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as built drawings meaning
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as built drawings meaning


During the early stages of a project, As-built drawings are typically created before any construction takes place. They typically include details such as the layout of the building, the materials used in its construction, and the location of any utilities.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss as-built drawings meaning how they are produced and why they are important or unimportant for construction projects.

Let’s get into it.

You might like to watch the video of this blogpost instead.

The importance or relevance of As-built drawings for the effective management of the project after construction is over is frequently overlooked. After all most projects are completed without as-built drawings so why is it so important if the saying that a picture speaks a thousand words is true then we shall find out if as-built drawings reveal a thousand pictures as well.


As-built drawing is a revised set of architectural drawings presented by the builder or the contractor to the client or his representative after a project is completed showing all the minor and major modifications made by the contractor or builder on the original drawing these drawings also show the specific areas where these changes were made, the exact changes that were made, the positions and dimensions of all the executed work within the project or during the building process.

Other names for this type of drawing are record drawings or redline drawings


The following are the features or components of as-built drawings:

  1.  Modifications: this details the dates that the change(s) were made or offered, the design, the location where the change happened and the materials used.
  2. Photos and maps showing the before and after of an activity as it will help to avoid future misunderstandings.
  3. Unexpected challenges that the contractor faced and how they were overcome.
  4. Another feature is that the changes made during construction are marked in red (this gives an idea about the changes made during the construction process so that it can be easy to produce the as-built drawings after the completion of the construction.
  5. As-built drawings are drawn, usually, in different colors. The red lines are always used for deleted or eliminated aspects of the construction process, the green lines are used for other changes, and some other colors mostly blue are used for special instruction and details
  6. Abbreviations are not allowed in as-built drawings as everyone that comes across it is expected to understand them easily.
  7. The as-built drawings for small projects are usually done with pen and paper but if the project is large then special software is required.


  • The owners and clients can use as-built drawings to see the specifications of the installations during interim stages.
  • The as-built drawings help during renovation works as to locating specific areas or where pipes wires drains etc have been installed.
  •  When you are planning to sell the house to a new person or a future buyer, the as-built drawings are a necessary and essential document that is to be handed over to assist the new users or buyers in making future changes to the property.


I would be lying if I denied the fact that this question has brought a lot of conflict within the construction industry. The architect pushes it to the contractor or builder while the contractor or builder also pushes it back typically the architect or engineer that originally produced the architectural drawings or plans for construction projects should be responsible for producing as-built drawings the simple reason is that they designed the original so they are in the best position to effect the change after completion of the project. Well, this does not mean that the builder or contractor cannot or should not produce as-built drawings, most especially, if it is an in-house design then anyone on the team can do it.

On the flip side, for out-of-house design jobs, the drawings are prepared by the contractor or builder

usually with the help of subcontractors for submission to the architect for inclusion in the record drawings to achieve a very good one because a whole lot of nitty-gritty information is involved when trying to keep a detailed record of all these modifications during each phase of construction.

There is no doubt, that if you do this manually, it will become tiresome and time-consuming especially

when it occurs multiple times during the course of the construction. That is why you should probably smile and say thank you to technology because transferring paperwork and drawing to a digital platform now helps alleviate these issues while also increasing project completion speed. It is, therefore, necessary that you use available software to record these changes that will assist you to create as-built drawings more easily and accurately.


If you’re working on a construction project, an as-built drawing can typically be beneficial if it is used correctly.

As defined before, As-built drawings can be used to document changes that are made during construction or to simply record the existing conditions of space.

Here’s how to create and use an as-built drawing:

i.) Start by surveying the space.

You’ll need to take accurate measurements in order to create an accurate as-built drawing. This makes it easier to compare the original drawing with the final as-built one.

Taking pictures as a reference for later use is also required

as built camera

ii.) Keeping track

keeping track of any modifications, you make during the construction process is very important.

as built drawings meaning

As the building process progresses, keep a list of any adjustments or changes you made in the construction process. It is better that you jot down these modifications with their dates, so as to save time as they will be very useful in the future.

iii.) Develop a neat, labeled drawing.

as built drawings meaning

You should start working on your as-built drawing after you’ve completed the project.

Make a clear, labeled drawing that is easy to comprehend for anyone that comes across it. You may achieve this by employing items like a change log format, a color scale, and a drawing scale to make it consistent which can be included in your portfolio for future construction work.

iv.) Use software for as built drawings

as built drawings meaning

Conventionally, builders, designers, and architects use to draft as-built drawings with pen and paper, there are now as-built software tools. These computer solutions allow you to save time by eliminating the need to sketch it by hand.

You can use software like PlanGrid, Fieldwire, etc these applications allow you to track changes immediately during construction, so that errors can be eliminated or minimized, saving money and time.

v.) Save for review, updates, and renovations

as built drawings meaning

Once the project is completed and an as-built drawing is produced, you may store it in a file for future reference. The client, future buyers, and Contractors can use this as-built drawing to get further or hidden information about the completed project or building construction process.

They can study the designs if they need to make adjustments, additions, or renovations to the project in the future.



AS built drawing has been overlooked for a long time by contractors or builders and it has caused a lot of blind spots for clients or future buyers or contractors when trying to renovate.

As-built drawings should be produced either manually if you prefer to do it the old way or with the use of technology for better faster production in the construction industry.

In my opinion, as-built drawings truly and really reveal a thousand pictures.

If you gained value here, please like and share this educational piece.

Also, leave a comment with any additional information you have and we would update and reference you.

Thank you.

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