GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Civil Engineer

A licensed civil engineer can assess your site’s characteristics—including topography, soils, and drainage—and advise on the cost and feasibility of the site improvements necessary for construction. On complex or challenging sites, GO Home will collaborate with your civil engineer to plan, estimate, and specify the site improvements that appear on the site plan in your construction documents.

Construction Administration

Construction administration refers to the architect’s role in maintaining the timely flow of information – among owner, architect and builder – required to complete the project according to the construction documents.

Construction Drawings

Commonly referred to as “blueprints,” these dimensioned, scale drawings constitute the essential instructions the construction team will use to build your house. Along with the specifications, they will guide the prefabrication of building components and the assembly of the house on site.

 

A typical set of construction drawings includes:

  • Site plan
  • Foundation plan
  • Floor plans
  • Section drawings
  • Building elevations
  • Interior elevations
  • Details of such areas as eaves, structural connections, kitchens, and bathrooms
  • Schematic plans for mechanical and electrical systems

Construction Documents

Taken together, the construction drawings, specifications, and finish and fixture schedules describe everything that is included in your project and covered under the cost outlined in your construction contract. We pay close attention to detail in producing these documents, clearly defining our work on your house and site, and ensuring that the finished product meets both our exacting standards and your expectations.

Product and Finish Schedules

The product and finish schedules list windows, doors, hardware, plumbing and electrical fixtures, paints and stains, and other products unique to your project, providing information about their brand and model, dimensions, color, and installation.

Site Plan

The site plan is part of the construction document set. It is based on the site survey and also documents the following:  

  • Legal setbacks
  • Proposed changes to the site’s natural topography
  • Proposed building footprint for the house and any accessory structures
  • Proposed driveways and parking areas
  • Proposed utilities (water, sewer or septic system, electrical, gas, etc.)
  • Proposed retaining walls and other planned improvements
  • Stormwater management

Site Survey

The site survey—prepared by a licensed surveyor—is a map of your site and its immediate surroundings that includes the site’s legal boundaries, setbacks, topography, existing structures, surface improvements such as walkways and driveways, and important natural features, including waterways, wetlands, large trees, and rock outcroppings. The site survey should include graphic documentation of the following information:

 

  • Zoning Regulations
    • Property Lines
    • Easements
    • Setbacks
    • Environmental agency constraints (EPA, DEP, local wetlands setbacks and buffer zones)

 

  • Municipal Utilities and Property Surroundings
    • Neighboring properties (if applicable)
      • Approximate perimeter of buildings on neighboring properties
      • Spot elevations for lot-line retaining walls
    • In-street utility invert dimensions and locations (if applicable)
    • Roadways/driveways/parking areas with:
      • Spot elevations for sidewalks (if applicable)
      • Spot elevations along perimeter of pavement or roadbed
      • Inverts for drainage infrastructure, including culverts, catch basins, etc.

 

  • Physical Conditions
    • Existing site improvements (if applicable)
    • Footprints of existing built structures and infrastructure with spot elevations for:
      • Sills and finished floors
      • Exterior stairs, porches, and decks
      • Grades at corners of structures
    • Bodies of water, with elevations of high-water boundaries (if applicable)
    • Wetlands, intermittent streams, and drainage channels (if applicable)
    • One-foot contour intervals
    • Elevations at property corners
    • Trees larger than 12” in DBH (diameter at breast height, 4.5’ above grade) with spot elevation of root flare (base of tree)
      • Edges of forested areas, indicating both:
          • Outside edge of canopy
          • Location of trees (trunk) over 12” DBH along edge of woodland
  • Significant plantings
  • Solar and magnetic orientation

Specifications

Specifications constitute an in-depth written counterpart to the construction drawings, describing the types and characteristics of components and materials to be used and outlining critical construction operations.