As Built Plans: How Is It Created?

If you are here to understand what are as built plans and how is it created, then you came to the right place! Jay Cad is one of the top as built service providers in Los Angeles and this is what you can call our bread and butter.

Now, this is not an extensive guide and is intended to be a short read – if you want to know everything about as built drawings then you should check our extensive guide Here.

First things first, I need to point out how the term “as Built” is used:

  1. there are as built drawings drawn to represent the current layout of a building or a property

  2. Another time the term is used is when describing drawings created by builders after they finish a new construction to document any deviations from the original design plans.

For both cases, same software are used to create as built plans and you can read along no matter the type of as built you are looking into.

Back in the days, the first step to create an as built plan was to measure the current building, usually using a regular measure tape, draw the layout using pen and paper, then draw it on the computer using a design or drawing software.

As Built Computer Software

As Built Exterior Elevations By Jay Cad

For the last 25 years and more, building and design professionals have been using digital design software to create plans.

Design software commonly knows as CAD software – CAD stands for computer aided design, in case you are wondering.

AutoCAD By Autodesk

One of the most famous design software is AutoCAD – created by Autodesk several decades ago and remains one of the top software used to create plans by architects, engineers, and designers (Read Here: Who Uses AutoCAD Anyway)

The same software used to draw design plans & construction plans is also used to draw as built plans.

AutoCAD is famous for its 2D capabilities and is considered by a lot of designers to be the fastest 2D drawing & design software for the AEC industry (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction)

SketchUp By Trimble

SketchUp is one of the fastest growing design software – rapidly adopted by established design firms and expanding to the DIY community that use it to create & model objects from a small door handle to drawing complete architectural projects.

The interface it boosts and the ease of use allowed it to gain this popularity and become a tool used for drawing as built plans.

While AutoCAD is considered the leading 2D software, SketchUp is the leading 3D software and enables users to draw geometry in 3D (three Dimensional) and represent as built plans in more detail & give a clear sense of a space.

Revit By Autodesk

The top design software used by architects is Revit is considered a favorite tool by as built service providers to create accurate & detailed as built drawings.

While SketchUp is famous for its 3D capabilities, Revit adds a different dimension to the game by allowing rich information to be included in the models a user creates.

Revit falls under a category of software dubbed BIM (Building Information Modeling) which as I mentioned earlier allows the user to include additional details about, say, a window where not only you visually see the look of it in the model but also can have notes about the materials used for it (think metal VS PVC).

Since Revit is mainly designed & used by architects, it is considered one of the top software to create & document as built drawings.

Psst .. Do you need as-built drawings for your project? We can help you this week – click below to get a same-day quote and get superior as-built drawings for your project

Physical Tools For As Built Docs

As Built Floor Plan By Jay Cad

Beside the list of software mentioned above, several physical tools are also used to generate as built drawings & document existing layouts.

I mentioned earlier in the post the use of tape measures and a note pad but these are the classical tools, lets look into modern tools used for the documentation process.

Laser Tape Measures

The fastest way to measure linear dimensions is probably laser tape measures. Everyone would think using “Laser” would make these pricy, but the fact is, you can a find a cheap laser tape measure at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s for as little as $29.99

I started with a cheap laser tape measure and eventually upgraded to bigger & better models with a higher price tag.

Laser tape measures increase in price as you get more features and cover longer distances – think 100 Feet VS 300 Feet.

A must-use tool and I highly recommend any of the Leica collection.

Using a laser tape will triple a user speed of measuring spaces and allow them to rapidly sketch spaces for as built documentation.

3D Scanners & Cameras

In case you are not familiar, you have to see the sample we have hosted on our 3D Virtual Tour page here at Jay Cad

This has been a game changer for us allowing us to (almost) never visit a project site again.

Our project manager and production team can visit the site all they want from the comfort of their desk and can look at the openings, walls, and details that can be hard to depict in hand-drawn sketches.

Digital Level (Optional)

Digital levels are used for various reasons but in the as built documentation scenario, it would be used to see the ground slope around the house.

At Jay Cad, we do not actually use digital levels and do not document grade changes but we do have the tool for reference.

Psst .. Do you need as-built drawings for your project? We can help you this week – click below to get a same-day quote and get superior as-built drawings for your project


Project Files

File {#} - {delivery-file-name}

+ Add more

Entry {#}

+ Add more
Square Feet