What are construction drawings and why are they important?

If you’re planning on extending or improving your home in any way, it’s important to get it right the first time. Ensuring things are running smoothly from the very beginning will save you plenty of time, money and stress further down the line! 

One of the most important elements of any project is the construction drawings. But, if you’re new to the world of home improvement projects, you may be unsure about what these are, exactly. So, in today’s blog post, we’ll be answering the question of, what are construction drawings? Alongside this, we’ll discuss just why they are so important to any project, and why you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to getting them done right the first time.

Construction drawings are often one of the first steps you’ll take in making your home improvement project a reality, so it can be very exciting! So, if you are about to embark on a project journey, or you’re simply thinking about it in the future, this article should be useful for you. 

So, what are construction drawings exactly?

Simply put, construction drawings are a vital part of the information that is used to construct a new building or extend and modify an existing one. They are required at every stage of the build process and, as it progresses, new drawings are often made up to better inform the process. 

To start with, the drawings are often simple, outlining the basics of what the building or extension will look like. They then become more complex as the build gets nearer to completion, or at different stages, such as gaining planning permission from the local authority. But, all depictions are drawn to scale to properly represent the relative sizes. The purpose of these drawings is simply to provide a representation of what the build will look like. They are useful for all parties involved in the project, from the homeowners who want to visualise the finished project, to the builders and other contractors who will use them to inform their construction work. 

What are construction drawings meant to show?

Each construction drawing is different, and what they contain will differ depending on the project and its requirements. But, at a basic level, they tend to detail the following:

  • Floor plans: What you would see looking straight down at the floor from above, showing the different rooms and the location of elements such as cupboards, doors, windows, and stairs.
  • Elevations: A view showing the building from the side, usually showing the size and location of windows and doors head-on.
  • Sections: Think of a section as a slice through the building, showing the inside of walls, floors, and foundations. It shows the height of the walls and the ceilings relative to the floor level.
  • Details: These are more comprehensive drawings showing specific elements where more detail is needed.

Different drawings may also be produced to assist various contractors, such as one detailing electrical works, plumbing, and so on, for these respective contractors to work from. The drawings should also be accompanied by something called a ‘specification document’. This will include the finer details of the project, such as the materials, standards, techniques, and more that are required to finish the project to the best possible standard. 

But what are construction drawings produced using? 

These days, most of them are made using specialist CAD (computer aided design) software to ensure the most accurate depiction. But, they can also be drawn by hand. This usually depends on the architectural designer’s preference, whichever medium they are most comfortable using, and what produces the best results for them.

Why are they so important?

Now that we have answered the question of what are construction drawings, let’s take a closer look into why they are so important for any project, big or small. It’s not all about simply having the drawings. They also need to be of a high quality to reap all of the benefits they can bring. So, here are just a few of the reasons why you should invest in good construction drawings from the beginning of your project:

They are easily understood by everyone

There are a number of reasons why construction drawings are important. But, on the most basic level, they are needed to ensure that everyone involved in the design and build of your extension or building is on the same page. All of the contractors involved in your project will understand the drawings and what they are telling them. This makes for far easier communication between the different parties. Think of them like a map that is used to control and guide the project from the very first design meetings, all the way to the finishing touches!

Reduce the time spent on-site

Likewise, good construction drawings can actually reduce the time that different contractors need to spend on-site for your project. If the drawings and associated specification document are clear and accurate, a contractor will know exactly what needs doing and where before they even reach the site, so that they can come better prepared and spend less time figuring things out once they get there.

Proper drawings help avoid delays and confusion 

When working on a home improvement project, there is nothing worse than delays being caused by something that could have easily been avoided. Often, the number one cause of these frustrating delays is a miscommunication somewhere along the line. This can be caused by construction drawings that are not as clear as they need to be. So, it’s important to ensure that your drawings are done to the best possible standard to minimise the risks of this happening to you and your project. It can be tempting to rush through the drawings in order to get the build started sooner. But, this is not a risk that you should be willing to take! High-quality drawings with the correct level of detail are essential if you want to give your project the best chance of running smoothly.

Keep track of the project

Despite your best intentions, it is very rare for the finished project to be exactly the same as what the initial construction drawings set out. So, it’s good to have a series of drawings in place that show the progression as the project moves forward, to keep track of any changes and ensure that everyone working on the project is on the same page about the direction it is heading in. 

They can even be useful in the future!

If you decide to make more amendments to your extension or building in the future (or perhaps future owners of your current home may wish to), then the construction drawings can still come in handy! Reusing the original construction drawings can help save time and money in this scenario, as well as making sure that the current state of the extension or building is understood. So, it’s vital that you keep your construction drawings safe and up-to-date with any modifications. You never know when they might need to be used again!

Final thoughts 

Hopefully, this article has helped to answer the questions of what are construction drawings, and why are they important. As you can see, they are a vital part of the process when it comes to extending and improving your home. So, choosing a talented architectural designer who produces high-quality work is an absolute must, no matter what your project may entail.

Here at Greenway Associates, we have many years of experience in producing detailed construction drawings for a huge range of projects. Whether you are looking for a small and simple extension, or you would like to remodel your entire property, we can help make that a reality with our range of services- it’s not just about construction drawings! We can also assist with planning approvals, building control approvals, interior design, and project management for house extensions, loft conversions, and more. To find out more about us and what we do, click here to visit our website, or get in touch today by clicking here

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At Greenway Associates, we have completed over 2,000 architectural design projects