The Importance of Maintaining Your Drawing Logs

A drawing log is a series of spreadsheets used by construction managers to keep track of the numerous moving parts in a commercial build as well as monitor their progress.


Failing to maintain drawing logs could result in lost time, lost money, or an incomplete or incorrect build. Drawing logs also protect all of the project stakeholders by serving as a record of work and a means of accountability for everyone involved.


What’s Included in a Drawing Log


Drawing logs are comprised of a series of documents that are grouped categorically. At the start of each project you generally have a bid set, which is used when a project owner wants to price out a project. The bid set may include an addendum which adds revised scope and revised specifications. Also included in the drawing logs are a contract set and a permit set.


Things can get administratively challenging as the project progresses and the various sets begin to overlap in some ways. For example, the bid set often changes when action is taken in regards to the permit set because you get comments back from city officials, and you then have to go back and revise the drawings. Sometimes a bid set can become your contract set, but then the permit set will change it all. When that happens, now you have to adhere to the permit set.


Being aware of every change and tracking it diligently in the drawing logs helps give you a historical sequence of what’s happened with the project and when.


How We Maintain Our Drawing Logs


At Seacoast Construction, we take an extremely detailed approach to maintaining our drawing logs. No matter what, whether a bid set, a sheet set in bid set, contract set, permit sheet, or other sheet, we keep every single sheet. We put the oldest on the bottom of the binder with most current version on top for each sheet.


Keeping such detailed records is imperative or you risk:

  • Building the wrong thing
  • Losing money (and time)
  • Losing track of where things stand with the project


As you manage your drawing logs, you must also be aware of where things stand with the city (your permit set). For example, the most current sheet in your contract set may be newer than where you are with the city in your permit set.


If this happens and you are farther along than what the city has approved, it can cost you problems. They may arrive onsite and ask why things look different. Inspections have failed when drawings are not up-to-date with the city and with what they were building in the field.


To prevent this from happening, we use a two-color code system at Seacoast – yellow to highlight all of the revisions for the contract set, and another color to highlight what is permitted with the city (and to what revision). Keeping up with all of the revisions is important so you don’t leave money on the table and get paid what you are owed.


Accurate and up-to-date drawing logs ensure that the project is completed on-time and on-budget, and they tell a story of what happened and when with the build. It’s not something that should be completed only as an after-thought. At Seacoast Construction, maintaining drawing logs is an essential component of our build process. We simply can’t do what we do without them. To learn more and ask your questions about commercial construction in South Florida, get in touch with our team.

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