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What's the first step in a home remodel project?

Updated: Feb 28, 2022


In order to get a building permit, you must submit the "As-Built" floor plans in addition to the "Proposed" floor plans. I think "as-built" is pretty self explanatory, but just in case you're unfamiliar with the term: someone needs to walk around the house and document all of the existing conditions. We need to measure all existing walls, doors, and windows well enough to be able to recreate the sketch in drafting software such as AutoCAD or REVIT. Once you have the as-built drawings then the fun part can begin... design! You can see exactly how many feet and inches you have to work with by translating preliminary design sketches or ideas into scale drawings. The most common scale for residential plans is 1/4" = 1'-0" and larger projects are typically 1/8" = 1'-0". Anything smaller than that really won't show enough detail to be helpful for your contractor.

I started my education journey and my career using AutoCAD and it works really well if you only need simple 2D drawings. Over the last couple of years I have transitioned to primarily using REVIT and it is seriously a huge upgrade! Now I can 3D model projects and also create 2D drawings for the plans as well. The level of detail is far superior to CAD and the plans print out looking fabulous. Yes, I nerd out about floor plans, layouts, line weights, title blocks, and drawings! When people don't care about these (sometimes trivial) things it shows in the work, and who wants a designer who doesn't pay attention to detail?! ers can follow each other, write and reply to comments and receive blog notifications. Each member gets their own personal profile page that they can customize.

These are my trusty tools of the trade for an as-built site visit: graph paper, ticonderoga pencil, laser distance meter, and not shown: an old fashioned tape measure.

  • I always make sure to throw my tape measure in my bag in case my laser doesn't work or I have little interior walls that are impossible to measure without one!

  • Graph paper: I like to flip the page over and use the back side to the lines aren't so dark but you can still see them for reference.

  • My love for #ticonderoga pencils began when I was working with middle school kids seven years ago and continues to this day. They have super smooth lead, erase well, and come in pretty colors... not everything has to be #grayscale in #architectlife

  • This distance meter is a game changer! Trying to measure by yourself with a tape measure is nearly impossible and takes forever. This is my go-to-guy #boschblazepro

Go forth and measure!

Carry on bravely,


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