Planting Plan

The planting plan shows the contractor what specific plants are to be planted and where they are to be located (Figure 4—11). A plant list that identifies the genus and species of all plants in the design should accompany the planting plan. The plant list normally indicates the quantity, size, condition, and other important notes about each of the specified plants.

Construction Details

Construction details often accompany the layout, grading, and planting plans. As the name suggests, construction details are drawn to communicate how specific portions of the design are to be built. For example, construction details might be drawn to show how a deck is to be built, how a fence is to be constructed, or how an area of pavement is to be installed. Sometimes several sheets or more of construction details are prepared to adequately explain how to build all the various parts of a project. A few examples of construction details are shown in Figure 4—12.

Need for Construction Drawings

The layout, grading, and planting plans along with the construction details should all be drawn in coordination with one another. When completed, these drawings inform the contractor(s) how the design is to be implemented. Whether or not these drawings are prepared for a particular project depends on the complexity and budget of the project. For example, if a design involves a simple terrace space with limited new plant­ing and no additional structures, construction drawings are probably not needed. But where there is extensive proposed construction (decks, steps, walls, fences, trellises, and so on), planting, or regrading of the site, construction drawings are essential to ensure that the design is implemented to the level of quality desired by the designer.

The type of company will also determine whether or not construction drawings are used. When a company is strictly a “design firm,” these drawings are more essential than when a firm is “design/build.” A typical design firm only provides design services. It does not get directly involved with implementing a project. In this type of firm, the designer should document the intentions of the design as completely as possible so that a contrac­tor who works with another company can implement the design correctly. Typically, a contractor is selected in this situation through a bidding process. That is, the construction drawings are “let out for bid” by having a selected number of contractors submit price quotations for the implementation of the design. This type of bidding process lets the homeowner compare prices among contractors before selecting the one to do the work.

On the other hand, when working for a design/build firm, the designer usually works directly with the foreman and crew within the same firm to see that the design is properly implemented. When this is possible, construction drawings may be very simple or even unnecessary to communicate how the design is to be implemented. And there is apt to be much more supervision of the implementation by the designer in a design/build firm.