A technique that allows for real specificity.
A Finish Schedule is the traditional way to show the finishes for each interior space of a project. For new construction that approach works very well. For remodeling or renovation the table format of the Finish Schedule doesn't lend itself to the many variations that you encounter. The Finish Schedule is too simple.
A Finish Key is much more flexible. The Key allows for detailed descriptions of the intended work. In a schedule these descriptions become footnotes, usually ’easy-to-miss’ footnotes.
There are several ways to use a key. Above is my favorite. The symbol is placed directly in each space or outside the space but connected by a leader arrow. Each wall is tagged with its finish. The center space is used for flooring and base. The descriptions can reference the Specs or they can be the Specs.
If you will have Reflected Ceiling Plans, the Finish Key is not needed to describe the ceiling design. Just show everything on the RCPs. Or if ceilings are simple, they can be added to the Key. Place a letter designation after the Floor-Base, e.g. ‘A-1-A’.
If there are multiple plans where the Finish Key will be used, only use the exact same Key Legend everywhere. If you vary the legend in any way, you are inviting mistakes - yours and the contractor’s.
The Finish Key lends itself to giving the contractors specific instructions to get the results that you want. There seems to be a limit to the use of a Finish Key. Somewhere around 10,000 SF a Finish Key starts being more troublesome than helpful.
The Finish Key can eliminate the need for specifications of the finishes in some cases by adding a detailed ‘specification note’.
The Finish Key Legend should be placed on the floor plan sheets for easy reference.
Download PDF of legend.