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The key to achieving a detailed and useful set of submittal drawings is concise and continual communication between design professional and manufacturer.

The manufacturer shall submit samples, product data and submittal drawings of sufficient detail and scale to demonstrate compliance with the Grade specified.


Submittal drawings are the means by which the design concept is turned into reality, serving as the primary instructions for woodwork engineering and fabrication, and as a guide for other trades. As the primary communication among manufacturer, general contractor and design professional, submittal drawings serve a valuable coordinating function. Submittal drawings should indicate methods of construction, exact material selections, finishes, method of attachment and joinery, exact dimensions and should include the manufacturer’s technical suggestions.

Level of Detail

The level of detail required on submittal drawings is established by the complexity of the project. The specifier is at liberty to specify any level of detail as a requirement of the project and of the contract documents. It should be noted that requirements for local codes and utilization of fire-retardant wood products is to be researched and directed by the design professional and are not the responsibility of the manufacturer. What constitutes the minimum expectation for a set of submittal drawings is not simple, since there are many variables as to the complexity, quality and type of work being specified.


For the design professional, the approval stage provides an opportunity, prior to fabrication, to review the manufacturer’s proposed engineering of the professional’s design intent. Submittal drawings, however, are not an extension of the design development process; therefore, changes by either party of intent or concept made during submittal drawing review may result in a change of cost and/or time.

During the review process the design professional should consider the following:

  • Those charged with review of submittal drawings should be familiar with woodwork fabrication and have an understanding or working knowledge of the referenced standards as well as design concept.
  • Deviations from the contract documents are often recommendations for improvement, and not necessarily a criticism of design. It is as wrong for a reviewer to arbitrarily stamp “Revise and Resubmit” on a submittal drawing that proposes a change, as it is wrong to automatically accept submittal drawings because they contain duplicates of the original plans.

For the manufacturer, submittal drawings are drawings, diagrams, schedules and other data specifically prepared to illustrate their portion of the work. Their purpose is to demonstrate the way by which the manufacturer proposes to conform to the information given and the design concept expressed in the Contract Documents.

The four common levels of approval are:

  • Approved
  • Approved As Noted
  • Revise and Resubmit
  • Rejected [text wrap photo place holder qty 2]

Some design firms may elect to use the word Reviewed or Reviewed as Noted as a substitute for Approved.

Approvals are generally indicated by a stamp on the cover sheet of the submittal drawings. When selecting “Approved As Noted” rather than “Revise and Resubmit,” the design professional can often save weeks of production time provided the concept and all changes are clearly marked on the drawings. 


Most projects are encumbered by a tight production schedule, especially for the finish trades such as woodworking, painting, carpeting and wall coverings. Prompt review of submittal drawings and accurate coordination of multiple trades can save weeks of time and eliminate problems before construction begins.

The design professional should work with the manufacturer through the contractor to determine the maximum “approval-to-fabrication” timeline needed to keep the job on schedule (e.g., “Submittal drawings must be returned approved to fabricate seven (7) days after submittal”).

Tabular Schedules vs Drawings - In some cases submittal drawings are not required to communicate the necessary quality, type, quantity and details of an item. Tabular schedules are used instead, generally for such items as doors, frames, stock factory cabinets, closet shelves, and furniture items. [example photo of tabular schedule] 

The Process

It is the responsibility of the contractor to coordinate the manufacturer’s submittal drawings with work of all other trades and to ensure that hold-to/guaranteed dimensions are actually enforced.

It is the responsibility of the design professional or contractor, depending on contract relationships, to communicate design and field changes to all parties so that if dimensions are changed, each subcontractor can be held responsible for their work. 



Sheet Sizes

North American ARCH Series Paper Size

ARCH A 9 x 12 229 x 305
ARCH B 12 x 18 305 x 457
ARCH C 18 x 24 457 x 610
ARCH D 24 x 36 610 x 914
ARCH E 36 x 48 914 x 1219
ARCH E1 30 x 42 762 x 1067

North American ANSI Series Paper Sizes 
ANSI A 8.5 x 11 216 x 279
ANSI B 11 x 17 279 x 432
ANSI C 17 x 22 432 x 559
ANSI D 22 x 34 559 x 864
ANSI E 34 x 44 764 x 1118


International ISO 216 A-Series Paper Sizes 

A0 33.1 x 46.8 841 x 1189
A1 23.4 x 33.1 594 x 841
A4 16.5 x 23.4 420 x 594
A3 11.7 x 16.5 297 x 420
A4 8.3 x 11.7 210 x 297
A5 5.8 x 8.3 148 x 210
A6 4.1 x 5.8 105 x 148
A7 2.9 x 4.1 74 x 105
A8 2.0 x 2.9 52 x 74
A9 1.5 x 2.0 37 x 52
A10 1.0 x 1.5 26 x 37

Line Types

A variety of line styles graphically represent physical objects. Types of lines include the following:

  • visible – are continuous lines used to depict edges directly visible from a particular angle.
  • hidden – are short-dashed lines that may be used to represent edges that are not directly visible.
  • center – are alternately long- and short-dashed lines that may be used to represent the axes of circular features.
  • cutting plane – are thin, medium-dashed lines, or thick alternately long- and double short-dashed that may be used to define sections for section views.
  • section – are thin lines in a pattern (pattern determined by the material being "cut" or "sectioned") used to indicate surfaces in section views resulting from "cutting". Section lines are commonly referred to as "cross-hatching".

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