Understanding AWI's "Premium Grade"

Watch out if you really have to build to an Architectural Woodwork Institute specification, you really have to know your stuff. January 10, 2008

I am bidding a job that specifies AWI "Premium Grade" cabinets. I am ordering the book, but the bid is today. Does anyone have a definition?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor J:
Lots more going on than a simple definition will cover. For example, you will have to watch your sizes, your grain matching, the type of hardware you use, finished ends, bottoms, scribes, etc. Drawer slab grain should match door grain, etc.

From contributor I:
As a member of the AWI and someone who has been sued over the very issue of this grade, I strongly recommend you do not bid this job and join the AWI.

From contributor T:
I agree with contributor I.

From contributor S:
Commercial or residential job? I've seen many commercial jobs spec'ed by the architect "AWI whatever," didn't bid the job (or bid the job by those specs), and found the company that won the bid couldn't even spell AWI.

From contributor H:
I would bid it and be very specific in what and how the job would be done.

From contributor I:
It's true that many times the architect may be a recent college grad who's operating from a template of specs. I still advise joining the AWI and taking specs seriously.

From contributor A:
As a member of AWI, and knowing what the term "premium guide" entails, there is no way you can do this without having the AWI specifications book. Do not even try. If they are serious about the specifications, you will lose your arse because they can find something that does not meet the specifications if they inspect the finished job and you have to tear out your work and redo.