definition of "fixtures" in construction contract
July 11, 2012 5:24 PM   Subscribe

Is the water heater an electrical fixture that should be part of the "electrical finishing fixtures" allowance when building a new house under a standard contract with a general contractor?

The contract in this case states that the contractor will install a hot water heater and the wiring to it. The contract also states that there is an allowance of $2000 (or some such number) for electrical finishing fixtures. There is no definition in the contract for what is included in electrical finishing fixtures. It seems that would be can lights, fan lights, light bulbs obviously, but does it also apply to the water heater?

The same thing also when it comes to the tiles around the bathroom walls. Is this tile & the labor to install it part of "plumbing fixtures" or "flooring fixtures" or is it part of what the contractor is responsible to pay for without touching the "allowances"?
posted by peter_meta_kbd to Law & Government (3 answers total)
The key word is "fixtures". This traditionally refers to installed lighting, wall plates, and the like. Not entire appliances like water heaters.

With the bathroom, "fixtures" traditionally refers to faucets, mirrors, towel bars, etc. and, possibly, toilets.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:38 PM on July 11, 2012

The water heater is a plumbing fixture. Electricians generally have an allowance to wire up the heater. In the case of a gas heater, the HVAC contractor will sometimes have an allowance to pipe gas to the heater. (gas heaters do not have an electric connection.) I say "sometimes" because depending on the jurisdiction and the unions, the plumber may or may not be able to install gas pipe. (And then, sometimes the plumber and the HVAC guy are the same guy.)

Tile is not a plumbing fixture. It neither receives waste nor uses domestic water. Depending on jurisdiction, wall tile is either a flooring and finishes contractor, a tile-specific contractor, or a glazier (weird, but it happens). It probably comes under "wall and floor finishes".
posted by notsnot at 6:04 PM on July 11, 2012

The clause for 'installing the water heater and wiring' is separate from the 'electrical finishing fixtures.' Tile on walls is neither 'plumbing' nor 'flooring,' though as notsnot indicated, it would fall under 'finishes.'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:05 PM on July 11, 2012

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