Why is precision essential for construction drawings?

This is a guest post from THS Concepts, land and architectural surveying experts based in Essex, UK. 

In construction, the phrase ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is never more true than when a property owner uses chaotic, imprecise drawings to plan and execute their project. Something always goes wrong, and usually more than once!

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As a land and architectural surveying company, we’re used to working with a range of clients, including architects, engineers and solicitors. We’ve seen first-hand what happens when someone tries to build using sloppy drawings. So, we’ve put together a list of reasons why precise, accurate drawings are essential to a successful construction project. 

Prevent Fines From Planning Violations

Planning laws may vary from country to country, but they are universally tricky to adhere to. Local authorities are sticklers for keeping to the permissions granted when you applied for planning permission. If your original drawings are inaccurate or misleading, you run the risk of two problems:

1. You might find that your plans are rejected, causing you to rework them and then restart the lengthy, expensive process of applying permission.

2. Your finished building may differ from your plans, and therefore be in breach of building laws.

  The house slated for demolition source:  BBC

The house slated for demolition source: BBC

It sounds far-fetched, but a family in Stoke-on-Trent, England currently faces the demolition of their new house after its roof was found to be 30 inches too high. The local authority has turned down two separate retrospective planning applications due to complaints from neighbors over the building’s roof height and dormer windows.

If precise drawings had been part of a planning application before construction started, the homeowners could have avoided their current predicament. 

Reduce Miscommunications

Planning and executing a building project is stressful, and unfortunately we haven’t found a way to make it as easy as rolling out of bed... yet. But, there are things you can do at the planning stage to ensure construction runs smoothly, and producing precise drawings is one of the most important.

A clear, easy-to-read drawing minimizes miscommunications with contractors and ensures that everyone, from the architect to the surveyors to the construction team, is on the same page. You can also plan the project’s duration accurately and budget for the correct materials and worker hours.

Decrease Unnecessary Expenses

Inaccurate construction issue drawings create the risk of over or under-ordering materials, an expensive and time-consuming hassle. If subs don’t have the materials or equipment to start work straight away, you’re essentially paying for them to sit around!

Additionally, some contractors consider any deviation from original plans as a variation of contract, so you may find yourself paying far more than you budgeted.

Ensure Your Design Works

A precise drawing of a building will help ensure that your design is safe, functional and aesthetically pleasing. It sounds obvious, but an imprecise floor plan or badly-drawn elevation could result in an awkward, clunky building that’s hard to construct and even harder to use.

Think of those viral photos of buildings where the front door’s a foot off the ground, or the stairs lead to nowhere… it’s easy to blame lazy construction workers, but more than likely the construction workers did exactly what the plans told them to do!

So there you have it: fail to prepare precise drawings and you may as well plan for failure. Ensure your drawings are precise and ordered, on the other hand, and you can relax knowing that your project will get off to the best possible start.

For more information on how OnePlace can help better store and organize your construction drawings, check out our as-built drawings features. Head over to the THS Concepts website for more info on how they can help UK contractors create precise drawings and surveys.