Construction Documents = Question About Level Of Detail

I’m new to making construction documents. I’ve been reading the Sonders/Donley book and they talk about level of detail, but I have a more specific question. How much detail needs to be there in terms of interior aspects, like kitchen appliances and cabinets, etc.? Do I need to (in my floorplan and/or interior elevations) specify where the stove, refrigerator, and sink will be? And if so, is it easy to change those locations after the permit has been granted or does it get to be a PITA with plan re-submissions and inspectors having to come out for every little change?

What about other aspects like windows and room dimensions? Obviously I will have details of where windows are and room dimensions but if I want to make changes like moving the wall a foot or so or adding or subtracting widows is that a big deal after the permit?

I guess it matters what county/state I’m dealing with so I should mention I’m in northern california in a somewhat rural area called Lake county.


Minor changes like moving a window shouldn’t be an issue as long as nothing changes structurally like putting the window under a load bearing point. I’ve found it can really make a difference which inspector you happen to have!

Or placing the window too far above the floor if its a sleeping space…or the size of the window… or the type of window. Basically prescriptive method adopted by your local governing authority would have to be satisfied at inspection whether noted on your condocs or not. If the condocs are used to secure money for a construction loan the details might have to meet their requirements as well…and they may or may not have or require a separate inspection to satisfy the bank.

Best practices dictate that sufficient detail be provided in the submitted condocs to ensure comprehension of design intent and code conformance by municipal plan review/permit approval authorities and construction entities. Ideally, locations of ALL equipment and major plan elements will be fixed prior to submittal for permit.

If modifications must be performed, the sooner done, the better. Usually changes attempted after a permit is granted will be a lot more costly unless, as previously noted, nothing of structural or other engineering significance is involved. For this reason, I insist on conducting an in-house review with the client to confirm acceptance and minimize the potential for unanticipated change orders before releasing the final condocs for bid or negotiation.

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