re: Construction Documents
Residential Design Service
Construction Documents set forth the size and scope of any building project. The Project Documentation consist of the Working Drawings & Specifications. Their components are Plans, Elevations, Sections, Details, and Text. It is the graphic language of construction. Their preparation should not be left to just anyone with a "sharp pencil"... Look for the skills and reputation of an experienced Designer, to make your house into a home (even if it's going up For Sale). An excellent resource is the local chapter of The American Institute of Architects. They may be able to refer you to a qualified Designer.

It is important to understand that there are roles, rights, and responsibilities of all of the parties involved in a construction project. It is equally important to understand that each of the parties involved with the Work, need to maintain clear communication through the life of the project. The clarity of these communications provides for the sound economic base, involving both professional and personal decisions. All of these decisions are symbiotic of the legal responsibilities, which each of the involved parties’ share.

The information supplied by the Owner is required to be accurate. In return, the Owner has the right to expect complete construction documents. These construction documents, in the form of Working Drawings and Specifications, are prepared in good judgement and with diligent skill. The Contractor builds from the completed Construction Documents, with approved deviation, to deliver an end product that is within budget. The Contractor provides and maintains injury protection for the laborers during construction, through his/her Worker's Compensation Insurance.

The Building Department provides a "plan check" (Code review) to verify that the graphic and written instructions to the contractor, meet with minimum Code requirements. "Building" will also provide milestone inspections to verify the integrity of the construction. Then, the jurisdiction maintains a permanent record of the dwelling as modified.

The Homeowner's Insurance protects the Owner and the dwelling during construction. Insurance later provides coverage for the legally improved dwelling and its contents, upon appropriate notification - usually the "Final Inspection" record. Real Estate professionals are knowledgeable about improvements and land value. As well, they assist sellers and/or buyers with Disclosure Statements, and the proper reporting of changes in property or ownership.

The shared intent of this dialog is to highlight aspects of collaboration among the building industry professionals, and their respective partners. A part of its purpose is to setup viable communications as one of the tools for early problem-identification & resolution, which will result in cost-effective success. These resources might also help to identify the documentation levels that may be required for a given construction project.

It is my expectation that everyone can use my forthcomming book to better understand the role of your counter-part in a construction project. As you begin your (next) project/endeavor, it is important that you maintain a chronicle, a journal, or a log, to keep track of who said what - and when it was said. At the end of the project, you'll know why.

Learn more. Please e-mail a resource
 Plan Checking: California Codes
The State Of California Building Code has six parts to Title24. It stipulates that no regulated building shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished unless a separate permit has been obtained from the Building Official. See the New ICC Web Site, formerly International Conference of Building Officials Web Site. Work completed without the benefit of Permit or Inspection, can create a list of Owner-problems too long to list on this web page.

A PLAN CHECK of your Working Drawings prior-to-permit can be arranged, just e-mail Plan Check. Then, be prepared to get your Permit often with a single submittal to your Local Jurisdiction.