Depending on who you are talking to, there are normally three stages to the building plans that should be drawn when you are building a new house.
- The initial sketch plans (or concept, preliminary or discussion drawings)
- The developed designs
- The final documentation
Initial Sketch Plans
After you have discussed your brief, your home designer is expected to draw up some initial sketches or concept plans which will give you an idea of how you see the house taking shape. Concepts plans usually include a floor plan and a perspective drawing (usually 2D) from various angles.
It also take into account your site conditions, your budget and any special town planning requirements.
At this stage:
- You should sort out what you like and what you want to change on the initial sketches. Changing your mind after detailed drawings have been done, or once construction has started, will be more costly.
- You should see how the design is going to impact on your budget. You should ask questions!
- You should ask about future maintenance issues.
- You should check if the designs reflect your true value or if it is just your designer's view.
Once you've agreed on the concept plans, the architect will proceed and draw up the developed designs which include the changes you've asked for in the initial sketch or concept plans.
At this stage, go over the designs again. If you are in least doubt, I suggest you get a second opinion from an expert for assurance that the design is workable (especially if it is cutting-edge design).
At this stage, you should also discuss the materials that will be used - the exterior cladding, flooring, roofing, windows, doors and interior fittings and fixtures. Not leaving out talk about socket points, roof access, exterior plumbing etc.
Final Plans and Specifications
At the final stage, all documentations (construction or working drawings and specification) as well as specifications for every features, such as claddings, ventilation, lighting, roofing, etc must be properly checked.
Remember, a good plan will save arguments during construction - if the plans aren't clear or full enough they can be misinterpreted by you or the builder, leading to disputes over what was or was not priced and which systems and products should be used.
As you can see, there is a lot involved in Home Planning - so get it right the first time!
Plan your work!