Permit Documents vs. Construction Documents

So you need a project completed and just need the permit documents, quick and easy, and yes, more inexpensive than design documents. At Waldron Designs, we do not offer permit drawings as a singular service. Why? Because we are designers and permit documents are not designs.

Permit documents are technical drawings that give a general idea of what will happen to the building. They will include minimal architectural details and focus more on the structural drawings provided by the engineer. The type of information that is not included in a permit set but would be included in Construction Documents is:

  • Window and door locations and alignment.

  • Finish materials and how adjacent materials connect.

  • Fixture selection, sizing, installation requirements.

  • Cabinet layout to include height, inserts, counter material, counter edge detail and more.

  • What light fixtures will be used, and location. Switching of these fixtures.

  • Hardware selection for doors and windows.

  • Door and window styling and trimwork.

In truth, permit documents are useless when it comes time to actually build the project. All they do is communicate the needs to meet building requirements for your city and/or county’s approval. This is not approval of the design or directions on how to implement it.

Construction Documents will focus on the minute details, such as how the edge of a tile backsplash finishes along the wall- is there a bead tile, a metal edge, a bullnose tile, something else? They wil detail how the stair tread connects to the riser and material differences.

Regardless of how much time we put into our drawings, many of the final design decisions are made during construction, which is why Waldron Designs does not take liability for projects that do not include the Construction Administration phase of design. The only way to be truly diligent about design is to include the designer from the concept through to construction completion.

Questions? Comment below! We always respond! Let’s get started on your permit and construction documents!


Have you read our article about who obtains permits? Check it out—>