If you’ve been following along the last couple of articles, you’ve learned about two of the three phases in home design. Whew! The final phase is to build your new home or renovation project.

Quick reminder. The three phases of the home design process are:

  1. Schematic Design
  2. Design Development
  3. Construction Documentation

Let’s walk through this final phase. Construction Documentation is highly technical and requires significantly detailed work. This is when the team is heads down and working on your final drawings, specifications, budgets, etc. We will, of course, keep you informed and walk you through this phase as it progresses, and once it’s completed.

What exactly is the Construction Documentation phase of home design? Good question! Let’s take a look.

What Is the Construction Documentation Phase?

The third and final phase of home design is essentially about communicating all the technical decisions we’ve made, to the people who are building your home. The documents speak to a wide audience, so they need to be comprehensive. They will be used by the carpenters, the electrician, plumber, HVAC, tiler — every person who is involved in the project, as well as the building and permitting officials.

These drawings are also for you. You too need to know exactly how the build will be done and what each of us are responsible for.

The construction documents include four sets of deliverables:

  • Drawings
  • Specifications
  • A budget
  • Build schedule

Even though this is the third design phase, during the other 2 phases I’ve been documenting the design decisions we’ve made together, so as we approach this final phase, I’m well into the construction documentation and just fine-tuning the details.

Are Construction Documents the Same as Blueprints?

If you’re thinking that construction documents are the blueprints for building your home or renovation, you’re correct, but they’re also much more than that. Blueprints are the final design drawing, while the rest of the project plan includes the estimates and budget, technical specifications, and scheduling.

These documents enable our estimators to accurately price everything, the designers to source materials and finishes, and the builders to understand the intent of the design. This protects your budget, and provides essential information to the build team to accurately implement your vision for your home. They communicate your dreams by translating the aesthetic details you love into technical details that convey meaning to the builder.

Since Giraffe is a design-build firm, the transition from design to the build phase is seamless. The design team has a tight-knit relationship with the build team, allowing us to communicate effectively and use our time and energy efficiently.

This is in contrast to a design-bid-build environment when an architect creates the design and passes it to a contractor. By nature this creates a longer transition time where every detail of the design and all of the costs and technical specifications must be reviewed, clarified, and documented.

What Do You Need to Know About Construction Documentation?

Giraffe makes a concerted effort to keep you aware of everything we put into the construction documents, so you know precisely what you’re purchasing. I’ll walk you through the information a few times to make sure you know what we’re conveying to the build team. I’ll be the initial bridge to the build team to ensure they understand all of your decisions .

While we make this design phase as efficient as possible, it does take time. Remember from preceding articles, design is an iterative process with hundreds of decisions, and documenting and drawing those decisions needs to be correct. At this point in the process, it’s common to be eager to start building. You have been designing for months and now you’re excited to see progress on the build! Keep that excitement, but let’s not rush.

While we make this design phase as efficient as possible, be prepared for it to take time. At this point in the process, it’s common to be eager to start building. You may have been waiting months and months, and now you’re so close to breaking ground that you can practically taste it.

I’ve seen other firms rush this part of the design process, and it usually ends poorly. Things don’t get documented to the extent they needed to be. Then, to keep the project at the level of quality you want, you end up putting in an exorbitant amount of work into the construction process. The client pays for that, and it’s more expensive than doing it right from the start.

Handpicked related reading: How Long Will Your Design-Build Project Take?

Design You’ll Delight In

There are three major relationships throughout the design process that make for a successful home renovation project — the designer, the builders, and you. Realizing the home of your dreams comes out of the collaboration of all three. At Giraffe, you have our ongoing commitment to keeping you at the center of our work — even when we hit the most technical phases of design and construction.

That’s the secret to our track record of success with homeowners.

If you’re looking for a home design-build company that walks with you at your own pace through every phase of the design process, connect with us. You have our promise to find a design that embodies who you are and sparks delight.