What Do Architectural Drawings Usually Contain?

Every architectural drawing has a specific purpose, and these expressive illustrations tell a story. Hence, special attention must be given to their portrayal. These drawings help clients receive a meticulously drafted plan for the proper execution of their construction project.

Understanding architectural drawings

Architectural plans or drawings are like a manual for construction. Having an architectural master plan provides precise details on the style and aesthetics of the project. Architects use these for several reasons: to transform a design idea into an understandable proposal, communicate concepts, convince clients of the design merits, and record the completed construction.

In simple words, architectural drawings are a combination of written and visual descriptions of the structure that is to be built. Different design specifics are communicated via notes on the drawing page itself or as an additional page to make up for the final documentation of the construction project.

The different types of drawing used in most vertical constructions include architectural, structural, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), electrical and plumbing, fire protection plans, and miscellaneous drawings. In this article, we will discuss the specifics that comprise architectural drawings.

Different architectural drawings

Architectural plans or drawings are an illustration of what the final construction would look like. These communicate the design intentions and provide clients with an overview of the building or a detailed plan focusing on specific parts. The different architectural drawings that provide detailed project information may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Site Plan

A site plan comprises the site’s existing condition, property lines, heights, etc. It may also depict utility lines, basic topography, building structures, and pathways – everything within the boundary. The plan is accurately scaled, showing current and proposed developments on the precise use of land. For complex sites or when the jurisdiction necessitates, a civil engineer often prepares the site plan to accompany the architectural building plans.

2. Floor Plan

A floor plan describes the dimensions, measurements, and locations of the walls, doors, windows, individual rooms, structures, and in-built items. You can also find the location of stairs, fixtures, attached cabinetry, reference symbols, notes, and more. The plan essentially provides a bird’s eye view of new, custom, or traditional plans as well as each level of the building.

3. Elevations

Elevations refer to the internal and external building details such as doors, windows, materials, and dimensions, not found on a floor plan or section drawing. Exterior elevation includes the exterior sides of the building, and the interior elevation shows the details of walls you may face front-on.

4. Foundation Plans

A foundational plan is drafted based on the information obtained from the site, floor, and elevation plan drawings. It usually consists of the location and details of the foundation walls (width and depth), footings, support beams, columns, and piers. A foundation plan also looks at the structure as if projected horizontally.

5. Section Drawings

Section, sectional, or cross-section drawings project 3D objects in two dimensions, viewing the building or a particular area as it has been sliced in half. Section drawings graphically present the things-to-be-built in the structure and ensure the building layers are in order with the elevation plan.

6. Roof Framing Plan

It presents a bird’s eye view of the different features of the roof as applicable. These may include roof ridges, valleys, dormers, and other proposed developments. Ideally, a roof plan is a 2D drawing and is usually drawn to the same scale as the floor plan.

7. Landscaping Plan

A well-drafted landscape plan comprises the lighting, colors, texture, shading, and depth that will form the landscape. The primary focus is on the natural scenery. Planning begins with an overview of the project area and incorporates the little details such as size, scale, and layout of artificial structures, overlays, and plant installation.

8. Finishing Drawing

Architectural or finishing touches of the property are the exposed portions that coincide functionality with aesthetics. The different components include elevation designs, materials of the floors and walls, painting colors, flooring patterns, false ceiling shapes, and plastering textures.

9. Excavations Drawings

These represent footing plans, column grid lines, column positioning, and footing excavation dimension. The drawings basically talk about the excavation methods and the extent of removal to aid the construction phase.

10. General Notes

General notes concern the overall work information of the drawings. It renders supplemental data such as gradation, base material, density requirements, etc. To some extent, the general notes make sure no discrepancies arise between the architect and the contractor engaged in the project.

It is worth remembering that most modern-day constructions are based on floor plans or section drawings. Previously, an elevation was said to be the fundamental drawing for a project’s design.

Who is responsible if the final construction doesn’t match architectural drawings?

It is common for the property owner to hold the architect and/or the contractor liable for constructional defects. This is even true for situations where there are no errors or omissions in the architectural plans.

However, architects may be held responsible for defects that arise while designing the structures. They are in charge of drawing specifics that may be buildable, work as planned, and comply with the local building codes and regulations. Sometimes, architects are also hired for construction inspections to ensure conformance with the plans and specifications. In addition, the contractor retains no liability for the miscalculations or production of incorrect drawings.

If the architect or the contractor willingly accepts partial or total responsibility, they may split costs or resort to whatever works best in the particular situation. For a definite answer, it is best to get expert legal assistance.

When you partner with a Design Everest architect, they are confident, creative, and professional with their work, so clients do not have to suffer. We have a skilled and knowledgeable team that gives attention to detail to provide 100% customer satisfaction.

Design Everest can design your dream project

The Design Everest team works with several architects and designers who work in different styles to provide customized drawings with extreme attention to detail. With our 15 years of experience, we can offer cost-effective, high-quality, swift, and hassle-free architecture plans for permits. As tons of technical and construction specifications go behind producing the best designs, we strongly recommend connecting with one of our representatives to better understand how we can help you with more information. For consultation and a free quote, call us on (877) 892-0288 today!

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