Building Survey (As-Built) - How much to charge?

So I have slowly been trying to develop my own small design/render/draft business and I had someone contact me needing an as-built (survey) set produced.  While I have produced sets such as these in the past, they were for firms that I worked for.

What do you guys thinks?  Below is the scope:

The condo is three floors, about 2600 sq ft, three bedrooms, 2.5 baths.
The space needs to be measured and drawn on autocad.  

The floorplans and rcp and specific elevations.

Living room/ dining room - 3 elevations (east, south, west)
Master bedroom - All four elevations
Master closet - three elevations
Master bath - four elevations
Home office and small corridor adjacent to home office
Stairwell. (For artwork layout, lighting etc.)
Entry corridor
Entry closet.
Powder bathroom  elevations.


What do  you guys think?  Is there a standard hourly or sq ft rate you use?


Any input would be greatly appreciated!

May 23, 13 5:32 pm
vado retro

As-built drawings: As-built drawings are prepared by the contractor. They show, in red ink, on-site changes to the original construction documents.

Measured drawings: Measured drawings are prepared in the process of measuring a building for future renovation or as historic documentation. They are created from on-site measurements.

Record drawings: Record drawings are prepared by the architect and reflect on-site changes the contractor noted in the as-built drawings. They are often compiled as a set of on-site changes made for the owner per the owner-architect contract.

May 23, 13 5:38 pm

Vado, thanks for the correction in terminology.  I didn't realize these terms were so tightly used. May I ask what your source is as I would love to have this sort of information at my disposal.  Based on the above definitions, these drawings would be considered "measured drawings".

May 23, 13 5:52 pm

Thanks QUIZZICAL... will check it out.

May 23, 13 8:09 pm

Does anyone have any input regarding a fee for a project of this type/scale?  Thanks!

May 23, 13 8:10 pm

I say 6 hours to field measure and 8 hours to draw! 

Why do they need interior elevations?

May 24, 13 8:40 am
wurdan freo

6-8hrs. Should be done in a day. Bring your laptop. Model in revit while you measure. Export to cad if you have to. I would probably charge $600-$800 depending on the level of detail required. I don't live in NY however, so that price is probably irrelevant.

What would someone charge in New York? Call a local AE temp staffing company. Tell them you have your own drafting business and are sometimes looking for part time help. They should give you an hourly rate and you can break it down. Ask your friends who do similar work. Ask draftsmen at firms how much they are paid and add a multiplier 2.5-3. At the end of the day, what's it worth to you? That's what you have to decide. 

Establishing a rate, like all other things, takes practice. Simple equation to start with

Labor+Materials+Overhead+Profit = rate.

Once you figure out a rate, you try it. If it doesn't work? Change it. 

I prefer a lump sum to an hourly rate. I would get this done in a day and charge for three days worth of my hourly time for it. Why?  Because the client doesn't know it only takes me eight hours to complete and if they did, then they would argue my hourly rate down to something that becomes a loser for me. What they don't realize is that it's taken me 10 years plus the eight hours to get to the point where I can provide this deliverable. 

the going rate for drafting in my area is about $35/hr. $35x8 = $280. Far cry from what I want to do this job. 

May 24, 13 10:26 pm

POOP, they need interior elevations for millwork design.  

Wurdan, unfortunately I am not Revit savvy as my background is more inline with Graphisoft's ArchiCAD which is a software Revit basically mimics. 

This will definitely take me longer than a day given the amount of detail wants included in it.  I am going to be charging $50/hr and she is very much okay with it.  

May 25, 13 3:36 pm
I have been in my own for the past 7 years in the LA area. A measured set of drawings like you described usually brings me around 3k. I use Archicad also and find it perfect for any type of project. You have to charge for your experience along with overhead and you will do fine.

May 25, 13 9:05 pm


Thanks so much for your input.  I gave the firm a breakdown of required drawings, sheet set count, required drawings @ $50/hr.  I estimated it would take me about 40 hours or so to complete the set and they seem to be okay with it. 

They are also interested in having me generate 3d views/rednerings for the project as well.

I would like to produce the drawings in ArchiCAD but they specifically requested I do the drawings in Autocad.  I don't want to deal with the hassle of producing in ArchiCad, then exporting to Autocad and having to edit the linetypes, layers, etc....always a big headache.

Have you run into any snags or shortcomings when producing drawings for clients using Archicad?

May 26, 13 4:38 pm
I would never input data in the field. You need a hard copy to which you can refer - preferably with lots of notes all over it. Redundancy is good, in this case. Can often save you from a trip back.
May 26, 13 6:11 pm
I always build the model in Archicad and produce my working drawings from the model. That way I have all options available. Then I save all my dwg files from the working drawings and send to consultants. Archicad allows you to save all drawings in autocad format. I have never had an issue with it. Everything you need is in the program you have. The problem is that if you end up having to look for a job with another firm your basically screwed if you don't know autocad. But it sounds like you don't want to be a cad monkey anymore so just kick ass in Archicad and work for yourself.
May 27, 13 5:30 pm

I have had issues with exporting out to DWGs in the past.   It makes it more difficult for the drawings to be edited in the future within AutoCAD especially if you have used filles or zones within ArchiCad, but it seems this has never been an issue for you.

Do you have your own business?  Do you consult for firms?  How do you find yourself getting projects?  What type of projects do you generally get?

May 27, 13 6:38 pm

I do alot of this work in NYC for a living now.  6hrs to measure, 8 to draw sounds about right to me for this space but you have to know what you're doing to get it done correctly and efficiently.  Use a laser measure and old-fashioned pen and paper if you're expecting a complex space with funky angles and lots of wall projections and fiddly details.  Do it on computer if the space is clean, relatively new and simple. 

Be sure you factor in time spent getting to and from the site, time/money spent making plots and the costs of all the ancillaries (including a meal during your site visit) into your fee.  Consider the opportunity costs of the job relative to other work you could be doing. 

May 28, 13 8:59 pm

Hey Brendan

Seems like your getting some great input. The last guy said it well. I have been out on my own since 06. I have made it through these brutal last 4 years. I also contract to other firms because of my ability to use Archicad. There are lots of firms who don't have a clue about modeling and it's potential. Seek out a couple of good contractors (with integrity), you can work together to bring more work in also. I can always help a contractor with enlarging his scope of work because I can better help his clients visualize the project and help educate them on the possibilities of their potential project. All my projects are referal based. Doing quality work for clients and contractors gets all the projects I need. Archicad and it's modeling ability allow me to really work one on one with the client. They get exactly what we model. True success come from communication. ALWAYS have all meetings with clients involved. It may be time consuming but if everything is on the table (owning my own mistakes) shows that you are an honest person with only your clients well being in mind. Never let a contractor pull you to the side to discuss a problem with the design. That shows that he doesn't have the clients best interest in mind. My main business is relatively small custom homes, remodels (large and small), and commercial tenant improvements.

May 28, 13 10:19 pm

Thanks so much for everyone's opinions and advice!!! This has been a very informative and interesting discussion that has helped me out greatly.

Now I just hope I can continue to pull in work and not have to rely on working for a firm, which is something I am currently trying to avoid while I study for my exams.  I am also very hopeful that I can grow my network to a point where I can sustain myself without having to rely on working for someone else.


Goodluck to all!

May 31, 13 6:32 pm

Dear quizzical,

Thank you for posting the link. uUnfortunately I can`t download it, if you email it to me I would really appreciate. I need to give a proposal for a client for suveying a 24 story building in NYC. 

For the others, I also I would appreciate it you have anything helpfull, the purpose of my survey is to privide a layouts for the installation of a fire alarm system for the entire building, including the cellar,


thank you all 

Feb 25, 14 10:36 am

I am doing shop drawings from architectural drawings for an aluminum company for all doors and windows on a project.

can anyone give me an idea of how much I should charge... I am doing this as a side job.

Jan 21, 15 5:15 pm
Grumpy Grizzly

Lots of good answers from all kinds of players in the as-built market.  I refer to my work primarily as as-built drawings because a lot of my clients are simple homeowners with a dream to add on to their current houses.  Even the General Contractors in the Pacific North West consider them As-Built drawings.

I've worked my rate up to pretty much $.50 per sq ft these days and they'll probably slowly rise from there.  My phone rings off the hook this year with clients trying to flip houses, add rooms, build new houses.  The PNW in the Portland area has so much housing there's no many places left to build.  Houses for sale are going in one day usually about 10% higher than the users asking price, just so the buyers can get their bid recognized.

If someone says they can measure out a 2,600 sq ft 3 story house in 6 hours and draw it up with all the required drawings for a permit with the city/county in another 8, I wish I could find them in this area. 

I do my own measuring and drawings and I'm almost to the point where I convert my step van into a rolling office in order to do as-built drawings right there on site.  It's kind of hard to ask for the $.50 /sq ft rate when the client sees just how long your van is parked there and the effort it takes.  They don't consider that you have sever laser distance measurers, your laptop, a $6,000 Autocad program, your van, gas, insurance but, they're not doing it themselves.

I tell my clients I'll follow them through the permitting process to make sure we have what is required for them to break ground.  Simple fixes to my drawings will be taken care of as part of my estimate, major changes (Let's add another garage!) will be negotiated.

Never give an estimate over the phone without visiting the site for a walk around.  No telling what's out there that the property isn't aware of that will bog down the process of getting permits.

When the client starts talking about "Well, I want a loft for storage, then after the building is inspected, I'm going to put in a sink, toilet...etc" walk away and lose his number.  If he's trying to get around the county/city inspectors, you're the first one he'll throw under the bus.  No sense losing your license to save them a few hundred bucks. 

In my pickup truck, I carry a large 3 step ladder, the top step will hold my laptop and has a tray built under it to hold pencils, templates, scales, etc.  I carry a large project book of all graph paper that I can use to do my drawings and dimensions on.  Keep some small old school templates for things like doors and squares and circles to make your drawing a little easier to read.  I have a small table that's  got part of it for my laptop and a small leaf that my mouse fits on so that when I go into the house, I can move that around with me and draw as I go.  Keep several metal tapes ranging from 20' tape on belt clip to 100' tape for measuring plot and location of house on plot.  Nikon camera that I'll take pictures with and mark on the drawing where they were taken from and what direction.

My laser distance measuring devices are both Leica's.  I can carry my Samsung 2 tablet with me, do a rough sketch of the walls, windows, and doors, then shoot the distances along the walls and iselect a line I drew on the tablet and it will put the length next to the wall.  I really wish it had the intelligence to make the line the length that it put on the screen but, I've tried a LOT of laser input cad programs and haven't found one yet that will do that.  So I carry my notebook and the laser and off I go.

The only advertising I do in on Craigslist under the services offered section.  I renew it once a week (free) and this time of year, I'm averaging about 2 or 3 projects a week that contact me.  Some of them are just testing the waters but, most turn into projects.

I picked up an older HP 755CM+ off Craigslist for $60 and then bought two ink cartridges (both black) for $10 plus shipping on EBay.  The plotter came with three rolls of paper so it'll last a while.

I usually just provide my clients with .pdf files of the drawings I'm working on and if they want the .dwg files, I'll give them a copy at the end of the project.

I also have a small 8x11 HP printer/fax/scanner I picked up at a yard sale with two new ink cartridges that rides in the back of my pickup truck, for $10.00.

Pondering the idea of getting a taller canopy for my pickup so I can sit up in the back and work but, then again, I might just use my step van and go from there.  Sure be nice to have a second monitor in there to work with.

If anyone has any questions or different way of doing things, I'd love to hear about them.

Mar 14, 16 3:43 am

Great reply!

Thanks everyone for the great discussion above, very informative and helpful for those of us just starting to do work on our own (even 3 years later).  

Apr 7, 16 2:33 pm

I did the freelance thing for a about 3 yrs  during the great depression era.  Many of my jobs were to produce  AS-BUILT sets for other architects/builders  (btw above definitions are somewhat wrong)  and got really good at it. 

A laser tape is a must, along with a photo camara.  I could measure a single story in 2 hrs and a 3 story in about 4-5 hrs and yes, any good cad monkey can rip sketches in a 1 day work (8 hrs) for plans other for interiors but not more.  

Multiply that for your hourly rate plus mileage and that's your estimate.  Client doesn't have to overpay your deficiencies imho. 

Apr 7, 16 4:44 pm
Grumpy Grizzly

Cadomestique, what do you mean by a laser tape? Are you talking about a laser distance measurer?

I've hunted high and low for a distance measuring device that I can walk through a house and measure walls and it'll put it into a format I can use in Autocad.  I've got a couple of small Leica Disto's but, they won't do the trick.

With the Leica, you can sketch on a tablet the area you want to measure, then as you use the Leica, you can select lines and it will put the distance along the line but, won't change the length of the line so it's to any kind of scale.

If anyone has a different technique that works, I'd love to hear about it.

Apr 7, 16 11:03 pm

There's no such thing as a laser tape but it is term popularized by ignorants.

laser distance measure or handheld laser-based EDM to more correct. EDM means Electronic Distance Meter (EDM System or EDM Instrument where the M means Measurement)

What is it that you need, Grumpy Grizzly?

Apr 8, 16 12:21 am

GrumpGriz... There are several applications you can download on your phone/ipad that allow you to capture existing conditions on your device via the devices camera rotating around the room. Is this what you are talking about?

There are also more high-end laser distance measuring devices that also take pictures as you measure with the laser and compile the information together.

Although, I am not exactly sure what you are looking for.

Apr 8, 16 2:10 am
Grumpy Grizzly

I've seen the apps where you take pictures and it gives you measurements but, I've never tried using one.  I know you have to calibrate the camera by taking pictures from several distances but, I don''t thing any of them are as accurate as the Leica Distance Measurers. 

I' like to see an app where you could start at a corner, select North, and take a reading, then when you get to the next corner, select East or West and take a reading and so forth.

Then these dimensions and directions would show up on your netbook as you take the measurements so you can be sure you haven't missing anything like a window or something.

There are a lot of apps that are IPad specific and don't support the Android Systems like I use.  My phone and my tablet are both Samsungs and run the Android Operating System.

If they can go a few steps further and allow you to place a 3; window or door or whatever size you could measue with the Leica or even manually input it wth the keyboard, that would be a big plus. 

Last but not least would be some way to put in text notes for things like window heights etc.

I know it;s a lot to ask and I'[ve emailed several app developers that are already making IPad apps to see if they plan to make Android apps but, none have ever replied.

Before anyone says it, I don't want switch everything over to IPads and IPhones.

Thanks for the inputs.

Apr 8, 16 2:36 am

In addition, there is also software that will take photos and generate 3d model of the space. Do a few measurements and you can generate a virtual 1:1 scale 3d model of the building or space inside. This technique is based photogrammetry for what is image based modeling. A relatively few measurements are needed for proper scaling. As for profiles, you can probably do that adequately with a decent profile tool.

Apr 8, 16 2:40 am

Lmao, no Rick no. It isn't as simple as "Lets take a few photos and get an accurate model.

Apr 8, 16 3:12 am
Grumpy Grizzly

I guess you could walk around with a camera and take pictures of every wall, go out to your mobile office, print them all up, then go back inside and use an edm to measure everything and then write the distances on the pictures...  Then we can all turn in our cell phones and start using fax machines and drafting tables like we did way back when..


The Leica EDM's are almost where we need them to be, just a few additions and their software will be great.  Just getting them to add he features goes on deaf ears so far.

Apr 8, 16 3:39 am


Did I say few photos? Now, you are putting words in that I didn't say. Try reading when you aren't drunk.

I think the only time here that I said few had to do with measurements of the building. Its for measurement controls on 3-axis.

I was referring to take photos as in taking photos as an input data from which the software will through process generate a 3d model from the image. 




Apr 8, 16 3:47 am

PS: I'm confident Grizzly here knows it's more involved to do these things than just take a few photos press a magic button and few magical seconds later a perfectly accurate (not distorted but accurate to shape, form, proportions,etc.) and then with a few measurements from the field to then scale the 3d model in CAD it be perfect dimensioned. 

It takes some work in making sure the 3d model isn't distorted garbage. I'm sure Grizzly knows, life isn't THAT simple that it can be just a magical click of a button. Just as he knows that architecture just doesn't happen by a click of a button. Architectural design involves a lot of work that was designed by the Architect/Designer. 

Apr 8, 16 3:56 am
Grumpy Grizzly

Right you are Rick, I've been doing drafting for right at 38 years now.. (Yikes, I feel really old now).

I started out on drafting boards back with drafting was an artform. Now I see the "cadmonkeys" that throw all kinds of text sizes on a drawing, don't space their leader lines properly, and can't figure out how to align text to save their lives.

I don't dabble in the 3D world anymore.  After being a BIM Manager for companies working for Intel in Oregon, Arizona, and Ireland, then working on the new Apple headquarters, I've pretty much had enough. 

The last firm I worked for had a 'BIM Manager' that when one of her BIM experts was trying to make selection sets in NavisWorks, he asked her how to do it.. Her reply, I kid you not was "Look it up on Google."  I said "Wait a minute, it's one of the basic parts of NavisWorks, here's how you do it.  He never looked in my direction to see what I was trying to tell him, he was clicking away on the computer, then he said "Wait, wait, I found it.."

Unbelievable.  I've taught over 800 users how to work with NavisWorks including clients, contractors, and my own team.  I taught a half hour class complete with a Powerpoint presentation that I gave all the students.  No one ever came back and asked "Hey, how did you do that??"  It was because I taught the program from a users perspective and not an Autodesk Techie's (Which I was one of those for 3 years BTW) way where they used perfect models with no errors.

Two examples of problems I found while in Ireland.  I was getting errors in an HVAC duct, rather large one at that.  Went to the view where the error was supposed to be, nothing was clashing with it.. Looked and looked.. SO, I pused my mouse forward and went inside the HVAC duct.. There was the clash, 4 pipes all over 6" in diameter.

Another example, my clash report jumped one week by over 4,000 clashes.  After a lot of clash viewing, I found that the designer had put in insulation on every elbow instead of letting Autocad MEP put it in for her.  She was the Project Engineers wife.. Hmm, wonder who fixed that..

So that tells you a bit about my experience. 

Back to the taking of pictures, say you were drawing up a kitchen cabinet with counter top, overhead shelves, etc.  One picture would get it for you but, You'd have to do a lot of measuring to show it on your plans to get it right.

These apps that are out there should let us use a handheld EDM and as we move it one direction to take a shot, input the direction it's in and how far it is.  Say a countertop is 24" deep.  You take a shot from the edge facing the wall which you've designated as East, measure with the edm, then it should be able to draw a line on your tablet showing a 24" line going East to West.

The Leica software (That I spent a TON of time trying to figure out) has you draw a line (No way to make it 24" or E to W) then you take your shot, select the line and it puts a dimension next to the line.  The background has a grid on it but, you can't assign distances between the lines on it.

Basically, it's like you took a pencil and paper, drew a line, then measured the distance with a tape measure, then wrote that in next to the line.

Am I asking too much?  Apologies for the long and drawn out post.  Just wanted you to know a little about what I know how to do.

BTW, 99% of the floorplans I draw these days are all 2D.  I have Revit Arch and used to teach that at the University of Anchorage, AK but, I just don't see a need for using it based on what my clients want.  Autocad and Autocad Arch work fine for me. 

Another reason I don't use Revit is because of all the customization I've done to Autocad. In my Acad.lsp files alone, I have 248 commands I use.  Some have dust and cobwebs on them as they were for specific jobs but, I keep them in there in case I need to use part of them again.

Apr 8, 16 4:30 am

Right you are Rick, I've been doing drafting for right at 38 years now.. (Yikes, I feel really old now).

Not old yet. :-)

When you been playing the game since ol' the 2000th century B.C. 

As for old school, I've done the old fashion, hand drafting. Give me enough time and a whirl, I'd do hand drafted plans and probably still don't need an engineer that will probably use some computer generated spit out and affix a stamp. 

I'll have to get to the rest tomorrow given it's 2:05AM, where I am in Astoria, Oregon.

Apr 8, 16 5:04 am
Grumpy Grizzly

I'm right up the road from you Rick, Vancouver, WA..

Vancouver, the city, not Canada

Washington the state, not DC

Just across the river from Portland.. Oregon, not Maine..

Apr 8, 16 5:15 am


I know where you are referring to. While the some of the peanut gallery might not.

I been there before. As well as Portland, Oregon. I see WA state every day just looking out the front door. (As long as it isn't too foggy)

Apr 8, 16 5:21 am
Grumpy Grizzly

Mizankhan, I hope that isn't a job posting here in a discussion group.  You're NOT getting my business license and I DO NOT want to be a representative for your country so you can bid on American Projects.


Heck, I can't even pronounce the names on that site.


Move this under the Employment Category.

Apr 8, 16 6:28 am

do you guys ever use a scanner for as builts? we have one at my office here and use it fairly often, basically put it in the middle of a room and it laser scans every surface, pretty slick. only fiendish are cost and it creates huge files

Apr 8, 16 11:16 am

Shuellmi are you referring to cloud point scanning?

Apr 8, 16 11:27 am

Lately I have been bringing my laptop to the field and creating the drawing on-site, making sure I am methodical with the information I capture. I input all the info into ArchiCAD, which is another BIM based software. In doing this, I have all the proper window/door/sill/head heights along with accurate floor to ceiling heights. This also reduces the amount of time sketching in-field then translating those sketches into the virtual world.

Apr 8, 16 11:30 am

I believe there are cheap versions which might work well for small interior spaces as opposed to the 100k versions

Apr 8, 16 11:49 am
Grumpy Grizzly

I was working with a company that provided us laser scanned models of the Intel site in Dublin.  It was a total mess.  The scans were very accurate but, when it came to converting the scans to Autocad MEP or Revit MEP, they hires the cheapest modelers they could find.

At one point when I asked about the accuracy of their models, they said "We are sure that 95% of our drawings are 90% accurate."

As for using the laser scanner, you're still going to need at least 2 reference points usually surveyed in by a survey team so when the scanner hits them, you know the exact distance and everything else can be modeled up from that.

You're definitely talking about an expensive piece of equipment as well as expensive employees to run the scanner and also to convert the files to something useful.

Kind of a steep undertaking for a job that will only pay you around $1,000 for a days work.

Apr 8, 16 2:32 pm

90% accurate in Revit? I Laugh. I do laser scanning and revit as built for a living in a surveying company, any questions  just ask, I may answer.

Apr 8, 16 3:53 pm
Grumpy Grizzly

Worse thing about it was the client believed the files were accurate.  When you have a straight section of  4" pipe, it's not supposed to bend.. Especially when the bend makes it cut half way thru another 6" pipe crossing it's path. 

So, here's a question for everyone regarding what the top 10 things are they would carry to do a 2D as-built for a client.

Here's mne:

1. Book of graph paper so I can do something close to accuracy in my sketches.

2. Disto E7100i so I can take quick and easy measurements for my sketches.

3, 300' metal tape. and at least one 25' metal tape like carpenters use.

4. Architects scale. (6" one that fits in notebook

5. Plenty of mechanical pencils.

6. Construction Master IV calculator if I don't have the app for it on my tablet and phone. (Fits in outside pocket with both Leica Distos

7. Old school leather notebook with pockets that fit the ring inside carrying schedules, more graph paper for notes, pocket for Digital Voice Recorder, 4 or 5 mini Sharpeis.

8. Laser pointer/led light/tablet pen.

9. 3 hole punch inside leather notebook (Referred to as a Murse by Fries Electronics

10. Samsung 8" tablet

11. Receipts and Invoices that fit inside notebook

12. 4 color pens, fluorescent marker in pink and yellow

13. Leica Disto D330i for backup measurements (Outside pocket of notebook)

14. Nikon 12.1 megapixel CoolPix Camera (Outside larger pocket)

15. Binoculars for looking at pretty umm.. Well, things far away. (Outside pocket

16. Clipboard with inside carrying area for tape measure, pens and pencils, 12" archie scale, and more graph paper

When I take my laptop along, I also carry my wireless keyboard, wireless mouse (both are Logitechs and share the same USB).

My laptop back has an extendable metal handle and wheels so I can drag it along with all those goodies inside, plus more goodies like snacks, etc.

OK, so much for the top 10, got a little carried away.  I won't mention my 3 step ladder that has a top step that's big enough to hold my laptop and has a drawer underneath it where I carry more of the same. Graph paper, pens, pencils, etc.

Apr 9, 16 1:40 am

has anyone used something like apex sketch or other tablet software to sketch the plan on a tablet instead of paper and pencil?  a tablet can zoom in and out, which is a big advantage over pencil and paper.  i would think bringing a laptop and drafting straight to autocad while you measure could be slow and cumbersome. 

Apr 9, 16 9:37 am

FWIW...  We used to measure by hand / laser distance meter, and sketch, and draft or model.Super slow, wasn't accurate, and the client couldn't relate or get excited about their project. 

Today we use ArchiCAD and Point Cloud modeling for "As-Builts." Point Cloud scanning has been a great evolution to our work flow and has landed us quite a few gigs with other AEC and construction firms across the country who see the value in our process.

Aug 11, 17 12:11 pm

ArcFlo where are you located? We too use ArchiCad I have considered using point cloud at one point but the models become fairly heavy, no?


ARCFLO is in SLC, UT. If the point cloud data is post processed correctly, the LCFs in ArchiCAD work great. We have some projects with nearly 200 combined LCFs containing point cloud data. Hardware might be something to consider. FWIW, we use enterprise grade workstations with Windows OS.

Grumpy Grizzly

I've since found a software program that works with my SamSung Tablet and my Leica Disto D2.

I spent a LOT of time searching through all kinds of apps, most of them were only got Apple Tablets which ruled them out for me as I have Samsung Tablets.

I've since been very involved with the Ortho Graph application, even explaining in a live chat on youtube how I switched from pen, paper, and laser to a tablet and a laser.  You can find it along with a lot of training videos here:

Basically with Ortho Graph, you start the app and using your finger, go around the area you want to measure.  Nothing fancy, the app will take care of other parts. Once you get back to the starting corner, the app will square everything up, then you measure the individual walls using your ldm and the app will start adjust the lengths of the walls and when you get back to your last wall and measure to the starting corner, the walls are laid out very accurately.  You can also place windows and doors in the walls.

Next you can export it right to your favorite .dwf program whether that be Autocad or Archicad, it even exports to Revit. 

Autodesk has started sending out a mobile version of Autocad for use on tablets and it has the capabilities to use a Laser Distance Measurer as well. 

Give it a test run, you'll be amazed how fast it is to pick up on how to use it. 

Aug 15, 17 4:38 pm
Wow Grumpy you finally found it! I have an as-built side job coming up next week--may have to download and fiddle around with this thing. Thanks for coming back and sharing--that's really helpful of you!
Aug 16, 17 10:20 am

keep doubling the price until they stop calling

Aug 16, 17 10:43 am
Grumpy Grizzly

Mantaray:  Yep, I found it and now I'm their first Certified Orthograph Advisor that I know of anyway.  I'm not into sales or anything, I just get calls on occasion from folks wanting to learn about it and I give them an answer.  I spent a LOT of time finding it once I found out there was indeed a program that would do what I thought the tablet and LDM would do working together.

The Ortho Graph company is located in Hungary and for now they're concentrating on Europe.  Maybe if a decent enough offer comes along, I'll take on the USA side of things and market it.  In the mean time, if anyone wants to give it a try, drop my name and tell them I sent you.  Honestly, I don't make any money on the product but, it'd sure be nice to have a decent sized network where we can set up a Forum and talk about it.

BTW, I'm also a Beta tester for Autocad Mobile and it now has lazer support as well.  Interesting for sure.  It's not as easy to use as Autocad but, there are a lot of similarities.. Unfortunately no command line though..

Back to Ortho Graph, I did a presentation for them on Youtube and they sent me a new Leica D2 so now, 2 of my 3 Leica's work with my Samsung Tablet.  I've heard they'll work with Ipads as well but, I'm not a fanboy of Apple.  If/when I go into full support mode for them, traveling the trade shows, I'll pick up the latest Apple product for demonstrations I guess. 

Hard learned lesson:  Get the most current Leica LDM and tablet you can find as the earlier ones used a different bluetooth version and the LDMs won't talk to the tablet.  

Business is really picking up lately with a few contractors hiring me on to do their drafting work along with a lot of residential work from home owners.  Nice to have a few steady contractors to provide you work in the slow times of the home flippers.

Products like Ortho Graph are a big help in getting an as-built done and verified before you ever leave the site.  It will also export to Autocad AND Revit.

My latest pondering is to write a How-To book on getting setup to do this kind of work.  I'll probably sell it on for a couple of bucks and make most of the proceeds go towards a no-kill animal shelter.

Would anyone be interested?

Sep 21, 17 12:15 am

rather uninformed here...really appreciate discussions like this. What about an app like room scan.. just used it to measure a few walls at home, you just walk around the room, put the phone on the walls sequentially, measures and connects the walls...has some powerful features, which I need to figure out..

Sep 21, 17 11:27 am
Grumpy Grizzly

Room Scan looks like it might be interesting but, one thing that glares out at me is... It's only for the Apple family.

I wonder if developers will ever realize there is an Android O.S. out there that probably has as many if not more users than the Apple Store.

With Ortho Graph, they were primarily an Apple App and I told them the same thing, now they're developing and shipping an Android version of their software.

If I ever go into doing trade shows and events for them, I'll probably have to break down and buy an IPad just to demo it to my clients.

Sep 22, 17 11:58 am

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: