Plans are an important item in being able to describe your project. With plans you can get more accurate estimates for the scope of your work.
Plans are generally formatted on 24"x36" in a standardized way that consists of:
- A title block- Project location, type, designer with licenses, date, scales and any revisions.
- abbreviations page- describes any abbreviations used on the plans
- General conditions- this describes general methods of construction as well as any unique conditions for the project.
- site location- This is usually a plot plan of the site (1/8":1') with North Arrow, lot lines, footprint of the structure, roads and walkways, and a scale. Sometimes this will have a picture of the site or a locating map.
- Title 24- in California an analysis of the energy load is required for each project. This is required to modernize the housing stock.
- Floorplans- These are plans that show the layout of rooms, fixtures and appliances. These are often created by an architect, engineer or designer. They can also show electrical and plumbing layout. A reflected layout is sometimes used to show ceiling layouts of the light fixtures and any unique ceiling details.
- Elevations- These are drawings that show elevations of exterior and sometimes interior areas. This gives a better idea of the scale of the project and requirements to complete the work.
- Details- These are close up drawings sometimes with a cross section that shows the details of how to perform the work. Often these are coupled with structural drawings designed by the engineer to detail the actual physical requirements of the structural work. These are very important and can significantly impact the cost of the project.
- Window and Door Schedule- this is a description of all the windows and doors that are necessary for the project.
- Finish schedule- this is a specification of what the requirements for finishes in each room.
Computers these days can also show a variety of other information. One format is the glass house where you can see through the walls in a 3D floor plan, as well as video walk-throughs and materials lists. This allows you to play before you pay. Have fun!