The most common errors in structural drawings. Structural plans are the main source of information for any builder, since they show the dimensions of the elements, their location and construction specifications. Now, what happens if there is an error in them? I will dedicate this post to talk about some errors that can occur in the plans and their repercussions on the site.
What is the function of blueprints in an architectural project, and what are their characteristics?
Within the planning and structuring of a construction project, there are several stages that must be carefully followed in order to achieve the pre-established results. Therefore, one of the most important elements when carrying out a construction project are the architectural drawings.
These graphics are part of the documentation of a project – as are the digital files and database of a BIM project. In essence, plans are the graphical representation of a project in its architectural, technical, construction, regulatory and ownership aspects. Hence, they are a vital piece for the correct performance of the design, construction, operation and legal definition of an architectural project.
Years ago, architectural plans were limited to freehand technical drawings, and were even considered by many as works of art due to the time and materials used to highlight even the smallest detail. Now, the constant technological innovation forces architects to evolve day by day to adapt to the changes demanded by the disciplinary field of architecture. Therefore, new tools such as computer design and all that it encompasses make their place in the field.
The new means of architectural design entail a new scenario and a broader and more complex project scope. That is, they offer more technologically advanced methods for the creation of complex structures that are constructively feasible and of high quality.
First mistake, missing information
A blueprint usually contains a lot of information, so much that at first glance it is difficult to notice anything missing. But any missing information can cause delays in the execution of a project.
As an example, just imagine that the structural plan for level “X” of a housing project is missing a dimension.
Without this dimension, the length of a beam cannot be accurately determined, which would delay the assembly of the formwork and the pouring of concrete throughout the level.
When that happens, the only way to fix this is to contact the designer to request an adjusted site plan, and then wait for it to be received by the construction manager before proceeding. It seems like a simple problem, but any delay on site generates costs, no matter how small.
Second mistake, lack of coordination
A building project requires the participation of multiple multidisciplinary teams (architects, structural, electrical, mechanical, hydraulic engineers, and more) who must provide their specifications and designs in drawings to be read and executed on site.
However, if there was no prior coordination between 2 or more of these teams, inconsistencies may occur, such as a sewage pipe going through a slab and not the duct that the architect had foreseen in his project.
Third mistake: lack of detail
The most common errors in structural drawings. This seems to be similar to the first error, but it is not.
In reality, this error arises because some architects or engineers avoid elaborating specifications or additional details. Many times because they want to save time, or because they consider that it can be solved on site.
It is this type of error that haunts designers and catches them off guard, since the only solution to this problem is to elaborate the detail, investing time in a project that was thought to be complete and not investing it in new projects.
Design mistakes to avoid thanks to house plans
First mistake: the measurements of the plan do not coincide with the drawn furniture
Of course, the first thing you should check is that the plan is scaled. That is to say, that you can measure and make checks on it.
A proportionate floor plan can make you assume that the house is bigger than it is. Although this is not really a design flaw, for you it can be a huge mistake when it comes to telling you to buy a house.
Remember that measurements are necessary to know if you are on the right track.
Once you have done this, check that the furniture is drawn to the correct size. In some floor plans I have found beds that are six feet long.
The furniture in a floor plan not only makes it look nicer, but it will really show you if the space left is enough.
Second mistake, you only look at form and don’t focus on function
A floor plan may look very nice on paper, but if you don’t study it and review it well, mistakes may only show up after you move in.
Reviewing your lifestyle with the floor plan in front of you is a task that can ensure that the home works the way you want it to.
To check that the design is right, imagine yourself going about your daily routines.
Pay special attention to potential functional challenges.
Third mistake, Misallocation and misallocation of space
The most common errors in structural drawings. Even in a large house, a few wasted meters in a poorly maintained area can make a significant difference.
Hallways are a good example of that. Although they are usually necessary both for functional reasons and to create some privacy, they should always be planned to a minimum.
Create insufficient storage.
Forgetting to include the right amount or type of storage is a frequent and costly mistake.
No architect or designer knows better than you do what you need.
Fourth mistake, The space you need for storage varies by lifestyle.
You may need to store bicycles next to the entryway or children’s toys in the living room.
Proper storage is priceless. It will help you avoid clutter, which means a more organized, safer and quieter space.
You will be able to check quickly thanks to the floor plan if the space you need is enough or not.
Fifth mistake, treat furniture as an afterthought.
The most common errors in structural drawings.
Finding the right place or position for your furniture can become a challenge, even in large spaces.
This task is especially difficult the more open the space is.
As I’ve already discussed, to avoid costly and frustrating mistakes, having a floor plan with the furniture to scale drawn early in the process is key.
Sixth mistake, that the proposed design is insensitive to existing infrastructure
Most of the infrastructure, from pillars, structural walls, pipes, main downspouts, or the electrical installation itself, is hidden. While it may seem easy to move things around, the cost of relocating the bathroom to the opposite side of a house, away from the downspout, can be costly and can cause major problems in the future.
Conclusions to these design mistakes
The design errors you can catch with the plans can be easily solved. So there is no excuse to always keep these points in mind and do a quick review of the plan. This way you can avoid spending too much time and money.