Document Your Projects: A Picture Can Be Worth $1,000

Documentation will enable you to delegate projects, empower your technicians, project a more professional image and generate proposals faster and more consistently.


This set of drawings depicts the actual as-built conditions of the completed construction. In some situations, the as-built drawings will reflect the differences between the approved design and what was actually provided. Things change during a project. Perhaps there is a change in the system. Maybe a different piece of equipment gets substituted. Maybe they got it wrong during the survey and did not properly identify the existing equipment, or all of the existing devices.

Also the as-built drawings might include how cables were labeled by the installer, always a nice touch and big advantage for the next technician who has to figure out what is going on or wrong with a system.

My sample diagram illustrates many of the points I made in the article. The design is lifted off a job I did over the summer, only that job utilized an electric strike and not an electrified lever. Also I was supplying everything except the existing electric strikes.

But the desired functionality was the same, and the configuration for the delayed egress maglock was the same, so I would not have another learning curve to replicate the original system. Now that I was familiar with this delayed egress maglock, I was confident I could install and program it quickly and it would work properly.

So I had the drawing for the other project on file and was able to modify it rather quickly. Every time you re-use a drawing, you hopefully will further refine it.

When you are looking at the system in its entirety, you are able to focus on some of those details which might occur to you during the sales phase, but you might overlook when you prepare the proposal and layout the project.

This door had another type of delayed egress system on it, but there were issues with it, and the owner leaped at my suggestion to transition over to a highly reliable self-contained Integrated Delayed Egress Electromagnetic Lock.

My diagram does not show wire gauge, or details on the existing equipment which will not be changed. It does show specific wiring for the new components, the interface relay and the delayed egress maglock, as well as the jumper settings for the delayed egress maglock. It is a combination of a riser diagram and a system wiring diagram which is what I wanted for this project.

I make a note that the fire alarm will have to connected, and that the lever is fail secure.

The EAC (Electronic Access Control) monitors the DPS (door position sensor) and will initiate and audible alarm and signal security if the door is forced or propped. The alarm cancels by itself when the door is re-closed. If the delayed egress is triggered, it may be reset with a valid credential in either reader.

Since part of the pitch for this upgrade was not only reliable operation but also re-use of existing components, I clearly label the existing and new components, and show their relative locations, at the door or in the electrical closet.

There are different approaches to documenting projects, and this is an example of just one.

We Recommend