Construction drawings are sometimes referred to as working drawings. They are used by all involved in a project to work on the actual building of the design.
These drawings provide all the information, both graphic and written, about the project. It is specific information. For example, the paint colour to be applied to the walls will be listed by manufacturers name, phone number, the paint color number and name, and type of finish (latex, enamel) to be used. Detailed information is given about everything in the project. Walls, doors, furniture, equipment, lighting, outlets, demolition and so on, are all specified. Graphic symbols are used to represent walls, doors, furniture, etc. Dimensions are used to define the location of these components. Text is used to further describe them or to point specific elements of the design. Legends are used to describe doors, finishes, lighting, etc. Standard drawing symbols are used to cross reference information.
This information is explained through demolition plans, floor plans, interior or exterior elevations, reflected ceiling plans and detail drawings. Together they are produced on drawing sheets. The sheets are 11” x 17” or 24” x 36” or 30” x 42”. The size is based on the type of project and the amount of information required to explain it.
The drawing set is typically made up of two parts, architectural and engineering. (For some projects separate structural drawings are also required.) The architectural set consists of the items described above. Millwork is considered to be part of the architectural set. The engineering set describes the electrical, mechanical and plumbing as required. The set of drawings must comply with all codes. They are submitted to the local building department in order to obtain a building permit for the construction work. A building permit is issued after all the drawings are checked and approved by the department. The set can be large, 30 or more pages, or small, 15 pages. This all depends on the type of project. A shopping centre would require many drawings. A home renovation a smaller set.
An interior designer or architect creates this set of drawings for the owner. They are qualified in both design and code compliance. Construction drawings are considered to be a legal document. They are part of the written contract between the owner and designer as well as the owner and contractor. The complete drawing set (architectural and engineering) is used for pricing the project.
Two or more general contractors are provided with the same set of drawings. This way everyone has the same information and it is fair to all. No one general contractor has any more or less information than the other one when pricing.