Here at Mosby Building Arts it takes a village to bring your dream project from an idea to a well-crafted finished project. We employ a deep bench of architects, designers and laborers, such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Most job titles are likely self-explanatory to those not in the home remodeling industry. But some roles in the process are not as well-known. Even though they operate behind the scenes, their roles are no less important. Today we would like to shine a light on the wonderful DRAFTERS at Mosby Building Arts.
Meet Alacia Riley and Suzi Schneider, who together are the Mosby Drafting team. They gather a myriad of information at your home and use specialized design software to convert that data into usable blueprints and other technical drawings. The drafters provide a vital visual roadmap that all team members will follow.
How long have you been a drafter?
SS: I’ve been in the industry for 10 years.
AR: I’ve been a drafter for 12 years.
What is your role in the design process?
AR: After a Project Design Agreement is signed, we go to the home for a “Measure & Photo” session. My role is to sketch the living space on paper, while Suzi photographs the space. Yes, some take two hours, some take four or more, just depending on the size of project.
SS: At the “Measure & Photo”, after taking the photos and sketching the space, I will use a regular tape measure and a laser tape measure to get the measurements of the space, and Alacia will record the measurements in the form of dimensions on the sketch she had drawn. We measure anything that is pertinent to the project.
What steps do you take after the M&P?
AR: After the M&P, we create the “existing conditions” for Mosby Designers to work off to create their designs. Once the project has sold, we use the “existing conditions” and the Designer’s “Proposed Plan” to create necessary floor plans and elevations required to obtain a building permit.
SS: Each municipality is a little different, so Alacia and I must research as we create the building permit drawing set. We make sure we have everything required to apply for the building permit. The building department must approve the plans which can take around two weeks for first review.
What is the importance of drafting as it relates to the rest of the project?
SS: All plans are based off of the measurements from the M&P. We create an “Existing Conditions” model and it must be 99.9% accurate, as it’s the foundation for the entire job. If just one thing is missing or inaccurate, it’s like a domino effect…resulting in wasted time and money.
AR: Agreed! Ask a designer if it’s a big deal if kitchen dimensions are off by 6” and they will tell you it’s a huge deal! If we submit an incomplete plan for permit, it will be rejected. A delayed building permit is a huge disruption in the timeline of a project.
What skills are required to be a good drafter?
AR: Flexibility, as you are always learning new software and adapting when it changes. Also important is being up to date on Building Code requirements for the varying St. Louis metro area municipalities. And drafters absolutely must be detail oriented as it’s a technical role. You also need a basic understanding of construction documents and an ability to create technical drawings using architectural standards.
SS: I agree, attention to detail is a most important skill, as is patience. I share Alacia’s opinion on needing a good understanding of construction basics. I think as drafters we need to recognize that the outside world really doesn’t understand exactly what we do!
What is your educational background?
AR: I have a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a major in Architectural Studies. I have experience in various types of Drafting (Engineering, Commercial/Residential Architectural).
SS: I received my B.S. in Architecture from the University of Detroit – Mercy. I majored in Architecture with a minor in History. I’m currently working towards my architectural license, which would allow me to stamp plans.
What made you become interested in pursuing drafting?
SS: I always wanted to be an architect. My goal was to come to the rescue of old buildings and save them. That has led to my journey down this path. I’m more of the technical one, where Alacia is more of an artist and has a creative side.
AR: (haha) Yes, I am very creative, and also an extrovert! I’ve also always enjoyed working with people as part of a team. So, in high school, I decided that I could major in Interior Design, that way I could find work that was creative and help people make their spaces more functional and beautiful. Essentially, I wanted to make the world a better place!
What is your favorite thing about being a Drafter?
AR: In the Mosby Drafting Department, I help the Designers every day, which is very rewarding. As an artist, I enjoy sculpting 3D models. Sometimes a project takes extra time to build the 3D model version. With my experience, I can build these elements into the model relatively quickly, saving the Designer time, allowing them to focus more on their client.
SS: My favorite thing about being a drafter is putting the plans together. Part of that is working with codes and all the details. It’s like a puzzle and I love the challenge of getting all the pieces to fit.
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know two of our valuable team members. You’re in good hands with Alacia and Suzi behind the scenes, as well as our entire Mosby team!