Four advantages of Shop Drawings

Four advantages of Shop Drawings

Shop Drawings are a set of drawings which show in detail how specific materials, portions, or equipment are to be fabricated. These drawings can include drawings, layouts, illustrations, schedules, sketches, etc. These are used by the contractor, subcontractor, distributor, supplier, or manufacturer.

Shop drawings are extremely important and their absence leads to unique challenges and exposes potential liabilities. They provide specific details, removes inconsistency, prevents onsite waste, fixes errors, and helps the stakeholders visualize and work towards a common goal.

In the current article we aim to highlight the four benefits of Shop Drawings:

1. Uniformity in Design Presentation and Documentation:

Shop Drawings convey how a product will be fabricated or assembled. For instance, Steel Shop Drawing Services gives information regarding the materials utilized, the dimensions, intended weight, joints, and connections, etc. It uses standardized symbols, units of measurements, and notation system to make these drawings understandable to all stakeholders involved in the project. It thus eliminates miscommunications and sets a precedent for success.  

Shop Drawings can also be used as a means of cross-referencing and element accountability during any point of the project cycle. For instance, a structural beam was delivered and found to be too tall, the designer can then refer to the fabrication drawings to find out what went wrong and also look to seek possible solutions. Moreover, if there are any loose components that need to be amassed then shop drawings ensure all the individual elements that are required are accountable for.

2. Accurate Costing:

It is extremely essential to get the right costing because that determines the whole project. Costing is dependent on various aspects of the project like material, labor costs, market conditions, site constraints, etc. Materials are a variable that needs to be controlled in order to get an accurate costing. As shop drawings mention what materials are being used as well as their dimensions it can be thus determined what would be the cost and how much to order. This prevents too much or too little of the material being ordered and any subsequent increase in cost due to wastage or overstock. Shop Drawings also allow us to create a manual schedule that can be used as a guide for the delivery of the materials and helps maximize the storage period.

3. Reduces Risk and Prevents Errors:

Shop Drawings are pre-requisite for approval and commencement of the project. Contractors who understand the importance submittals play in a project are better equipped to deal with miscommunication, complication, etc. A shop drawing service provides all the necessary information regarding the various elements of the projects for instance, in MEP Shop Drawing Services, all the details like bill of materials to cost of a duct will be present in the drawings.  With Shop Drawings one can also understand the precautions, codes, and guidelines that are relevant and if they are being adhered to it.

Coordinated Shop Drawings eliminate clashes at the pre-construction stage itself. Since these inaccuracies are spotted at the planning stage, then they can be prevented. This improves the overall efficiency of the project.

4. Training of Personnel:

Shop Drawings provide a wealth of knowledge to any budding architect. These technically crafted drawings can help students or a new recruit gain theoretical information about the construction process. Shop Drawings can help get better insight and information than a book as it deals with the actual construction processes and problems that arise during the same.


To have a successful project Shop Drawings are vital as they are essential for the commencement of any project. With the implementation of BIM, it is now possible to extract Shop Drawings from 3D Geometry. These extracted drawings allow for better integration, better scheduling, and are devoid of coordination issues. It reduces rework and gives precise and speedy solutions. Thus, it is because of the importance of these shop drawings in the project cycle that engineers and architects are finding ways to make it more effective and accurate.

Written By:
Divya Dave
Divya Dave is a Senior Manager with Tesla Outsourcing Services. An engineer and management graduate, she has been working with the outsourcing industry now for more than a decade. With a passion for writing, she writes on topics that provide an insight into CAD, BIM, and 3D Visualization services for the Architectural, Structural, and MEP disciplines. Her focus is to enable architects and engineering professionals in the AEC industry to adopt the right technology so as to increase their efficiency and profitability.

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