Architectural Measured Drawings of Existing Conditions
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Frequently Asked Questions

Our Services - Exterior Elevations


What is included in an exterior elevation?

Standard - Basic plus building ornamentation & trim.

Basic - Major structural elements only – walls, windows, doors, stairs, roof. No trim or ornamentation.

What do you mean by Exterior Elevation?

An exterior elevation drawing is analogous to a photo showing what each side of the house looks like from the outside. The drawing provides the architect with key information about the building heights – overall roof height, windows, doors, decks, etc. The Standard level of detail option also shows the ornamentation and trim which distinguish the building’s architectural style.

How do you acquire elevation data?

We acquire most of the elevation data inside while taking the floor plan data. For instance:

  • We set floor to floor heights in stairwells or foyers
  • We shoot from window sills to finished floor elevations, and then to grade outside
  • We obtain window and door heights and details while taking floor plan data
  • If we can see the ridge(s) or the attic is accessible, we'll obtain most of the roof data from inside as well.

How do you get data that is high up, with a ladder?

Sometimes we'll use a ladder if we have to, but usually we can obtain all of the information that we need from inside. For instance, we'll locate windows relative to grade, by shooting the laser from the sill to the ground as well as the sill to the finished floor elevation.

Likewise, we can shoot from the sill to the roof overhang or from grade to the roof overhang. We also climb around on the roof, if it’s safe.

For ornamentation and trim: Trim we can usually measure by sticking our tape measure outside the window. For ornamentation that is difficult to reach, we'll take photos, which we import into our CAD file. We then trace over the photo in CAD to capture any intricacies.

What do you mean by ornamentation and trim?

Ornamentation is any detail on the building which looks like it was attached or carved in order to enhance the building’s architectural style, such as decorative moulding.

Trim is the non-structural frame that you see surrounding the doors and windows.

Can I get Basic Exterior Elevations for certain views and Standard Exterior Elevations for others?


How come the exterior elevations are the same price for each view when the side views or rear view have so much less detail than the front view?

We factored in the decreased amount of work due to less detail on the sides and/or rear.

I would like to get only two elevations (or one) rather than four? Will they be the same price?

No. We charge less per view when you purchase all four views because most of the data that we acquire for one or two views usually applies to all views.

For instance, roof data taken for the front view can be used for the side and rear views as well. Likewise, data taken for decks or protrusions can typically be used for more than one view.

Do you show grade?


How do you establish grade?

We shoot the laser from finished floor elevations at exterior doors, and from window sills.

I would like floor plans of the 2nd and 3rd floor only. Can I get Exterior Elevations of the entire building?

Yes, but in order to provide you with Exterior Elevations of the entire building, we will have to measure a basic floor plan of the ground floor (or whatever area has not been requested as part of floor plans).

I would like floor plans of the 1st & 2nd floor only of a 3-level building. Can you provide me with a price for an Exterior Elevation, front view only?

Yes. In this case, we do not need to measure a Basic Floor Plan of the entire 3rd floor because we will not need the data for the sides & rear, but we will need to measure a Basic Floor Plan of the rooms with front facing walls.

I already have a floor plan. Can you use this to create the exterior elevations?

No, we don’t use other people’s drawings. It takes more time to verify other’s work and make sure that it matches up with our own than to produce a set of floor plans from scratch. If you would like to send us the floor plan anyway, we can use it for reference.

Will it cost extra to add exterior elevations after you’ve produced the floor plan, and if so how much?

Yes. We acquire most of the elevation data inside while taking the floor plan data. If you decide to add elevations after the initial measure up is completed we will have return to the building and re-trace all of our steps to gather the elevation information.

Why does it cost more to add certain drawings at a later time?

Some of the drawings, such as exterior elevations and sections, are priced based on purchase of the floor plan. If we do not acquire data for these drawings while taking floor plan data, it takes more time to do them. Drawings that change price if purchased as part of a phase II or added to a project after we’ve already produced the floor plan include Exterior Elevations, Sections, Electrical & Lighting Plans, and Reflected Ceiling Plans.

Can you provide me with a quote for Exterior Elevations only?

Yes, but in order to create either of these drawings, we will measure and draw a basic floor plan.