Archinect
anchor

How to be good at detailing for construction drawings?

Carolh

I am going to graduate from Architectural technology program, but I am not good with detailing. I always struggled doing details, and they usually have something wrong. I watch videos and research to see if I can understand more on how things are assembled together, but it still seems to be hard to understand how to detail properly. I don't think I can do a detail without having another one as a reference. 

I am really concerned because my professor referred me to one company, and they offer me the job, but the professor made a referral before he saw my working drawings and detailing. I feel really pressured because I'm not good at it and afraid I won't do well in the company. 

I don't know what to do. I am wondering if I'm the only one that will graduate and don't know how to detail without having any drawing as a reference or doing the research before. 

How can you be good at detailing? Any advice, please?

 
Apr 6, 21 5:43 pm
Almosthip

Get a summer job swinging a hammer at a construction site.  Even a residential job will help

Apr 6, 21 5:45 pm  · 
6  · 
Almosthip

Also there is nothing wrong with researching and referencing other drawings. I'm senior staff and I still do both quite often.

Apr 6, 21 5:46 pm  · 
 · 
Carolh

The thing is that I will start to work in May, and unfortunately, I cannot do heavy work because of my health conditions or are there light working where I do not need to use much strength or carry heavy things? And wouldn't it be hard to get a job at a construction site since I don't have experience at all?

When you were a new grad, could you do a detail without referring to any drawings? Did you know how to do it 100%?


Apr 6, 21 5:51 pm  · 
 · 
Almosthip

There are a million different ways to detail a wall for different situations. You cannot know everything. But you do need to understand building science and be able to determine which details are better suited for a particular situation.

Apr 6, 21 6:00 pm  · 
 · 
Carolh

Is there any suggestion on how to understand building science better?

Apr 6, 21 6:08 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

So, what were you doing during class then?  Arch tech is specifically for drawing production, construction details, and specifications.

We've has a number of fresh arch tech grads pass through our office over the last few years and it's very difficult to find one that actually understands construction.  The ones that don't last are the ones who can only copy & modify existing drawings. 

So start by understanding what each line or hatch, or whatever actually does or represents.  Think like you're assembling the mother of all Ikea cabinets without instructions.


Apr 6, 21 5:54 pm  · 
1  · 
Carolh

I've been really trying my best. As I said, I've been watching videos to understand how things are built, doing some research, looking at existing drawings to see if I can understand better, and during my classes, I asked professors many times about details and trying to understand what I was doing wrong because I thought that I knew how to do it, but in many cases, they didn't explain what the correct way to do it is. So, I try to figure it out myself by doing researches. I just don't know what else I can do and concerned if I'll disappoint the company.

Apr 6, 21 6:06 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

You can't be good at detailing if you don't understand the materials you are using and how they go together. If you can't do physical labor, try watching shows and videos about construction--not HGTV crap but things like Matt Risinger's videos: https://www.youtube.com/channe...

On our BS + Beer Show, we recently had three architects as guest who are exceptionally good at detailing. You might enjoy watching. And follow Steve Baczek on Instagram; he shows a lot of detailing.

Apr 6, 21 6:09 pm  · 
2  · 
Carolh

Thank you for kindly answering it. The videos seem really interesting. The videos will help a lot. Thank you again

Apr 7, 21 7:38 am  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

It takes time. Nobody expects a new grad to already be able to do a lot of detailing on their own (or if they do, find another job).

The facts that you know you're just a beginner and are eager to learn tell me you'll do well. As a person who was where you are 25 years ago and am now considered an "expert" by many people, I can tell you that the more you know, the more you'll know you don't know - you have a lifetime of learning ahead of you.

Copying details is how everyone learns.

Apr 6, 21 11:05 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

^This. I caught myself a few days ago drawing my membranes with incorrect lap orders... rookie mistake and I should have known better. Then I looked at the clock and my empty whiskey glass and decided it's probably best I stay away from the details at 3am. I corrected a slew of drawings the next morning along with the 7am pot of coffee.

Apr 6, 21 11:10 pm  · 
 · 
daer

Wow you are such a go-hard tough guy, sipping whiskey and sleeping only 4 hours a night.. How very tough...

Apr 7, 21 8:02 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

^ my 4year old’s school and daycare are shut ATM so I have very little time available during daylight. I’ve returned to my undergrad night owl habits so that I get things done... but even pre COVID, 4-5hrs per night has always been my sleep needs anyways. I typically limit myself to 42hrs work per week.

Apr 7, 21 8:17 am  · 
 · 
natematt

What kind of membranes were you drawing?

Apr 7, 21 5:12 pm  · 
 · 
Carolh

I will try my best and hope I will be an expert like you one day.

Apr 7, 21 9:13 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

^Nate, it was actually a custom soffit/parapet transition detail. We don't rely on the trades knowing jack about sequencing so we really try to show things in the order they need to be applied.

Apr 7, 21 9:45 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

^Carolh, I'm no-where near an expert.  You can't know everything but you can learn enough about many things to put them together in a logical way.


Apr 7, 21 9:45 pm  · 
 · 
thatsthat

No one expects you to be an expert right out of school. Get your hands on copies of Building Construction Illustrated and Architectural Graphic Standards. These will give you a foundation to understand some typical detailing. Think about why materials are installed in a certain order and what the physical properties of the materials. Your goal is to understand not memorize. You may be surprised to find you know more than you think you do! 

Also check out building science fight club on IG; she shows how she thinks about water and wind ingress and egress. She focuses mostly on wood frame construction, so if you're not going that route, YMMV.

Apr 7, 21 10:07 am  · 
2  · 
Carolh

Thank you. I will have a look at it. I also found one book called "Architectural Detailing - Edward Allen". It seems very interesting.

Apr 7, 21 9:12 pm  · 
 · 
randomised

I've posted links to the must-read book by Andrea Deplazes (CONSTRUCTING ARCHITECTUREMATERIALS PROCESSES STRUCTURES) on numerous occasions, here have a look, for more useful tips:

https://archinect.com/forum/th...

https://archinect.com/forum/th...

And if you just want the Deplazes book, here's a pdf: http://www.sze.hu/~eptansz/Dep...

Apr 8, 21 5:36 am  · 
 · 
Jaetten

Where are you based?

If in the UK, you should get 'Architect's Pocket Book' and Barry's Introduction and Advanced Construction of Buildings books. I can only recommend books for the UK as that's where my experience lies.

Try designing a home for yourself and make it into a project. Also look at examples from Architects Journal, Detail etc and practice drawing them.

Your local building codes may have example details too.

With regards to your job referral, they won't expect you to be an expert and they will guide you through the early stages. You won't be put on a detail critical project and not have guidance, everything you draw will be checked and reviewed before being handed back with notes for you to amend. You will make mistakes, as we all do, and you will learn from them.

Apr 8, 21 10:59 am  · 
 · 
Carolh

I'm in Canada.

Apr 8, 21 11:05 am  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

^which arch tech school are you graduating from?

Apr 8, 21 11:20 am  · 
 · 
gibbost

Do whatever it requires to get yourself out to active job sites.  I can't actually recommend trespassing, but I can also say I spent a lot of time during college and internships on project sites that I was not working on.  

Physically standing in a building that is under construction is the best way to learn it.  You can see the pieces and parts and begin to understand the orchestration of the trades.  How one part affects the next.  Until you make these observations on your own, the details will always just look like lines on paper.

Apr 8, 21 11:25 am  · 
 · 

Block this user


Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: