Planning for success: Communication, Part 1

Construction Documents (commonly referred to as CDs) are in some way similar to assembly instructions that come with a large play house. The basic differences are; one- your project may be a bit more involved than a swing set and, two – your addition or new home will not come in a kit so all of the items and materials being used must be articulated properly to avoid substitutions with lower quality materials or inferior assemblies.

Plans that have less information will ultimately create opportunity for differences of opinion- a communication problem that can easily be avoided. CDs typically include: A blueprint containing: floor plans, framing plans, a structural section, exterior elevations, interior elevations, a lighting plan, a door and window schedule and a foundation plan if required, Specifications that include a list of what the materials will be from the way the concrete will be ordered to the style and quality of the roofing, and a Scope of Work that will provide instruction regarding what may not be shown on the plan such as; “The Contractor shall paint the entire existing home complete with all scraping, sanding and priming of bare wood at such time as the addition is painted and shall provide the Owner with up to 3 sample colors painted on the home on 3 elevations”.

One of the common items missing when we look at bid sets is a lighting plan. This is not a drawing with a light in each room; it is a document that shows where the switches go, how the light is intended to be placed and perhaps an audio video component for speakers that will be installed. Without this, a budget that includes only what is required by code and a budget with a proper lighting plan will be vastly different. Since “different” is never less once the project starts- make sure the designer and the builder know your expectation and invest in the lighting plan during the budget phase.
If you want to have one more leg up, ask for a fixture specification list with photos. Our firm does this so that our clients can easily confirm the model number of the faucet they want, you would have a useful tool to reference when it is time to coordinate the lighting, plumbing and bath hardware and even better, you wont be surprised when your faucet arrives and no one can remember if the faucet you selected 3 months prior is the one that is in front of you….
The bottom line, the better your document set, the better your experience… Call us if you would like to see one of our Project books and everything that goes into a Wiese Company Construction Project.

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