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What is a Measured Survey?

Find out what a measured building survey is, how they are undertaken and why they crucial prior to any building / design works taking place.

Article By: Tom Ayre
Last Update: August 2022

In this article we explain what a measured survey is and why they are crucial when undertaking building work.

Before beginning any construction project, large or small, it is critical to conduct a thorough measured survey. A measured survey is the process to accurately survey and produce detailed drawings such as floor plans, elevations and section drawings. The data and drawings that are produced form the basis of any design work.

Find out about measured surveys and why they are so important before beginning any project.


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THS Concepts undertakes measured survey projects for architects, engineers and construction professionals across London & The UK.

Apartments | Houses | Commercial Properties & More

What Is a Measured Survey?

A measured building survey is a digitalised model of your building to help Architects and Designers with their building design proposals. Measured surveys entail taking accurate measurements in order to produce CAD drawings.  They’re usually specified to a certain level of detail, with acceptable tolerances for accuracy, scale, delivery times, and costs.

Measured surveys can vary in detail. A basic survey will include elements such as walls, doors, windows, and level changes. A more complex survey may include electrical layouts, plumbing and more precise information.

Video Explainer

Do I Need A Measured Survey?

A measured survey is critical to begin a construction project correctly. A measured survey is an important part because it serves as the foundation for the design process. Issues that arise at this stage will be repeated and amplified throughout the construction process.

A measured survey is usually commissioned prior to any building or refurbishment work and forms the basis of the proposed designs. Without an accurate measured survey, future problems can occur. These could be:

  • The proposed design not fitting or incorrectly sized.
  • Over/under ordering of materials.
  • Issues with local planning authorities.

Potential Issues When Starting With Poor Data

How Properties Are Surveyed

The on-site survey is undertaken to capture the required detail specified by the client. Depending on the survey company, an on-site survey may use a variety of equipment.

Low-tech equipment includes:

  • Tape measures
  • Laser disto meters
  • Rulers
  • Measuring wheels

High-tech equipment includes:

  • 3D laser scanners
  • Total stations
  • GPS equipment
  • Ground penetrating radar


Typical Measured Survey Equipment

Do You Need a Measured Survey Quote?

• Quotes within 1 working day.
• Estimated drawing return dates.
• Fixed-price quotations.

Edward Sadler - Davis Construction
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"Proactive on site and quick. Customer service is of the highest level as well. Will be using for all future projects."
Teoman Ayas - MIM Studios
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"Professional and attentive. They produced good quality CAD survey tailored for the specific needs of our project. Their price was reasonable and they delivered it on time."
Anthony Kyrke-Smith - AKS Architects
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"Very efficient service with quick turnaround. I have used THS-Concepts before and I will again, when I next need a detailed survey."  

How Long Does A Measured Survey Take?

The time it takes to undertake a measured survey drastically varies depending on the detail and size of the property to be surveyed.

On average, a survey of a 3-bedroom house would take 4 hours for a surveyor to 3D scan and take a few hand measurements.

Once back in the office it can take a few days depending on the drawings requested. Typical drawings include floor plans, elevations, sections and roof plans.

How The Office Work Is Done

Following the on-site survey, the surveyed information is analysed and sorted. To electronically draw up the surveyed information, a CAD (computer aided design) software package is used.

Typical CAD programs include AutoCAD, Revit, Microstation etc. There are a lot of different CAD packages. The most common is Autodesk’s AutoCAD.

The CAD program is utilised to produce a range of drawings depending on the project requirements. These include:

  • Floor plans
  • Elevations
  • Sections
  • Roof Plans
  • Street Scene Elevations

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