Drafting Service Files: Use this Comprehensive Checklist to Review Glass and Glazing Shop Drawings

Keep Your Project on Track by Catching Mistakes Early!

We recently locked the entire MP Drafting team in a room for a brainstorming session and didn’t let them leave until they produced the ultimate shop drawing review checklist.

After several hours of heated debate, they came up with 5 critical project management checkpoints to help you save time, money, and maybe even avoid a few gray hairs (a diet rich in B vitamins helps with that too).

In case you think I’m exaggerating, let me assure you: the shop drawing review process is probably the most important part of any glass/glazing project. It’s not to be taken lightly.

Even a tiny drawing error can snowball into a major headache later on in a project, because everybody gets their hands on shop drawings at some point:

  • The architect needs to review them,
  • The glazing company uses them to order materials,
  • The shop team uses them to fabricate,
  • Installers refer to them to put windows in place, and
  • Even the end user might need them at some point for renovations or additions.

It’s clear that any mistake in the shop drawings will result in costly delays and, if they’re not caught, unhappy building occupants.

Follow our team’s advice to make sure this never happens

Step 1: Avoid the Most Common Pitfall

The first phase of any project (before drawings are approved) is a very busy time. The project manager is usually under a lot of pressure to get shop drawings done so material can be ordered.

Unfortunately, project schedules often don’t leave enough time for an in-depth check and review process. So what typically happens is managers are forced to submit drawings without a review, hoping they’re accurate enough to pass inspection.

Most of the time, though, they’re not. And drawing issues are discovered when ordering materials or passing on information to the fabrication department. By this time, errors have already caused significant delays. And – even worse – they can result in ordering the wrong materials.

This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault. Mistakes are usually a results of information falling through the cracks. The best way to stop this from happening is to budget enough time to review shop drawings with our systematic checklist.

How long? It depends on the size and experience level of your team. Use your best judgement and adjust accordingly for your next project.

Step 2: Use our Shop Drawing Review Checklist (Download PDF)

Below is the ultimate drawing review checklist for project managers. Use it and you’ll be surprised just how fast the review process can be completed. And you’ll thank yourself later on, when the project continues as planned, without delay.

Our team recommends starting your review with the cover sheet, then moving on to the plan views, elevations, and finally details.

(Click here to download a printable version of the checklist)

1. Cover sheet (C1)

  • Is the job-specific information correct? 
  • Is the correct box checked for field measured or guaranteed openings?
  • Is the system and finish information correct?
  • Is the title-block information correct?
  • Is hardware shown correctly (if required)?
  • Are glass types correctly shown and labeled?

2. Plan Views (P1, P2, etc.)

  • The entire scope of the job is represented
  • Door swings are shown correctly

3. Elevations (E1, E2, etc.)

  • All dimensions are verified/correct with architecturals
  • Correct framing systems are used at correct locations
  • Frame quantities are correct
  • Adequate dimensioning shown for fab, install, and coordination with architect
  • Joint sizes are correct/adequate for job conditions
  • Glass types are correct with tempered locations shown as per code
  • Door #’s and door swings are shown correctly with hardware set # shown
  • Adequate dimensioning is used for brake metal, splices, etc.
  • Sections are shown for applicable multi-span frames

4. Details (D1, D2, etc.)

  • Details accurately represent the job scope and bid
  • Caulking is used at correct locations (e.g. interior, 3rd sealant line, etc.)
  • Fastening/anchor locations and types are correct
  • Surrounding conditions are adequately shown with proper reference dimensions
  • Door stiles, top and bottom rails, and threshold are shown correctly
  • Sub-sill and/or flashings are shown correctly
  • Floor line items are shown correctly (e.g. fire safing, clips, insulation, etc.)
  • Splice details are shown for each type used

5. Final Checks

  • Back pans or curtain wall insulation is correctly shown (if applicable)
  • Any variance from architectural drawings are clearly called out for confirmation
  • Any job-specific, non-typical conditions are called out differently or shown in more detail for the fabrication team, install team, and/or architect

Stick to this checklist and you’ll vastly improve your chances of kicking off a successful project. I recommend printing a few copies so you’ll have them handy for the next bunch of projects that land on your desk.

(click here for a printable version of the checklist).

Don’t make the mistake of assuming your drafting team has all the information they need to make perfect drawings the first time!

They rely on you to provide all the required information. There’s always so much information floating around, so it’s key to work together with your drafting team to ensure accurate drawings completed in a timely manner.

Questions, Feedback, Thoughts?

We’d love to hear from you. Do you have any drawing review tricks you could share?

Send us an email.

Best of luck with your next project!