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June 2021
Image of 3D laser scanner capturing point cloud data in a residential living room during an As-Built survey site visit.
Residential As-Built Survey Site Visit: How to Prepare 1080 565 Andy McFarland

Residential As-Built Survey Site Visit: How to Prepare

Preparing for your Residential As-Built Survey Site Visit

If you’re preparing for your residential As-Built Survey site visit, you’re more than likely preparing your home for a remodel or addition. Congratulations on this special endeavor to enhance the space you’re living in! As your architect or designer likely told you, accurate and up-to-date As-Built plans are incredibly important to the success of your remodel or addition. Our team of expert surveyors, drafters, and modelers take them very seriously. Ensuring your plans are precise and every contractor is working with correct dimensions helps keep your budget in place and your project on time. PPM’s goal is to set you and your architect up for success and it all starts with a site visit to gather up-to-date measurements.

How we Capture Data During a Site Visit

Today’s technology helps us move through your home quickly. We use a 3D laser scanner to ensure we provide the most accurate As-Built plans while taking up far less of your time to acquire the data we need. Our laser scanners capture millions of data points in the form of a point cloud – used by our drafting team to prepare your As-Built drawings off site, so we can minimize our time in your home and give you back your space as quickly as possible!

Preparing your Home for the Surveying Process

We know your home is your sanctuary and our goal is to help you feel comfortable and at ease while we’re in it. There are a few things we’d like you to know before we arrive that will help your surveyor work quickly and efficiently through the surveying process.

1. Our Time on Site

It’s typical for a building survey project to take 3 to 4 hours. The laser scanning portion of our survey usually lasts about 30 minutes. You can expect the rest of the time to account for preparation of the space for scanning, photos (still photos, 3D photos, and those needed for 3D tours), processing of the data on site to ensure we’ve captured all necessary info, and tear down. We may need to take a few manual measurements in hard-to-reach places.

2. Furniture and Boxes

We know this is a living space. Don’t worry about boxes and furniture. Rooms do not need to be cleared, however, it is helpful if our surveyors are able to walk into each room and reach all walls and windows.

3. Site Contact and Access

Whether we’ve set up this appointment with you or a family member, it’s important to ensure your Project Manager has the full name, phone number, and email of the site contact for the day of our scan. Please be sure your site contact has a full set of keys and that all keys have been tested to ensure full access to every room and door in the home or building. Any doors that we are unable to access will have to be excluded from the scan. In residential homes, this isn’t typically an issue, but we want to let you know.

4. Doors and Gates

Ideally, doors and gates will remain open throughout the scanning process including the entrance and exit to the home. As-Built scans yield the best results when our surveyor can perform them in one swift movement without having to pause and open entryways. Please let us know if this is not possible. Upon completion, the surveyor will be sure to close cabinets, doors, and gates and return the property to its original condition.

5. Cabinets and Doors

The surveyor may need to prop open some cabinet doors prior to scanning to capture the wall behind them. If this is necessary, doors will need to remain open in the same position during the scan to avoid any issues. Your surveyor will ensure everything is closed up once they are finished.

6. Mirrors

Mirrors can cause a “reflection” challenge for laser scanners. The surveyor will assess the mirrors in the building before they scan and may need to cover them with paper or turn them to ensure the laser scan data renders accurately. If your surveyor covers up mirrors with butcher paper, please leave them covered until the scan portion of the visit is complete.

7. Small Children and Pets

Please let your surveyor know if there are small children or pets in the home, so we can ensure their safety while all doors are open. In some situations, it may be best to put pets in a small bedroom and close the door. The surveyor may be able to manually measure or do a second scan to capture this area separately.

8. Minimizing Movement

Please ensure no other work will be performed on the day of our site visit (i.e. cleaning, moving, painting). It is necessary to minimize movement during the scan as much as possible. In the case that our surveyor enters the room you are in during the scan, the best thing to do is stand in place. Avoid scurrying to another room or any movement as this can confuse our scanner in the process.

9. Sprinkler Systems

In most cases, we will need to scan the perimeter of the building. Please ensure any sprinkler systems will be turned off for the duration of the site visit.

10. Roof and Foundation Access

Our surveyors are equipped with a 15-foot ladder. If we are providing exterior elevations or a roof plan, it is key for our site contact to communicate if we’ll need a taller ladder. If foundation or framing plans are included in your request, please ensure there is access to those spaces.

11. Manual Measurements and Photographs

Our surveyors may take some manual measurements in hard-to-reach places as well. We also snap lots of photos which are used by our team as well as your architect. Our drafters and quality assurance team use them in the drafting and review process. They are then sent to your architect as part of the deliverable package and are used for design and production purposes. Once the scan is complete and we’ve ensured we have all of the data we need, we’ll be on our way.

Thank you for learning more about our residential As-Built Survey site visit process!

Now, you’re ready for your site visit! We look forward to kicking off your remodel project with Worry-Free As-Built surveys your architecture, design, and construction teams can trust to start your project off great. We appreciate your assistance, cooperation, and consideration in this process and look forward to meeting you. Please let us know if you have any further questions. You can email or call your project manager directly or contact us at [email protected] or 855-272-8458. Thank you for allowing PPM to be a part of your remodel project.

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

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Meet Eamon Pickard: Seattle Regional Director 1080 565 Andy McFarland

Meet Eamon Pickard: Seattle Regional Director

PPM Profiled: Meet Eamon Pickard
Seattle Regional Director

For many months now, our team has been carefully planning the July 2021 launch of our newest Seattle office and looking forwarding to providing the best in As-Built Surveying services to the local architecture community. At PPM, great team members are vital to our success, and more importantly, the success of our clients. Therefore, finding just the right person to lead our Pacific Northwest office has been the most important and thrilling piece of the expansion puzzle! Today, we are proud to introduce you to our Seattle Regional Director, Eamon Pickard!

Read on to learn more about Eamon, how he landed in Seattle, his architectural background, why he’s the best person to lead our newest office, and his favorite Seattle hangouts when he’s not busy surveying buildings and managing projects for our clients.


Before we dive into your AEC work experience, where did you grow up and what brought you to Seattle?

“I grew up in a small town an hour north of New York City. I eventually went to college in NYC and continued to work and live in Manhattan thereafter. About four years ago, I briefly moved to Seattle for about six months and enjoyed my time, but an opportunity led me to leave Seattle. Although I moved away, the city drew me back. I love the combination of nature and urban life. It’s one of the few cities in the U.S. with rich green outdoors and mountains only minutes from Downtown. Coming from a pure concrete jungle like NYC, I appreciate that balance.”


What is your experience in the AEC industry?

“I went to college in NYC pursuing a Masters in Physics, but I started my career at an architecture and engineering firm. I always wanted to build my own home, so after college, I was reintroduced to an old family friend who was an architect. He just so happened to be looking to hire someone in his firm. He taught me the basics of architecture and 3D modeling. I soon fell in love with the work and couldn’t put it down. I moved on to become a junior drafter and worked towards project management at the firm. I eventually went into construction as an estimator and project manager for both new construction and reconstruction.

During my time there, we had engaged in finding alternative housing options for clients. We considered yurts, which were basically a nomadic Mongolian hut. After making some connections, I decided to travel to Mongolia to find manufacturers. My time in Mongolia led me down an interesting path developing intracity transportation in the capital city. I then worked for a private equity firm upon my return to the states and received an unexpected education in financial training.

Looking back, all of my experiences combined have provided a great foundation for my new role at PPM with a well-rounded understanding of the AEC industry as well as experience in project management, drafting, and the financial aspects of running an office. I’m fascinated by how much goes into architecture. It has so many complex pieces that somehow fit together. I’m looking forward to working closely with architects to ensure they have the most accurate set of As-Built plans to kick-start their remodels.”


Of all the things you learned working at your first architecture firm, what was the most important?

“My mentor was very articulate in his training. He taught me how every line counts in architecture and that it’s vital that you express a drawing precisely as it is. He would explain it as if I were a doctor and that every stitch or every cut could make or change a life.”


How will you be supporting our Seattle metro clients?

“I’ll be managing all Seattle area projects ensuring our clients receive their As-Built plans with accuracy, timeliness, and strong communication. I’ll be working closely with our clients all the way from the proposal stage to final delivery, ensuring they receive deliverables drafted to their preferences and scope of work. I’ll also be handling much of the laser scanning and site visits. While I’ll be capturing the point cloud and other site data, our Production team will handle all drafting, modeling, and quality assurance through our CAD/BIM office in Salt Lake City. Our main goal is to support Seattle-area architects, designers and property owners with Worry-Free As-Built plans they can count on to ensure their remodel runs smoothly.”


What areas of Washington will you cover?

“We’ll be serving clients in areas around Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Everett, and other surrounding cities all the way to the west coast. We’ll be focused mainly on the western side of the state, but as far east as Skykomish…possibly further depending on the project.”


What are you most excited about in your new role as Regional Director in regard to supporting our clients?

“I am a huge advocate of supporting people and their dreams. Helping create a PPM branch in Washington and helping to bring people’s ambitions to reality is very exciting. I feel that everything in my career has prepared me to lead this region.”


What are you most excited about in coming onboard with the PPM team?

“I’m thrilled and eager to work alongside the PPM team. The most exciting aspect is the community culture they have created within the company. My whole experience with PPM so far has shown only good things. The team is driven and very professional, but at the same time, very fun and personable.”


What would you like to learn or develop in this role?

“I’m excited to work with architecture firms in the Pacific Northwest. I look forward to the new experience and knowledge this will bring. I’m also happy to hone my project management skills and drive the success of our newest office.”


All right, work aside, we have a just a few more questions to get to know you better!

What is one thing people wouldn’t guess about you?

“I whistle as well as the birds in Disney movies.” (If you see Eamon on site, make sure to ask him to whistle his favorite tune!)

How do you like to spend your time off?

“Most of my time is spent rock climbing, camping, or spending time with the people I care about most.”

What’s your favorite thing about Seattle?

“Seattle is a true gem of a city. It’s ability to be so green and luscious while being a major metropolis is an incredible feat. I can stare out the window every day and feel nature.”

Do you have a favorite Seattle neighborhood?

“So far, my favorite neighborhood is First Hill – spectacular views of all parts of southern Seattle and Rainier.”

In your opinion, where’s the best cup of coffee in Seattle?

“I love going to Tougo. It’s in First Hill’s Yesler Terrace Park. The owner is extremely friendly, and the area is so nice to just sit down and sip coffee.”

If you’re preparing for a remodel project in Seattle, Eamon and our team of seasoned As-Built professionals would love to help ensure your As-Built plans are up to date and ready for your project’s success. We’re currently accepting As-Built Surveying projects in the Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and western Washington areas.

Here’s how you can get in touch!