Guide – Why You Need a Measured Survey to Plan Your Project

Measured Surveys – Why You Need One To Build Your Construction Project.

Measured surveys are often crucial parts of property development planning. Here we explain exactly why you need a measured survey.

Article By: Tom Ayre | Last Update: November 2020

In this article, we are going to explain why it is really important you have a measured survey prior to undertaking producing any design drawings for your building project.

Reading through this short article will demonstrate how building costs can be increased and delays can occur as a result of poor inaccurate design drawings from the beginning.

In this article I am going to demonstrate the potential pitfalls as a result of a poor or inadequate measured survey:

  • Your project may not look correct & may fall foul of planning conditions
  • Things can get expensive with costs spiralling out of control
  • Your project can be delayed
  • Delays not only cost time, but also your happiness!


Poorly Designed / Falling Foul Of Planning Permission.

A poorly measured building plan from the outset of your project can have drastic effects on how your project may look when it is finally completed. At best this may be an aesthetic issue, at worst you may have contravened the conditions of your planning application.

In extreme examples, local councils have ordered houses to be demolished as a result of planning conditions not being met. We have undertaken survey work on a few jobs where elements such as the roof have been built slightly too high, or an extension has been built too far into the garden.

This caused the owners of the properties serious headaches as they had to go back to the planning stage and submit post build applications. Looking back, each owner managed to get their project over the line. However, if they had a measured survey from the outset then the risk of these types of errors happening would be minimal.

Expensive and Unnecessary Extra Costs.

Inadequate information can cause a whole range of problems. As the project develops, drawing errors cause more and more problems that increase costs and delays. Poor quality survey drawings can also cause major disappointment to people working on their dream project.

Incorrect measurements of room sizes can lead to problems such as furniture not fitting, windows in the wrong place, floor levels not aligning etc. Think we’re exaggerating? We’re not. BuzzFeed has collected proof!

A measured building survey can alleviate these problems, as your architect can work from a highly accurate set of plans, elevations and sections. Their designs will be accurate and a true reflection of existing property features, which will assist the building contractor in their work.

When undertaking building works it’s important to control costs wherever possible! Inevitably, throughout a construction project, costs increase and issues arise. (If you want five minutes of incredulity and entertainment, read about ten construction projects that broke the bank on a spectacular scale…)

When pricing up construction works, contractors typically ask for your architect’s proposed drawings. This is to check the specifications of the design. If your architect’s drawings are based on an inaccurate plan, your contractor may find a problem onsite and temporarily halt construction.

The issue will most probably be that the contractor underestimated the required work, so you will inevitably pay more for extra labour hours. Alternatively, your contractor may have overestimated the time or materials required, so you may have wasted money on non-returnable materials such as concrete. You may pay for workers you no longer need.

A measured building survey ensures that your architect’s plans are accurate, which in turns means floor areas, room widths, heights of rooms, etc., are precisely drawn. Trust us, a good set of measurements will reduce headaches during the building process.

Project Delays

Imagine that your building contractor has just finished pouring the concrete foundations and you’re ready for your prefabricated timber frame. The frame you wanted was built in a factory in Germany and is ready to be put on a lorry and transported to your home.

Suddenly your building contractor gets his tape measure out and works out that the structure will overhang your neighbour’s garden. You’re going to have to adjust the design of the timber frame.

Along with the incredible costs of doing this, you are now going to find your project seriously delayed. The contractors you have on-site or booked in for the near future will have to wait for the frame to be amended and shipped. You may also find that the slots you have booked for your site team and now gone and you will have to wait even longer to get them back on site.

This is the worst case scenario however it demonstrates the importance of ensuring your designer is working from reliable, accurate survey information from the start.

Quality Of Life

A construction site is a loud, dusty, cold environment. If you are having building work undertaken in your home whilst you are still living there then you will know this pain. Constantly cleaning, making cups of tea for the contractors, apologising to neighbours for the noise etc.

Life is sometimes even worse if you are living away from the site in a smaller, rented apartment, static home or relatives house!

Delays to your project not only cost time and money, but your sanity also takes a dent too. Living in tight spaces with family members whilst work is going on can stretch even the tightest nit family. Arguments are certain!

Getting your project delivered on time is important. The measured survey element at the start of a project can be a small, neglectable item. However, as the project goes on the importance of this element increases. Starting your project correctly from the start with a measured survey can negate the potential for future delays impacting your wallet/purse and sanity!

Get Your Free Quote

Get your project off the ground and get a quotation, proposed start date and when you can expect your completed survey / drawings back.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.