I generally try to keep in mind the following advice on how much detail to
show when I put together a set of drawings. The last sentence is the clincher.
"Structural engineering (and architecture) is both a profession
and a business. Work must be done at a profit yet in a complete
and workmanlike manner. All important details must be shown,
and no detail which cannot be inferred from the plans must be
omitted; otherwise, the omission may result in an extra to be
paid by the owner or often by the architect or engineer out of
his own pocket. On the other hand, the draftsman seldom has the
time, the inclination, or the budget to completely detail every
nut and bolt. Drawings which are over-detailed have a reputation
of calling for higher bids. The designer should always keep in
mind that parts of the structure will be shop detailed, as for
example, the structural steel. These sections do not need to be
as complete as other sections where shop details will not be made.
The designer must at all times know what the construction practice
is in his community in regard to the proper amount of detailing.
In some localities the contractors may expect more plans than in
"Actually, construction drawings have two functions: (1) to enable
the contractor and his subcontractors to prepare a bid, and (2) to
construct the building. All plans should be checked for compliance
with these functions. It is possible to prepare an apparently good
set of plans which can be bid but not built, or which can be built
but not bid."
This is an excerpt from "Handbook of Standard Structural Details", written
by my late father, Milo Ketchum.
Ed Fasula <tibbits2(--nospam--at)metro.lakes.com> wrote:
>Our small firm has fairly recently moved our CAD work in-house. In the
>past, we used a drafter who bid each job, and had a vested interest in
>keeping costs low.
>Now that we control the CAD, there seems to be a tendency among everyone
>in the office to heap on more and more detail. In addition, the drafter
>we hired is a perfectionist and likes to draw everything - even Simpson
>hangers - to exacting detail.
>The degree of detail and multitude of (duplicated) notes is expensive
>and can become, in my view, counter-productive. I'm in the process of
>developing some standards to define where to "draw the line". And I'm
>looking for some references and/or guidelines to help us get it right
>the first time.
>Thanks in advance for any help.
>Ed Fasula E.I.T.