About As-Builts

As-Built Measurements & Drawings, Draftings & Plans

What is an As-Built Plan?

In the architecture and construction industry, “As-Built” refers to a drawing that shows the existing dimensions and conditions of a building, space, or area. As-Built drawings should show the building exactly as it currently is, as opposed to a design drawing which shows the intended or proposed layout of the building. This is a critical distinction, because a constructed building almost never corresponds exactly to the original design drawings.

There are many reasons why building drawings can be inaccurate. Often, there are complications that arise during construction which force the contractor to make variations from the original plans. Or, over time the building might have undergone several renovations and/or tenant improvements, which were never properly documented and recorded in the building plans. Whatever the case, an As-Built drawing is intended to document the current dimensions and layout of the building, and show the existing conditions “as-is”.

Today, there are several different terms and spellings used when referring to As-Built drawings. These include: existing conditions drawings, record drawings, measured drawings, asbuilt (drawings, plans, etc.), as-built or Asbuild (drawings, plans, etc.).


With over 22,000 As-Built surveys completed in the last 20 years, we are confident in what our architecture clients are looking for in As-Built plans. Here’s a brief list of the five most common drawings that architects, engineers, and construction professionals rely on to begin their remodel projects:


1. Floor Plan

As-Built Floor Plan

It all starts with the Floor Plan. You need to get an accurate Floor Plan before you can get most other drawings, because they all tie back to the floor plan. A good As-Built Floor Plan shows exterior and interior walls, windows and doors, and other visible structural elements such as columns and stairs. Any other required details can be added as needed, or shown on a separate plan.


2. Roof Plan

As-Built Roof Plan

This is a required As-Built Plan on most of our projects, particularly residential remodels. The Roof Plan shows the outline of the roof overlaid on top of the building perimeter walls, and includes structural details of the roof including valleys, hips, ridges, and pitch. Equipment can also be added, particularly for flat commercial roofs.


3. Exterior Elevations

As-Built Drawings Exterior Elevations

As opposed to a “plan view” drawing where the perspective is looking down on the building, an elevation shows what the building looks like from the side. Exterior Elevations are As-Built drawings that show the exterior sides of the building, from the ground level up to the top of the structure. Together with the Floor Plan and Roof Plan, the Exterior Elevations round out the typical set of As-Built plans that most of our architecture clients rely on to support their projects.


4. Reflected Ceiling Plan

As-Built Reflected Ceiling Plan Drawing

The Reflected Ceiling Plan, or “RCP”, is an As-Built drawing that shows both the structure of the ceiling (soffits, trays, coffers, exposed beams) as well as the elements attached to it (lights, vents, sprinklers). The RCP helps the architect understand how the ceiling is constructed, as well as what existing electrical and HVAC components are there for consideration with the remodel.


5. Electrical Plan

As-Built Electrical Plan Drawings

The Electrical Plan shows all of the visible electrical equipment, components and fixtures in the structure. This includes meters, panels, transformers, outlets, data jacks, lights, and more. We get asked to include an As-Built Electrical Plan on about 25% of our projects.


Taken together, these As-Built Plans show the architect a comprehensive view of what the existing building looks like, and how it is constructed. In addition to these five, there are many more useful As-Built drawings and deliverables that we provide at PPM, including 3D BIM models in Revit, Archicad, and SketchUp. For a full list of the As-Built drawings and As-Built services that we offer.


Once you have made the wise decision to obtain a set of As-Built plans at the beginning of your project, the next question is how to obtain them. There are numerous options:

1. Rely solely on existing record drawings

• Many times, an existing set of plans can be found from the building owner or municipality.
• This is a very risky choice. Without thoroughly checking the plans you cannot be sure that you are working with truly accurate As-Builts.

2. Do the As-Builts yourself

• This is the choice most commonly made by made by smaller architecture firms.
• The advantage is that you don’t spend any money, and also the potential knowledge of the building that is gained through the measurement and As-Built process.
• The disadvantage is that it’s probably not the best use of your time, and you might not have the necessary tools or specialized skills to do a thorough and accurate job.

3. Have a junior staff member do them

• This method is commonly used by medium and larger architecture firms.
• The advantages include low cost (on the surface) and slightly more efficiency then having a senior principal or designer do the work.
• The disadvantage is that the junior staff member is not a professional – they are likely unprepared and unqualified to do the job to the necessary standards.

4. Hire a professional As-Built firm

The demand for specialized, professional measuring services has increased rapidly over the last decade. Time and cost pressures in construction continue to increase, emphasizing the importance of accurate As-Built plans to minimize the delays and costs caused by inaccurate data. At the same time, the innovation of new measuring and drafting technologies has given an advantage to independent firms able to specialize in building measuring services.  Finally, many architecture firms like the idea of shifting their HR and tax costs, not to mention professional liabilities, over to an outside firm.

As a result of these changes, more and more design and construction professionals are realizing that their best option is to hire a professional third party for their building measurement and As-Built needs, allowing them to focus their time and energy on other parts of the project.


Our 7-Step Process

PPM provides As-Built surveys for all types of properties, including residential, retail, office, restaurant, hotel, industrial, and more. To ensure that we are able to deliver exactly what you need for every project, we have fine-tuned a process that ensures smooth execution for your program.

  1. Pricing + proposal – After we gather your project information, we prepare your proposal to arrive by the next business day.
  2. Project scheduling – Upon acceptance, we provide a complete timeline, including site visit, drafting, and estimated delivery.
  3. Site visit – We coordinate the field survey directly with you or your client. The time varies based on the complexity of the project, from one hour to several weeks.
  4. Drafting – Our drafters use precision to draft your As-Built plans in your preferred format of AutoCAD, Revit, or Archicad. They can add additional details to the plans, including custom client standards and other project deliverables.
  5. Quality check – Our Quality Assurance team reviews the As-Built drawings, models, and photos for accuracy and completeness of overall scope of work.
  6. Project delivery – Your project manager sends the final project files, such as AutoCAD or Revit files, PDF plans, and digital photos, via email and/or file share.
  7. Post-project support – After we deliver your plans, we continue to support you. Our team is always available to discuss any questions or additional needs throughout your project lifecycle and beyond.

Throughout your As-Built project, your dedicated project manage will work proactively to keep you informed of our progress, answer questions, and ensure delivery of your project to your complete satisfaction. Learn more about our process and Worry-Free Promise.


As-Built plans are the foundation to your remodel project.

example of as built drawing

As-Built plans are drawings or models that accurately present the existing dimensions and conditions of a building. When it comes to remodel projects, these documents are a critical first step that let you get a good look at what you have to work with. There are several types of As-Built drawings that you can work depending on the scope of your remodel. It’s important that your As-Built plans are precise in order to avoid costly mistakes down the line that can throw your project timeline for a loop. Attaining these documents are the starting point because overtime, buildings undergo renovations, modifications, and design changes that aren’t documented in the original plans.