Skip to content
← Back to Valuable Insights

As-Built Drawings, An Essential Tool

If you’re in a business related to commercial buildings, likely you are familiar with the term As-built drawings. Sometimes, there are assumptions made about what constitutes As-built drawings that may not be correct. It’s important to fully understand the purpose and significance of these drawings to ensure you have proper documentation ahead of time to support your desired project outcome. 

WHAT: The true definition of As-built drawings

As-built drawings are documents that fully represent the conditions present on site, including size, shape, dimensions and location of elements in the built environment. Ideally, they include floor plans, reflected ceiling plans, power & communication location plans, interior elevations, exterior elevations and roof plans.  

Knowing what As-built drawings are not is equally important.  “Construction drawings” are not synonymous with “As-built” drawings because they are produced before construction takes place to convey instructions for design intent. They are more accurately identified as “Pre-Construction Drawings.” During construction, modifications to accommodate unforeseen conditions and changes in scope almost always happen. The pre-construction drawings should be, but often are not, amended to reflect these modifications. As-built drawings reflect post-construction conditions and may also be called “Record Drawings.”

WHY: The importance of starting and ending your project with As-built Drawings

Accurate As-built drawings serve as a starting point for creating confidence in your final product by preventing unnecessary risk. 

In the world of design and construction, this means reducing the number of potential change orders that are due to mistakes and unforeseen conditions, thus minimizing delays and additional costs. Regarding building ownership and leasing, this means ensuring accurate square footage numbers, in turn reflecting correct figures in a lease or sale agreement.   

As-built drawings can serve as a “living document” for a given space. When consistently updated, they serve as a record of and resource for the ongoing maintenance and remodeling activities that take place over the functional lifetime of a building. 

HOW: Ensuring you get the most accurate As-built Drawings for your project

Accuracy is uncompromisingly critical to the quality of As-Built drawings. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to hire a company that specializes in producing them, as they have invested in the proper equipment and training to achieve the level of accuracy you need. The following details are important to consider when choosing a service provider:   

  • Data Collection: The company should have field technicians specifically trained to survey building conditions using state-of-the-art technology and processes that eliminate manual data entry (and the chance for human data-entry error!). Equipment used should yield accuracy to within 1/16” in 600 feet. 
  • Deliverables: The company should have the ability to prepare deliverables in electronic 2D or 3D formats as needed (typically AutoCAD or Revit, respectively) as well as PDF versions for convenient reference.  Photo references are also helpful to enable viewing of building conditions without having to visit the site.
  • Area Analysis: When square footage calculations are needed, expect them to be prepared according to current BOMA Standards (Building Owners and Managers Association). The BOMA Standards prescribe a fairly rigid set of guidelines and definitions. There are many factors which must be taken into consideration when understanding “where to draw the lines” according to occupancy type to calculate accurate figures. Drawing a line in the wrong place can adversely impact business decisions that are made based on square footage numbers!

    BOMA Standards are updated over time, so it is especially important that the team has a true knowledge expert in this specialty.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Accuracy is critically important to the production and use As-built drawings. For the same reasons architects, contractors, real estate brokers and other professionals carry Professional Liability Insurances, so should companies that produce As-built drawings. It’s rare that it will ever be used, but if and when it is needed, all parties benefit.

CDG is committed to professionally delivering the most accurate As-built drawings in the industry to ensure your project is a success! We are the exclusive licensee for Lasertech Floorplans  in the Sacramento & Central Valley area.

Give us a call at 916-781-6543 or email us at  to start a conversation about your project!