Why As-Built Drawings Services are Important for Architects and Designers

as-built drawing services

As-built drawings are invaluable blueprints that accurately depict the construction details of a building and serve as vital documentation for obtaining building permits. As-built drawing services are a vital resource for architects and designers, playing a crucial role in guaranteeing the precision and comprehensiveness of their project plans. These drawings provide a realistic representation of the actual structure, capturing any modifications, additions, or deviations made during the construction process.

By utilizing as-built drawing services, architects and designers can have confidence in the integrity of their plans and comply with regulatory requirements. These services facilitate efficient and accurate communication between design professionals, construction teams, and regulatory authorities, ultimately contributing to successful building projects.

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Types of as-built drawings

Architects and 3D design companies can use several types of as-built drawings, and each one differs in terms of the level of detail they contain, the systems it focuses on, and whether it focuses on the sections, elevations, site, ceiling, or roof. For instance, the floor plan layout is the most common and basic as-built drawing and is the basis for the rest of the as-builts. It is also part of all packages offered by as-built drawings service.

An as-built floor plan shows a building or structure’s doors, windows, and walls. On a more complex level, floor plans can also include various building elements and systems, including electrical switches and outlets, bathroom fixtures, and kitchen cabinetry. As-built drawings experts offer as-built drawing services in packages and bundles that differ in the level of detail indicated. 

1. Standard as-built drawing set 

Standard as-built drawing sets are necessary if the property owner plans an addition, an essential project for remodeling, or adding an accessory dwelling unit or ADU to the property. The following drawings are included in standard as-built drawing sets:

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  • Floor plan

Basic as-built floor plans usually show the interior and exterior walls, stairs, windows, and doors. Standard floor plans will also include the kitchen layout that shows the fridge, stove, and sink, as well as the bathroom layout that shows a toilet seat, tub or shower, and sink. A more detailed as-built floor plan drafted by a floor plan design company also includes the current conditions of all the casework and equipment in the space. For instance, it can show all the pieces of equipment in the kitchen, such as the trash compactor, wine fridge, and dishwasher.

In addition to specifying and indicating the specific types of casework elements that exist on site. There are also rare cases when furniture is included in the as-built drawing as requested by the client. For more basic interior design projects like new furniture layouts, as-built floor plans are often the only thing the designer needs to complete the design. 

  • Exterior elevations

The exterior elevations show the appearance of a building from the outside. These demonstrate the building’s outline and the placement of doors and windows. Thorough as-built drawings of exterior elevations often determine the finish and material on the walls. These can also include the framing of doors and windows. These would also indicate the arrangement or look of the material pattern of the building. Architects and CAD drafting designers need to see and check the as-built exterior elevations to understand how the building’s levels stack against each other and how the various doors and windows are placed and aligned. 

  • Roof plan

Roof plans show the roof’s outline and illustrate the roof’s overhang over the walls underneath. A roof plan also includes details regarding the slope of the roof. Exhaustive roof plans also include the location of mechanical equipment or vents. Architects, designers, and structural engineers request as-built roof plans to help them plan future property additions and present a new roof layout. 

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2. Detailed as-built drawing set

Property owners and their architects and designers request detailed as-built drawings to explain all the property details if the construction project has an extensive scope of work. 

  • Cross sections

Cross sections of building sections are the drawings that architectural design professionals and designers request the most when asking for as-built drawings. As-built cross sections are crucial in showing the stairs and understanding the structure’s different levels and the thickness of the floors. Comprehensive cross sections also indicate framing information and materials, although it is uncommon in as-built drawings. 

  • Electrical plan

Designers commonly request electrical as-built plans when making new surface finishes or doing some work on the interior design. In general, an electrical plan, whether done for a new construction project or as-built documentation, indicates the heights and locations of switches and outlets. An even more detailed electrical plan includes the type of switch and outlet found on site (i.e., GFCI outlets). Aside from interior designers, electrical contractors may also request as-built electrical plans when upgrading or bidding to replace existing outlets. 

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  • Reflected ceiling plan (RCP)

A basic as-built RCP or reflected ceiling plan will indicate the ceiling outline, different levels of the ceiling, locations of lighting fixtures, fans, skylights, and attic access. Aside from these inclusions of the basic package, standard as-built RCP drawings often include the locations of the vents and different kinds of lighting fixtures used. 

A more comprehensive RCP as-built drawing will include the location of supplementary systems like electrical outlets on the ceiling and fire sprinklers and exit signs. Interior designers usually ask for as-built reflected ceiling plans to identify existing electrical and lighting fixtures and plan accordingly to place new and additional fixtures. The ceilings of commercial properties tend to be more complex due to the different systems that must be placed. 

Who makes as-built drawings?

Technically speaking, anyone with a pen, paper, and measuring tape can start drawing a building layout. You can mark doors, walls, casework, windows, ceiling heights, bathroom fixtures, kitchen equipment, and stairs steps with their width. But once you get started, you will soon realize how much work it requires, not to mention all the details needed. Creating and documenting as-builts tend to be a lengthy process that needs physical labor, close attention to details, writing extensive notes, and, on top of it all, lots of measurements.

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This is why architects and designers should leave the job of making as-built drawings to professional as-built drawing designers. As-built drawings service providers have a team of building and design experts who can create well-formatted and accurate as-builts. They know what notes must be written on the drawings. They can also explain the various elements found on the site. These as-built drawings experts are familiar with the various building systems that form the building and how everything connects. 

As-built drawing services are often the trusted choice of architects and designers when they need to outsource the job. As-built drawings experts specialize in documenting spaces and offering precise as-built drawings in CAD and digital documents. These service providers carry out the as-built documentation using a combination of workflows, techniques, technologies, and tools to achieve detailed and accurate drawings. Aside from the classic tape measure, these as-built drawing services also use a laser measure to get measurements quickly. 

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Aside from these, the more sophisticated as-built drawing services also use a laser scanner or 3D scanning camera to do the job. A laser scanner or 3D scanning camera can produce a 3D tour of the property that can facilitate as-built drawings. These can also offer standalone services to architects, designers, and building owners or managers. A laser scanner is a delicate measuring instrument that requires special and proper handling to operate it.

Laser scanners also require care and maintenance and often come with expensive price tags, making them hard for most architects and designers to obtain and maintain. Using as-built drawing services helps save effort and time and provides more accurate structure layouts thanks to their specialized measuring tools. They also have the proper workflows that help them deliver outstanding results to their clients. 

Get the bigger picture with the help of as-built drawings services

All in all, as-built drawings are an indispensable part of any project to ensure its success, and as-built drawings services are important for architects and architectural visualization companies for many reasons. Changes to building plans are inevitable as the original building is updated with new additions or alterations. The careful and proper use of as-built drawings will result in an expertly finished project and more satisfied stakeholders. 

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When seeking as-built drawing professionals, it is crucial to prioritize hiring trusted and reliable professionals. Working with experienced as-built drawings experts ensures that the project is in capable hands, and their knowledge and expertise guarantee the delivery of results that not only meet but exceed expectations. These professionals understand the intricacies of creating accurate as-built drawings and are dedicated to providing high-quality outcomes. By placing trust in reputable as-built drawings experts, businesses can have confidence in the reliability and excellence of the final deliverables.

How Cad Crowd can help

Cad Crowd has qualified as-built designers available to develop these drawings for you. Assuming you have the plans and adjustments to the initial project, we can design your as-built drawings to give the best information for your building. Get a quote now, and hire a freelance as-built designer for your architecture project.