For a Layman its tough to know what to expect of his Architect and what type of drawings should be expected of him.At times he is also not aware regarding what all he should discuss with his architect. Although all good architects plan and provide the drawings stated below but a very few try to avoid giving many details. Firstly we give below the list of drawings expected of an Architect and what to expect in them.
1. Layout Plan -
This would show the size of plot and the position and sizes of all the rooms and facilities provided such as bedrooms, drawing room, kitchen, lobby, toilets, store, puja room, study, staircase etc.
2. Layout Plan with Location of Furniture -
In addition to the above said plan another layout plan is given showing the location of furniture in all rooms such as sofas, dining table, tables and chairs, beds, almirahs, T.V., telephone, music system, computers, dressing table, study table in childrens rooms,sanitoryware such as W.C., Washbasin tub / bathing area, kitchen showing location of gas, fridge wash sink, location of washing machine and other gadgets/ furniture you expect to use afterwards. In the front and rear location of taps, electrical motor, landscaping etc. The Location of all this should be discussed with the Architect at the initial stage only since it becomes tough afterwards to adjust many things and also then the location of electrical plugs becomes wrong causing you to do surface wiring afterwards. Here this furniture layout plan shwing locations to actual scale and size is part of Architects job but the design of individual furniture items is generally taken seperately under interior design work.
3. Sanitory plans of Toilets -
Finalise the location of all sanitory items to go into toilet and also the planning of electrical items such as geyser, hair drier space for keeping shaving/ shampoos brushes etc lights and mirror, exhaust fan towel rails etc connection of jets to w.c. hight till which the tiles/ stone is to be fixed. for this the architect gives a plan of the toilet and alsodrawings of each wall detailing the levels and positions of taps / fixtures and light points on each wall. If possible a small cabinet should be provided seperately or below the washbasin counter. Providing a counter around the washbasin helps in placing many small items on it or for making your samm child sit on it while you brush them or wash there face etc. Location of floor traps should be indicated with direction of floor slope towards them.
4. Drainage Plans -
Drainage Plans show the rainwater drainage directions and slopes in open areas at Ground level, Balconies, Terrace and the location of traps and rain water pipes. The location of Sanitory pipes and connections to them from traps and sanitory fittings. Location of Manholes and gully traps, location of any taps given in open area or terrace etc. Location of Drainage pipes connecting manholes and there connection to main manhole with direction of flow and levels and slopes both of pipes, bottom of manholes and gully traps. The levels of ground in open area should be indicated and the levels in balconies and terrace also should be given to detail slopes. Position of any underground tank for water storage. If possible all vertical drainage pipes should be given outside the walls uncovered and if necessary covered afterwards this helps in less damage to the structure both at the time of construction and afterwards incase of any leakage.
5. Electrical Layout -
Planning for the electrical layout becomes easier incase location of all appliances and fixtures have been fixed in the above drawings such as bed lights would be positioned near location of bed tv cable point would be given near tv location and telephone jack given near its location. The location of fans and wall lights are also indicated in this plan as the location of mains and electrical meter. Its also given at what levels various switch boards to be given in height and there location as distance from any end of wall so that the electrician does not make a mistake w.r.t. position. It should be decided wihich make of switches shall be fixed since the type boxes to be fixed in wall shall be for the same make. Its generally seen that people do not decide this earlier and at the last moment ask electrician to get boxes in which at times the switches of the make you decide later do not fix. Always lay seperate conduits for electrical wires, telephone cable and cable tv otherwise disturbance is caused in them. In todays date where most of the times the tanks are filled with motors it shall be nice to make provision for an electrical indicater indicatiing when the tank is full and the indicater should be located near the kitchen or lobby. Make provision for position of Inverters since these have become a standard fitting and location of connection to them. Also the location of an mini EPBX to properly direct all calls and it also functions as an intercom inside the house. Make provision for door phone at gate and if required a security camera below balcony roof or any other convenient location. If you consifering providing electronic home security then discuss this with the proper agency and incorporate there electrical requirements in the electrical layout or ask the agency to provide detailed electrical drawings for there items which should then be given to the architect for there integration with his plans.
7. Layout of Kitchen -
Kitchen planning has become very important today with the incorporation of so many electrical gadgets and cabinetry in it. Here you should inform the architect regarding all things you expect to go in it so that he gives a layout showing location of all of them. Some of the items are Sink here decide its size and type initially since this effects the location of taps, water geyser, waterpurifier and a cabinet for placing wet utensils. Decide the type of cooking range since this decides the place to be left for it in the counter and also the location of chimney and any ducting to be done for it and the location of exhaust fan and the gas cylinders. Decide the type of fridge, microwave oven, oven, mixer, juicer, toaster etc so that there location and electrical points for them can be finalised and space is alloted for them otherwise half these items do not get space afterwards and are thus packed and rarely used. Many people say these are part of Interior designing but we would say no these are part of Architectural planning since without these plannings proper electrical, sanitory and kitchen size planning can not be done. Finally the location of cupboards and there sizes should be fixed. Location of all these items and cupboards should be shown in a seperate kitchen layout in which there should also be seperate wall drawings indicating location of electrical sanitory and cupboards on them with the fixing pattern of wall tiles to be fixed on walls.
8.Front, Side and Rear Elevations of the building -
A beautifull building needs to be designed from both inside and outside at the planning stage only. Front side and rear elevation plans show how the building shall look when seen from various sides and in case you want changes in looks then you need to decide here because any change in elevation changes nearly all your layout plans and location of furniture electrical and sanitory positions in various rooms effected by the exterior change. For example the change in size and location of a window or a balcony can shift the location of electrical points given for airconditioning / coolers the location of doors and subsequently the location of furniture inside These will also effect change in structural drawings discussed later.. Thus all elevations should be finalised at the initial stage. You should also decide the exterior finish since if stone cladding is to be done then extra space for there thickness should be provided around doors and windows. On finalisation you can request the architect to prepare an perspective view of the building. Some architects include making of perspective drawing in there basic fees and some charge extra for it. The elevation drawings are part of the architects work. Architects can also get a model made of your building and generally charge extra in case of small housing projects while they may include its cost in big projects.
9. Joinery details or Wood Work details -
Here the architect provides a detailed drawing providing size and shapes of all Chawkhats ie. wooden frames of Windows and Doors. He provides section details of double and single patam frames and details of any grooves or designs to be given on them since these need to be done at the time of making of frames before joining individual wooden sides to make a frame. Details have to be provided with respect to shutters of doors and windows there design and sectional details. Also the shape and size of wooden mouldings to go on them or any decorative work to be done on them. This is part of the Architects work.
Details of cupboards in the various rooms and kitchen, there designs and internal partitioning details. Shutter designs and any decorative features to be provided. Although architects provide space and location of cupboards in there architectural layout plans many consider detailing of there designs and decoration as part of Interior Designing and thus do not give their detail as part of there architectural fees. Clarify this at the start only. Again this needs to be decided since in case any electrical point is to be given in them for any appliance then its location needs to be fixed in electrical layout and size changes due to design need to be incorporated in the basic building layout.
10. Details of special Architectural Features -
Here drawings are provided detailing any specialised Architectural features to be provided inside the building or outside the building for enhancing the looks.These are given such as Arches, coloumns, specially designed walls, domes in roofs etc.
11. Staircase Details -
Detailed drawings of staircase giving their plan and sections also details of any special shapes if provided in steps and also the location of their railings.
12. Flooring Details -
The Architect is required to provide flooring details indicating the designs to be provided while fixing of stone there layout pattern and any inlays details if they are to be done. Also the type and colour of the stone to be used. Similarly details to be given incase of use of wooden or mosaic flooring. A section detail should also be provided indicating the procedure for laying of the specific type of flooring.
13. Details of Grills and Gates-
Detailed drawings giving designs of steel and stone grills to be fixed in windows, balconie, boundary walls should be provided. Detailed drawings of Gate to be fixed is to be provided by the Architect and to be to the satisfaction of the owner.
14. Landscaping of open area -
Landscaping details are to be provided by the architect in case of small projects directly or in case of large projects to be provided in consultation with a seperate specialist on landscaping. Again some architects keep this as part of their architectural job included in their fees while some charge seperatly. In that case you can also hire a specialist seperately and coordinate his work with the architects Layout drawings and vice a versa. Clarify with architect at time of finalising his fees.
15. Submission Drawings -
On the basis of the above plannings a Submission drawing is made by the architect for submitting to the Sanctioning Authority for their Approval of the building plans.
16. Construction Drawings -
After Approval of building plans by the concerned Authority the architect prepares construction drawings. These detailed well dimensioned layouts of the building issued for construction purposes to the builder. Here plans for all levels are given in addition to the drawings discussed above.
17. Structural Drawings -
Structural drawings are prepared by Structural Engineers ie. ( Civil Engineers ) after calculating the loads and moments on slabs and other structural components. The engineer then prepares structural drawings providing details of slabs, beams , coloumns, walls and foundations. These drawings provide details of reinforcement in all slabs, coloumns, beams walls and foundation and also how they are to be tied and laid. He also provides details regarding the Concrete mix to be used for eg. M 15 ie. 1: 2: 4 ( 1 cement : 2 coarse sand: 4 coarse aggregate). He provides notes on covers to be provided to reinforcement and details spacing of stirrups ( rings) in coloumns and beams and the distance of curtailment of steel in beams and slabs. Details of cranking distance or the distance to which top steel is to extended into next slab. Thickness of slab and sizes of various structural components. Although most of the Architects provide complete details but some try to avoid providing detailed structural drawings or getting them designed from an structural designer to save money. Always request the architect to get the reinforcement after its laid on the shuttering to be checked by the engineer who designed it before casting of roof or foundations and raft basements. This is also necessary since many steel binders do not follow the drawings properly and could have made mistakes which would weaken the building.The structural designer would be the best person to find defects and suggest rectifications. Do not compromise on this since its your and your family's life at stake. The cost of structural designing and providing its drawings is part of the architects fees.
18. Completion drawing -
On the successfull completion of the building the architect makes a completion drawing its similar to the initial sanction drawing but incorporates any changes made in the building during construction. This drawing is agian submitted to the building authority for getting the Completion Certificate.
In the end we would like to say interact with your architect and inform him of all your needs and aspirations regarding your dream house. We would also like to state that incase you are going to spend a lot after the completion of the building on its Interiors then Hire a Interior Designer at the planning stage of the building or if your Architect also does Interior Designing then finalise him for both the architectural and interior design work in the starting so that you do not make any changes in the building on completion due to the Interior Design and all variations expected are incorporated by the architect at the initial stage before commencing construction.