In many instances, construction documents are issued in two phases.

The first phase documents are for the building permits and are often called Permit Drawings. Where a project is very basic (dock, deck, covered entry, basic garage), these may be the only drawings required. If the project is more complex or more time sensitive they may be a first set of required drawings used to obtain a building permit and to commence prep work on site. During this time, the second phase documents, the Construction Drawings can be developed while the Permit Drawings are being reviewed for building code and municipal bylaw compliance. When a complex project does not have restrictive timelines both phases can be combined, allowing Construction Drawings to be completed while the Permit application and Tendering process are entered simultaneously.

The Construction Drawings provide information over and above the requirements of Permit Drawings. They provide highly detailed instruction that outline the assembly of each component of the building. The advanced detailing of Construction Drawings allows the designer to work through many of the building assemblies and elevation details. The depth of the information provided in the Construction Drawings correlates significantly with avoiding on-site assumptions by the contractor, reduces labour and time in resolving conflicts with less waste, fewer changes, faster construction time, tighter tolerances and an overall better building process for allinvolved.

For the owner, Construction Drawings are the most valuable tool for both establishing and enforcing the contract with a builder. Depending on the type of contract negotiated, with a comprehensive Construction Drawing phase, the builder will often be able to provide a detailed fixed price for the project, with minimal contingencies as the vast majority of unknowns have been resolved.