1. Clarity – Are the plans printed clearly and the specifications easy to read. Although you may not understand the terminology used somebody else will unless they are illegible. This document will be submitted to planning control and be used in the construction process by your builder, so they had better be legible!
2. True Elevations – Are there elevations of all aspects, showing the extended property as a whole, in addition to the floor plans? Often well drawn elevations can help sell the design.
3. Scale – Have the plans been drawn to an appropriate scale? These should be as follows:
Proposed plan elevations/ layouts 1:50
Block plan: 1:500
Location plan: 1:1,250
4. Plan copy size – Have the plans been re-produced on A1 or AO paper? Having to refer to several pieces of A3 or A4 paper during the project is not going to be helpful.
5. Measurements – Have the plans been marked up clearly with plenty of measurements in the same units? The external dimensions for all outside walls, positions of windows and doors are most important.
6. Specifications – Are the building regulations plans comprehensive and detailed? Are they annotated with detailed specifications? In other words are they worth the considerable expense of having them produced?
7. Levels – Do the plans clearly show the outside ground levels, either as existing or proposed? Are invert levels for the proposed drainage shown? If not this could be a problem for you contractor.
8. Details – Are their separate large scale detailed plans of connections or other critical areas of construction?
9. Red Herrings – Do the plans contain catch all statements like ‘work to comply with building regulations -Approved Document’ You don’t need to know what the references to the building regulations are only that you proposed plans comply with them. Building Control Officers will request that the details of the project are shown in the specification and/ or in the drawings. Also beware of pre-printed standard specifications are also to be avoided, all building work is unique and plans and specs should be be-spoke.
10. Presentation – Do the drawings look like they have been created with care and pride? Are they clear – have they been drawn with black ink and a variety of nib sizes? Do they show detail and are they presentable? Someone whoa has taken pride in their work is likely to have done a diligent job.