Three essential tips for managing shop drawings

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Often, what makes architectural design stand out are the little details. For example, one small place to splurge might be the front door hardware.  What if you specified a beautiful custom made Rocky Mountain Hardware entry set and knocker? Be careful! If you happen to take your eye off the ball for a minute and those door hardware shop drawings are late or never submitted the design is going to suffer. The GC might insist that they were provided, but what can you do if there is no transmittal to record the transactions? Pray that you don’t end up having to get something off the shelf at the local hardware store and end up losing the true value of what was specified, for a major design disappointment. See our following three tips to help you manage and keep your shop drawing process organized.

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Organized change: change orders to requests for information

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Early in my career I felt that organization would destroy my creativity. Whereas now, I feel the opposite. Discipline is the foundation that allows you to be creative” – Verna Gibson

No matter what anyone says, chances are pretty good that there will be changes in a Project, and that at the end of the day it will cost more.  So you want to be sure that you have up to date and organized records of any changes and or issues that arise during construction. This will help to prevent finger pointing at the end of the project, and assist in settling any disputes that may arise. Read More…

RFI’s – Five elements of style

pen paperLooking at the construction drawings by some favorite historic architects like CFA Voysey, or Edwin Lutyens, it is hard to believe how a builder back then would be able to price and construct a building using only a plan, partial section, elevation and a detail or two. Did they use RFI’s?

An RFI (request for information) by a builder from that era probably took the form of a formal letter containing fundamental information such as: sender’s address, recipient’s address, date, subject, salutation, body, closing, enclosures, carbon copy (CC) and typist’s initials. (Do they still teach  proper letter format in school with the advent of email?) Read More…

Avoid the shop drawing dump

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Early in our careers, we inevitably learn firsthand what shop drawing dump means. The general contractor sends all the project shop drawings within a couple of days (sometimes late in the project), and then you are pressured to complete the review of a 50+ shop drawings, within the time limit stated, within the specifications that you wrote. If the reviews aren’t completed on time, there is the threat always hanging over your head that the project will be delayed.

One way to prevent this nightmare scenario is by creating a shop drawing submission schedule. Read More…