There’s a lot of pressure to keep things moving on a job site. Clients want the project to move quickly to keep costs down and contractors need to keep their workers moving to maintain a smooth rotation among all the jobs they’re managing. Also, typically, trades people work in tandem so one needs to complete his work before another can begin. Finding quick solutions to on-site problems is essential to any project.
The cliché, “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been more true than in the creation and construction of space. When an on-site problem arises, sometimes there isn’t the time to go back to the office and draw an elevation; you must solve it right there so everyone can understand and move forward. Sketching quickly and accurately is the most valuable tool a designer can possess and it’s one that I use every day.
Typically, in our office, sketching starts before construction. Working with the client, we provide sketches that describe the shape and volume of each room. This gives the framers and mechanical contractors an idea of the final look of the space and helps them anticipate and avoid problem site conditions. Of course, we follow up with dimensioned elevations and plans.
Despite careful detailing, site problems do arise. To keep the ball rolling and to facilitate discussions about resolving the situation, on-site solutions are needed. You get a better final product when all of these smaller issues are resolved immediately, maintaining the original design integrity while keeping the builders on schedule.