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
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
- We obtain window and door heights and details while taking floor plan
- 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
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?
factored in the decreased amount of work due to less detail on the sides
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
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
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
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
Yes, but in order to create either of these drawings, we will measure
and draw a basic floor plan.