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Client’s Guide to Measured Building Survey

Client’s Guide to Measured Building Survey

What you will learn:

  1. What is measured building survey?
  2. Learn to save money and be on top of your Land Surveyor
  3. Manage the legal and ownership of the Measured Survey Plans
  4. Avoid £1000s in losses when undertaking Measured Building Surveys

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is this guide for me?This guide is for you if you are looking to develop your property to meet planning permission requirements and for your architect to get started with the proposed design works.

Some examples of project that will need Measured Building Surveys are:

  • home extension,
  • interior redesign,
  • loft conversion or
  • a full re-modelling of your home.

and for the businesses; if you are a property developer you are probably working on

  • land development
  • change of use from office/factory to residential
  • or even residential to business use

You’ll need a measured building survey (and potentially a topographical survey with that). A bit confused which survey you need? take a look at this post on the types of measured surveys available.

What you’ll learn

In this guide we will teach you everything you need to know about Measured Building Surveys;

From the basic of what you need to know as a client to engaging a correct surveyor to undertake the job.We’ll also answer the most common question that you face:

  1. What is measured building survey?
  2. What is included in a Measured Building Survey?
  3. Should you use an architect or get a land surveyor to undertake the survey?
  4. How much does it cost?
  5. Do I need a Measured Survey?
  6. How long would the Measured Survey Take?
  7. How to save money?
  8. What are the risks involved?


Just before we start here are some terminology we’ll be using:


Measured building survey (or Measured survey, Architectural surveys, asbuilt surveys)

Plan or Existing Plans:

This is a drawing; it is produced on AutoCAD, VectorWorks, and usually submitted in PDF so that it can be uploaded for your planning application. We’ll be referring to plans as the existing plans

Proposed Plans or Construction Plans:

This is the final set of drawings produced by your architect for your planning application and construction phase of your project.


This is a drawing that shows the sides (or facades) of your property. Read more about it here.


This is a drawing that shows a vertical cut of the property. Imagine you cut an apple in half and you see the seeds. This is basically how a section will be done of your property. It’ll be vertically cut and drawn. Read more about it here.


What is a Measured Building Survey?

A measured building survey is a detailed and accurate measurement of your home as it is currently. The survey gathers data, measurements and features of the current state of your property.

How is this useful?

This will be used for your planning application and other consultants on your construction projects. Such as:

  • Architect
  • Planning Officers
  • Structural Engineer
  • Builders
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Rights of light surveyors

What do you normally get from a Measured Building Survey?

The end results of the survey are set of plans (or if you prefer…a set of drawings) showing the structural and architectural features of your property.The plans can include:

Still Confused?

If you are not sure how looks like we have included some samples that you can download. Click the link below to download a copy of our samples.

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Note: A Topographical Survey can be combined with a measured building survey. This includes a survey of the land around the property. This is required for extensions, or land development.

Who can produce the Measured Survey, and can my architect do it instead?

Measured Surveys can be produced by an architect and land surveyors.

Great! I can just use my architect? No…. take a look below what it could mean to your submission.

There are advantages and disadvantages for each that we will be explored in detail below.

If you have an architect, they would certainly be able to produce the floor plans to help them with your planning application and proposed plans.

…if they have the time, but also…

They are limited in producing certain types of plans.

Your architect will struggle in producing certain types of plans:

Architect cannot produce the following:

  • Elevations
  • Sections
  • Roof Plans
  • Loft Plans
  • Ceiling Plans
  • Topographical Plans

The advantage of using an Architect for your measured survey:

  1. May be cost effective
  2. They will be able to produce plans for their needs

The disadvantage of using an Architect for your measured survey:

  1. May not be able to produce certain plans easily:
    • Sections
    • Elevations
    • Roof Plans
    • Loft Plans
    • Topographical Surveys
  2. May not be as accurate due to lack of technical knowledge of using surveying instruments.
  3. The Architect will take ownership of the plans. If you want to own the plans for future use or find another architect you may need to redo the survey again.
  4. The Architect may not always be available to survey the property

Using a land surveyor, you will be provided high accuracy, detail, a variety of plans faster.

The advantage of using a Land Surveyor for your measured survey:

  1. More accurate plans and less likely
  2. Accurate and detailed enough for listed buildings
  3. Can produce all the plans that an architect may struggle with
  4. You own the plans after the survey, and you can use different architects

The disadvantage of using an Land Surveyor for your measured survey:

  1. May be slightly costly than having your architect undertaking the survey.

a land surveyor will provide you high accuracy, detail, a variety of plans faster.

What is included in a Measured Building survey?


The measured building survey can include :

Most of what’s been picked up on a measured building survey would include everything under the RICS Measured Survey of Land, Building and Utilities. You can request a copy from most land surveyors as they should have this on hand to ensure that all the features that are on the standard are being picked up on the survey.

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