

Financial Implications

If the selection has an original budget entered and the client selects "I do not want this selection" there are different implications based on the financial structure of the project and how the selection is set up.

Open Book: On an Open Book project, since the client can see the original budget amount, the full amount from the original budget is credited back to the client automatically.

Fixed Price - Client Allowance: On a Fixed Price project, if the item is marked as a Client Allowance, the allowance amount being shown the client is automatically credited back to them when the selection is declined.

Fixed Price - Non-allowance Option: On a Fixed Price project, the client does not see any original budget information for standard, non-allowance options - they only see the upgrade/downgrade costs for specified options.  As a result, if the "I do not want this selection" option is chosen on these the original budget amount will be removed from your project costs on the budget but no adjustment is automatically made to the client.  You as the builder will need to determine how much should be credited to the client (if any) and manually make that adjustment through a predefined selection or change order.

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Can I make a choice for my client on a selection item?

Yes, any builder side user with permission to edit financial information can make a choice. Remember, though, that the change log will reflect that you are the one making the choice under your login – not your client’s.

In situations where the client may tell you on the phone or in person to go ahead with a selection, Co-construct recommends that after making the choice on the selection sheet, you also add a comment such as “Selection made per phone call with Susie Jones today.” That way, you have protected yourself with a paper trail, and if your client disagrees, she will have the opportunity to reply to that comment.

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Can clients change their choice on a selection item?

Your client enters a selection for marble countertops, but later decides they want to change their choice to granite. So what do they do?

Your client can enter in their own selection change until your team has either:
1. Clicked the Update status link and lock the selection, or...
2. Assigned the selection item to a change order or variation.

Either way, a padlock icon will appear to show that the selection has been locked. At that point, the client can view the selection, but cannot change it.

Why doesn't CoConstruct lock the item the second the client enters their choice? Clients may have accidentally clicked the wrong choice, or you may want to give them the flexibility to play with the selection until the time comes for you to lock it down and place the order.

In the end, this keeps you from having to undo mistakes, but still leaves you in control to decide when something is set in stone.

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Can I hide Change Log entries from clients?

Each spec or selection item in CoConstruct features a “change log.” That’s where we keep an audit trail of changes such as shifting deadlines, new options, and choices.

In that list, we show you the date the item was created, along with who did it.

So, if you’re trapped in a snowstorm churning out project specs & selections, your hard work will be well documented.

And while the change log provides a great record, there are situations where you may have made lots of updates before adding your clients, and you don’t want (or need) them to see those entries.

To solve that, on the Project Setup page, if you have a client added, you'll find a field for picking a date and a time. Clients on your project will see change log entries generated after that time, but not before: 


When you add the first client to a project, we’ll set this date and time to the point when you added the client -- which automatically shields them from all of your prior gyrations on the specs & selections.

When you view the change log page, you’ll see everything. But, items in gray are not visible to your clients.

If you want to make the date earlier, later, or remove it altogether, simply come to the Project Setup page.  If you remove the "Hide change log" date completely, clients will be able to see ALL change log entries on the specs & selections.
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