Last week we talked about the design brief. We talked about outlining a plan of action and evaluating your goals. This week I want to talk about the next stage after the design brief and that is the As-builts.
As-builts of your home are probably one of the most important steps in the process. They are the foundation for which all the drawings are going to be created. They formulate the framework for decisions we make in the beginning.
The measuring can be done in several different methods. There are companies and people out there that will come in with scanning equipment and setup in each room. Scan the space and create a detailed 3d model of each space. The there are people that hand draw the plan on site and start creating the dimensions by hand using a tape measure.
In my book the tape measure is out. It would take me forever to use it accurately. Especially when measuring a house that someone is living in. I instead use a laser to capture the dimensions.
The accuracy of the dimensions is very important. They can make or break a decision on whether a particular design might work. It would be typical to measure a home to the 1/2 or 1 inch increment. Beyond that level of accuracy, I have found is not necessary.
Like I mentioned earlier I use a laser to quickly take measurements as I draw the space. I will put a link to lasers I have used in the past as well as one that I have just ordered. I am exploring a new application that would allow me to quickly and accurately measure a space using the laser connected through blue tooth to my iPhone.
It’s still in beta mode for me. I have to ensure it works without fail every-time before I can trust something like it. And the reason is that these measurements are like I said, setting the foundation. They are used to evaluate the various levels of your home and make decisions on how the structural is being loaded. Where systems might be in walls and floors.
Although it’s important to evaluate the systems as best we can they are still behind walls or sealed spaces. I can take an educated guess as to where and how they are run through your home but will not know until the walls are pealed back in an area. It’s not surprising to find pipes in areas that are unexpected. When remodeling be aware that this will happen and maintain a contingency to deal with situations that might have cost impacts on the project.
Not taking the time to fully understand a space and its dimensions can be detrimental to the project. You might find that dimensions don’t seem to align. Or something is off. It’s important to find those areas and pin down the reason. Often times it will be a furred wall or structural element that could be hidden behind a wall. These challenging areas can tell you a lot about what is behind the wall simply through measuring and discovering an inconsistency.
As these drawings or measurements start to get hard-lined into the computer you might find additional areas that need more information. This is when something like lots of photographs comes into play. I take a massive amount of photos after measuring. I wait to take them until I’m done because I can go in sequence from room to room using a method so there is consistency to the documentation. It’s important to be sure and get each wall and the general ceiling. Having those pre-construction photos are extremely useful.
By taking the time to thoroughly document your space, we are taking the time to build a solid base from which to begin the process. Now is not a time to quickly gloss over the details. Take the time. I would allow for 2-3 hours for an extensive and detailed measure. If you have the tools to scan a room it could be much faster. Speed is not as important as accuracy and getting a feel for the space. I forgot to mention that while you are in the space taking these measurements, it’s a good time to get a feel for the details. You notice things that others might not if they were to quickly pass through with a scanner. Having the person measuring the space the person designing the space is actually a huge benefit in my opinion.
Thank you for listening to this weeks episode on as-builts. Next week we are going to get into the next step in my process which is the dimensioned plans of the demo and the new construction.
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