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Remodel Design Guide: As-Built Survey

The as-built survey is an important part of the remodel design process. It allows your design team to inspect your home in preparation for designing the remodel of your dreams. In order to have the most successful remodeling experience, it’s important that you and your design team are set up for success in this part of the process.

At Lamont Bros., we’ve transformed hundreds of homes across the Portland area. Our team knows that it takes a lot of trust to hire a company to renovate your home. You expect the work to be done correctly with outstanding attention to detail. One of the ways that a competent remodeling team ensures that your remodel is designed well and runs smoothly is by conducting an as-built survey.

In this article, you can read about what to expect during your as-built survey. You can use this information to make sure you and your home are prepared so that your design team can gather all the information they need to make your remodel a success. Here’s what you can expect to read about:

What is an As-Built Survey and Why is it Important?

An as-built survey is an on-site inspection of your home by the design team. The goal of this visit is to take measurements, photos, and detailed notes in order to fully understand the space before beginning the design.

The designers will use the information gathered from this survey to create a floor plan of the current home on which to base the remodel designs. By better understanding the structure and design of your home, the designers can more accurately plan a remodel based on the existing structure and design of the space.

Without an as-built survey, the design team may have to make assumptions about the existing structure. This may lead to inaccurate plans, avoidable errors, and costly mistakes. An as-built survey ensures that the design team understands the space as best as possible, reducing the likelihood of mistakes further down the road.

What happens during an as-built survey?

As the homeowner, the as-built survey will be the first time your remodeling team comes to work in your home. Here’s what to expect during the process.

Who will be there during the as-built survey?

Typically, an as-built survey will include a design consultant, designer, and project manager. These members of your remodeling team will take ownership of inspecting the home to gather all of the information required to begin drafting designs.

If the proposed remodel may require structural changes to the home, your as-built survey may also include an engineer. It’s also possible that additional subcontractors will be present, including abatement professionals to test for lead and asbestos.

What is the process for conducting an as-built survey?

During the as-built survey, the designer will take several detailed measurements and photos of the home. They’ll want to document details including room dimensions, wall heights, and window and door placement. They will also take note of the finishes in the home, such as drywall texture, flooring material, cabinet styles, and lighting fixtures.

While the designer takes measurements, the design consultant and project manager will inspect the property for any issues that may impact the remodeling process. This can include plumbing leaks, rodent infestations, mold, dry rot, or structural failures. The team will also locate all the utilities, including water, gas, and electrical lines.

Where will the as-built survey take place?

To get the most accurate plan set for your remodel, your design team will need to inspect and measure every area that might be affected by the renovations. This may also include parts of the home that are not adjacent to the proposed work area but still require documentation due to permitting restrictions.

Obviously, this requires measuring the dimensions of the living space itself. Your design team may also need to measure the exterior, foundation/crawl space, attic, and any adjacent rooms, as well.

How long will the as-built survey take?

Depending on the size and complexity of the space being measured, the as-built survey can take anywhere from 3 to 8 hours. The larger the remodel scope, the more time you can expect the survey to take. An as-built survey for a 1000-square-foot addition will likely take much longer than one for a guest bathroom remodel.

How Can You Prepare for your As-Built Survey?

While most of the responsibility for the as-built survey falls to your design team, there are a few things you can do to make sure they have everything they need for the job.

Make sure your design team has access to all the necessary areas

Keep in mind that the design team will need to measure more than just the space getting remodeled. Your primary responsibility as the homeowner is to provide your team with access to the spaces they need to measure.

The design team will need to take measurements in the spaces directly above, below, and around the renovation area. This may require them to enter the attic and crawlspace, as well as have access to the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems in the home. If you use the area around your attic and crawlspace access for storage, make sure it is clear and reachable.

Give your design team space and time to work

Inspecting the home and taking accurate measurements will require intense focus and attention to detail. As a result, your design team will do their best work when the space is free of distractions.

During the asbult survey, there shouldn’t be anything else going on in the space. You’ll also help your team along by cleaning up any clutter and making sure the floors are clear. During the inspection, the homeowner does not need to be present as long as they are able to provide access and information to the design team.

Provide any relevant information about the home

Since you likely know your home better than your design team, you should share any relevant details that might help them better understand the space they’ll be working in.

It’s important for your team to understand the details of the home’s history, including any previous renovations or expansions. Also, if you are aware of any restoration work due to fire, water, or seismic damage, you should inform your team of that, too.

If you have the home’s original plans, you may also want to consider giving a copy of them to your designers. This information can help the team identify potential challenges and areas that require special attention during the survey.

What happens after your as-built survey?

After the as-built survey, the design team will use the information they’ve collected to begin planning your remodel.

The next step in the design process will be to develop a handful of different design concepts for you to consider as your remodel begins to take shape. However, before they do this, you and your design team will have a pre-concepts meeting.

The purpose of this meeting is to make sure that your design team’s vision and expectations for the project are aligned with yours. Typically, the pre-concepts meeting is conducted virtually by video call. In it, you’ll go over any inspirational photos for the design, discuss your visual and aesthetic preferences, and ensure that everyone involved in the project understands its main objectives.

Following the as-built survey, your designers will begin developing design plans for your remodel.

Want to learn more about the remodeling process?

Now that you have a firm grasp on what to expect during your as-built survey, you can begin preparing for your remodel. As you move forward, continue learning about the design-build process and the different steps involved in transforming your home.

If you haven’t already, subscribe to our 6-Step Guide to A Successful Remodel to further explore the remodeling process and get a better sense of how a design-build firm like Lamont Bros. can help you transform your home. Click the button below to learn more.

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