Features Overview

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Existing Conditions Survey (ECS)

Upon agreement and instruction from the client, ACD performs a comprehensive conditions survey and check measure of the proposed site. The level of detail required will be dependent upon ACD’s role in the renovation process.



Prior to going to site, do as much research as possible on the site and familiarize yourself with the building and location. Use Google maps to get a better idea of the orientation, street view and overall shape of the site and if possible, source the plan. It is helpful to have as much information as possible and to have a sense of familiarity when arriving to site.


When viewing the site for the first time, ensure that all rooms are well documented as to provide ACD with a reliable source of reference on which to base the Vectorworks and SketchUp drawings.


Print out and bring to site the template (P003 Existing Conditions Survey Checklist) located in Dropbox/How ACD do things/Forms&Documents/Project Management Forms. Use this template to notate information not relating to measurements.


Please bring to site:  


  • Pens and Paper
  • Laser Measure (check battery level prior to leaving the office)    
  • Tape Measure  
  • Camera or smart phone
  • Print out of plans in scale 1:50 if they are available            


  1. Take a thorough look around and familiarize yourself with the site. If there is more than one level, make sure to view all levels prior to measuring as to gain a good understanding of the overall size and scope of the proposed work.


  1. Photograph all rooms, start from left to right, and document all four walls (if applicable).  Work from the ground level up. 


Make sure to take note of the location of the following:     


  • GPO’s    
  • Light switches 
  • Phone points/outlets 
  • TV outlets 
  • Internet Points 
  • Light fittings
  • Air-conditioning units/ vents 
  • Smoke alarms 
  • Gas Outlets    
  • Hot Water Systems 
  • Change of levels    
  • Change of ceiling heights         
  • Void spaces 
  • Floor finishes 
  • Wall finishes 
  • Ceiling details                
  • Picture Rails 
  • Inbuilt joinery 
  • Waste points 


  1. If you don’t have an existing plan of the site, draw up a rough plan of each level to provide the basis for recording the measurements. This plan is not to scale and will not be entirely precise however it serves the purpose of recording an overall plan on which to record the measurements. 


If you already have a printed plan – lucky you!  Ensure to check ALL details against the plan as it has been known that these plans can be misleading and at times, inaccurate. 


  1. To start measuring the space, it is advised to record the overall dimensions of the space first and to work from the outside walls in. This will ensure that the plan is laid out correctly and will provide a solid base. 


Take running measurements (as well as the overall measurements) to ensure accuracy. Be accurate and precise. It is better to take longer to ensure that all measurements are recorded rather than discovering you have missed something upon your return to the office.


Use the laser pointer where possible, as this will ensure precise measurements. 


For each room, record: 

  • The length of the room 
  • The width of the room
  • CH  Ceiling Height
  • SH  Sill Heights 
  • WH  Window Heights        
  • DH   Door Height     
  • DW  Door Width
  • Window Widths
  • Wall thicknesses
  • Skirting board height? 
  • Change of levels/ thresholds 
  • Light switch heights
  • GPO heights


  • Height, length and depth of kitchen bench tops
  • Height of joinery / wall units         
  • Measure existing fridge / appliances * if they are to be reused *
  • Distance between joinery e.g., island bench to kitchen bench 



  • Depth and width of shower
  • Height of shower screen door 
  • Waste points 
  • Water inlets/outlets position
  • Ledge heights and depths
  • Vents
  • Floor tile height – threshold 



  • Location of Taps and Waste
  • Size of sink if reusing



  • Number of treads
  • Tread measurements – width and depth     
  • Riser measurement     



  1. Before leaving the site, do a quick walk around and make sure that nothing was missed. You may spot something that you previously did not notice. 


When returning to the office


  1. Download all photos to the computer and categorise accordingly into rooms – e.g. Living Room, Dining Room, Courtyard. This will make it easier to find photographs to reference when drawing up the plan and elevations in Vectorworks.   


  1. Based off the measurements taken, start to draw the floor plan/s in Vectorworks. 


Taking photos of the site


For photos of rooms take the first photo of the wall you entered the room from as shown in the plan below. Then proceed to take photos of the other walls in a clockwise direction. This makes it easier to identify which direction the photos are taken in when you get back to the office. You may need to take a few photos of each elevation so that you can see the skirting and cornice. Other important photos to take are the architraves around the doors/windows.


Feature 2

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Feature 3

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