Construction Submittals: A Comprehensive Guide

Submittals play an essential role in communications during construction projects, offering key information about materials and products used during the building process. These documents serve as critical guides between stakeholders involved in each construction job aspect.

Submittals from contractors to project managers or architects ensure all parties involved remain on the same page about the quality and aesthetic of materials, helping ensure the project adheres to specifications and design intent.

For an expert breakdown of construction submittals, visit Bridgit and read their post on construction submittals 101: all you need to know.

What is a construction submittal?

Construction submittals are documents or collections of documents that provide specific details about components that will be integrated into a construction project.

These documents typically provide details regarding the design, colors, and dimensions of products being used as well as performance metrics and mechanics of these materials and products being utilized. Examples may include but are not limited to the following.

Shop drawings

These detailed diagrams or blueprints provide comprehensive information about the materials and products, how they will be installed, and how they will function in the finished structure.

Product data

This contains specifications and performance data, layout requirements, and details about the materials’ aesthetic qualities.


Physical examples of materials or products give a tactile sense of the final product. This can range from a swatch of fabric or tile to a small-scale mockup of a larger element.

Manufacturer’s instructions

Detailed guides provided by the manufacturer explaining how a particular product or material should be installed and maintained.

A construction submittal aims to ensure all materials and products align with the project’s design intent and quality requirements. It allows the architect or project manager to confirm that the proposed materials meet the project’s specifications before they are ordered and installed. 

In essence, construction submittals play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the original design while ensuring a successful outcome for the construction project.

Step-by-step guide to creating a construction submittal

Creating a construction submittal can seem like a tall order, but following this step-by-step guide can craft a comprehensive and professional document.

Step 1: Thoroughly review the project specifications

Before starting the submittal, carefully examine the project specifications. Understand the materials, products, and processes outlined in the construction documents.

Step 2: Compile the necessary documents

Gather all necessary documents, such as shop drawings, product data, samples, and manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure they align with the project’s specifications.

Step 3: Create a submittal schedule

Develop a schedule outlining when each submittal will be sent for review. This will prevent any delays in the project timeline due to late approvals.

Step 4: Draft the submittal

Begin drafting the submittal. Include all the necessary documents and any additional information, such as a cover letter explaining the contents of the submittal.

Step 5: Review and edit

Once the draft is complete, review and edit it to ensure that everything is accurate and in order. Make sure there are no discrepancies with the project specifications.

Step 6: Finalize and submit

After all reviews and edits have been made, it’s time to finalize and submit the document to the architect or project manager for approval.

Step 7: Track and log submittals

Lastly, keep track of all your submittals in a log. This will help you monitor the approval process and maintain organized documentation of your project communications.

By following these steps, creating construction submittals can become a more manageable and efficient process, ensuring seamless communication with project stakeholders and contributing to a successful construction project outcome.

Construction submittals are essential

Construction submittals are not just documents but essential tools for effective communication and coordination in a construction project. By ensuring that every material and product aligns with the project’s design intent and quality requirements, they uphold the integrity of the original design.

Moreover, with a systematic approach to creating these submittals, contractors can streamline the process, enhance the efficiency of project timelines, and contribute effectively to a successful project outcome. Thus, mastering the art of crafting a thorough construction submittal is worthwhile for every construction professional.

Video – What is Construction?

This video presentation, from our YouTube partner channel – Marketing Business Network, explains what ‘Construction’ is using simple and easy-to-understand language and examples.

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