The purpose of a sample or mock-up is to ensure that:
- you and the client will be happy with the quality of the product
- the subcontractor is capable of producing the required quality
- there is a bench-mark for the quality standard for the project
- any interface problems or flaws with the design will be exposed
- it gives the client and professional team an opportunity to have a say in the finished product
Just a word of caution though, a sample or mock-up should not cause the client, Engineer or Architect to make fundamental changes to the specified product or finish, that will incur additional costs to either the contractor or the subcontractor. If this does occur the client should be informed there will be a variation. Obviously if there are quality problems with the original sample or mock-up, or the samples don’t meet the required specifications, these are the contractor’s and subcontractor’s issues, and should be rectified at no additional cost to the client.
It’s important, if the client or their representative has requested the sample or mock-up, that it’s formally approved, either in writing or within the minutes of a project meeting. I’ve often had the client claim part way through the project that they never actually approved the item.