Great, thanks to all for the replies.
Stevewag, I have as-builts to go by, which may or may not be accurate. An alternative would be test holes - but the client doesn't always want to pay for them. They keep telling me they have As-Builts, so why the need for test holes? ha!
Maury, good point although my hope is this is something a reputable contractor would know how to handle. I have the US Pipe Ductile Iron Pipe booklets which detail how to field cut and assemble the various joints - I would hope the contractor has these also!
rconner, I hadn't considered bell direction. Thanks for that. It seems the additional cost of a coupling is worth it, considering the benefits and potential issues which can be avoided by their use.
My question stems from two sources: One - a coworker doing the peer (QA/QC) review on my design was asking why I didn't use a coupling for a particular connection. His comments couplings were the only fitting to be used for DI to DI connections. Two - the various contractors I've been dealing with as of late do not seem very knowledgable in the use of the couplings I've spec'ed ( the EJPrescott and Smith-Blair, both very similar to the Dresser couplings but NSF and AWWA approved). Their comments were causing me to wonder how they were connecting DI to DI and what fittings they were using.
Thanks again for the responses.