The art of the drawing.

The advent of the personal computer and computer aided drafting software has made the old fashioned way of producing drawings, namely with a pen or pencil on paper, unusual. It’s true that there are some architects and architectural practices out there that still prepare plans this way but it’s been a long time since I did, and certainly my younger staff never have.

A client loaned us a drawing that he had been given of his house that had been produced for the builder when the house was built in 1933. There is something beautiful about an old plan like this and you can see the pride and the care the draftsman employed in his draftsmanship. Look at the lettering and the rendering of the solid surfaces and you will see that this drawing conveys more than the information strictly needed to build this house. We also take pride in our work and I would hope this is evident in our drawings too, it’s just that denied the ability to express ourselves with hand drawn graphics, we try to make sure that the plans, sections and elevations are set out on the sheet of paper so that it is pleasing to the eye. As they say, first impressions matter and if, even before the client has studied the content of our drawing, we have created a good impression, then hopefully the client will look at our proposals with a more positive attitude. It seems to be working.

Written by Tony Keller – Building Tectonics Ltd.

1933 drawing smaller size

4 tips for a successful house project

We give all of our clients 4 simple tips to have a higher chance of a successful, smoothly run project. Of course, this is not by any means a guarantee that all projects will go without any problems at all, these tips will just help you to avoid the unnecessary hiccups which happen all too often due to poor planning.  So our 4 tips to you are as follows:

Tip #1 – Have a well thought out scheme.

If you have carefully considered all aspects of your plans, and decided upon a final design then you can start the process and begin to make the design a reality.

If you don’t consider everything carefully, and change your mind about something part way through the work, you will be causing a lot of unnecessary hassle for yourself and your builders, it could cost you more and would probably take more time to complete.

Tip #2 – A good set of technical plans which explain to the builder how it should be built.

Getting a reputable architectural company to create a good set of technical plans for your project is key to getting everything built exactly as you’d like it.

The technical plans will tell the builders how the design should be built, and it can also act as a communication tool, and a contract between the builder and the client.

Tip #3 – Choose your builder with care.

You may have seen some of the TV programmes on TV showing builders who do a botch job on clients builds. These are not staged and this does happen very often if you’re not careful! So choose your builder with care and be sure that you do not end up on one of these shows.

Tip #4 – Don’t change your mind about anything once the work starts.

If you change your mind about anything whilst the builders are on site, you will cause unnecessary hassle for everyone. The project will probably become delayed and perhaps more expensive.

If you follow these tips, you are more likely to have a hassle free, smoothly built project.

Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.

Not everything is so straightforward…

Architects and architectural firms do not always have a ‘smooth ride’ with the project on which they are working.

Sometimes, architectural firms get given a a job for which they have no survey notes, which means no measurements for building features (such as where a particular window is, and how long a wall is, where abouts the doors are etc.). There are ways around this, but they may take a fair amount of time to find, and the particular method which we used only works if the building has been previously worked on by architects, but it is so much easier to go to the site in question with measuring equipment and getting the correct distances yourself, rather than estimating based on another architectural drawing.

For one of our recent projects, we had to locate and acquire a copy of previous drawings for the building in question. The drawings which we found online lacked measurements of any kind, so we had to use the drawings, combined with the scale they had given us to work out what each walls length would be, where windows were positioned etc. Doing this by eye with a scale ruler is never 100% accurate, but it will give the basic layout of the building.

So that we could work on the project, we needed a copy of it on our CAD system. So we set to work with drawing this building from scratch. We needed to take the drawings with our estimated distances, correct any which weren’t quite right (this bit was a trial and error task). We then worked out the scale of the drawing until it was correct (another trial and error task) and worked on it as normal from that point forward.

Although the printout from which we drawing did not have any measurements, it was still useful as a general guide as to what the finished plans should roughly look like.

Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.