Construction Documents

Once your design is complete the next stage is the creation of your construction documents.

What are construction documents and how do they differ from design drawings?

Where the design drawings represent the creative ideas behind the construction of a home or addition, the construction documents provide all the critical information necessary to build the building, starting with the foundation and ending with the kitchen cabinets.

Depending on the size and scope of a project a set of construction documents typically include the following:

(Click on any of the links above to see examples of typical plan pages)

The documents listed are usually the minimum needed for construction. In addition to this basic set drawing sheets such as:

  • electrical plans and lighting designs
  • cabinet details
  • unique construction details
  • site plans
  • stair details
  • exterior deck and railing details
  • room finish schedules
  • HVAC details & layouts

can be added as needed. This often depends on the size and scope of a given project, the level of detail required by individual contractors or specified by the customer.

The construction documents are submitted to the local building departments when filing an application for a building permit. These same documents are also used by the sub-contractors and vendors to generate estimates.

Having been the project manager responsible for the oversight and construction of several of my designs I have first hand experience of the translation of information on the page into the bricks and mortar of the finished product. Well thought through construction documents not only take into account the structural relationships but also the interface between the various trades, plumbing, electrical, heating & cooling. A house is not only a structure, it also contains a variety of mechanical systems, ductwork, pipes, wires etc. that often have to relate to each other in some way. Good building planning will include efficient pathways for your mechanical systems to deliver heating, cooling and ventilation through the home, saving countless headaches during construction.