Tips When Recording As-Built Drawings (Red lines)

Using colored pencils is a great way to prepare great as-built drawings

Architect blueprint Close up detail drawing hands
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As-built Drawings are a very important piece of information that every project must record. As-Built drawings are also called Record Drawings and sometimes referred as red-line drawings. These drawings demonstrate how the contractor built the project and what changes were made during the construction process. Transferring the revisions and completing the markups on the As-Built drawings must be executed carefully to a final as-built set of drawings.

These final set of drawings will contain modifications, field changes; shop drawing changes, design changes, extra works and every change that was approved and made during construction. The AIA has defined and made a clear distinction between the following terms: Record drawings, As-built drawings, and measured drawings. 

Tips When Recording As-Built Drawings

It is recommended to review As-Built drawings regularly for accuracy and completeness by the contractor and the management office representative as part of the monthly payment process. At least one complete set of As-Built drawings must be available on the job site at all times.

  • Cross out words like equal to, similar to and replace them with the specific information used during the construction process
  • Use the same scale when adding details to the drawings, as the original drawing scale
  • Never remove old values or details, just line or “X” through them. If there is no room for the new value, you can go to the side on the same line and state the value that is being replaced with.  
  • Provide the exact details of changes or additional information, including but not limited to fabrication, erection, installation, location, sizing, material, dimension, etc
  • Provide all necessary information of contractor's designed systems
  • Invert elevations, grade modifications and related information on piping utilities, earthwork, etc.
  • Record all unexpected obstructions found in the contract area
  • The person preparing the As­-Built drawings must date every sheet in the upper right-hand corner whether  or not there are changes in that plan sheet
  • Make sure that supplemental pages containing plan modification sketches have been  sealed and signed by the registrant author of those sketches like for example the designer, RE or contractor’s registrant who is providing the sketches.
  • If an additional sheet is added to the drawings, try to use the same sheet size, scale and legend as the one being replaced or being referenced
  • Changes made from the final inspection process
  • If possible As-Built drawings shall be recorded with three base colors, with a legend indicator; RED- deleted items; GREEN- added items, BLUE-special information or details
  • Refer to specific actions instead of referencing change order numbers or related documents
  • Use written explanation to describe changes
  • Use clear lettering
  • Be sure to add revision notes and corrections to affected section view, general notes, specific notes, profiles, and schedules. Be consistent when adding notes and use the same figure or shape to denote changes or revisions.
  • Add all related shop drawings to As-built drawings as an appendix to the drawings. Make sure there ar references on the drawing page to the appendix.
  • Update the index sheet to show latest drawing changes or additions
  • Be specific when making notes to underground utilities, showing exact location, depth and material used
  • When finished, stamp title sheet with 'RECORD DRAWING AS-BUILT' including contractor’s name, date, and other relevant information
  • If a sheet has not been changed at all or no mark has been added, label the sheet only 'As-Built'
  • If a sheet has been changed or modifications have been added, label it 'Revised AS-Built'
  • Prepare a final CD with the As-built drawings

Sometimes contracts call for a certain retainage of money until As-built drawings are submitted. Following these recommendations will allow you to have that retainage being paid rapidly.

As-Built Drawings Technology

The information provided above is mostly related to the traditional way of recording as-built drawings.

However, there are different products and apps that will allow you to keep track of these important changes almost immediately. You can use PlanGrid, ArcGIS, FieldWire and other apps allowing you to add photos and much more information that later on will facilitate the process of completing these drawings. These applications can save money and time as changes can be tracked almost immediately and at the field avoiding errors and mistakes.