When it comes to getting as built drawings of a building, nothing is more important than the quality of the data. And in order to gather accurate data about a building on the very first try, you need to rely on a professional solution. Bringing in a laser scanning company will save you time and money in the long run by ensuring your drawings are accurate. With so many laser scanning companies out there, how do you choose which one will be best for you?
In this blog, we will walk through the 3 "E's" you should look for when choosing a laser scanning company: equipment, experience, and expertise.
When you need accurate existing conditions drawings, the last thing you should do is to send someone out with a tape measure and do it manually by hand. This way of collecting measurements is not only outdated, as discussed in this blog, but can also come at a cost for your company in more ways than one.
One of your colleagues leaving their desk to go into the field costs you time, especially when that employee may not be best equipped to gather the correct measurements in the first place. Let's face it – tape measures have existed for hundreds of years because they are inexpensive and easy to manufacture, not because they have construction-grade accuracy. While they're great for taking a quick linear measurement, such as an approximate window dimension, they aren't made to measure large spaces. Misapplication of the tool unfortunately invites significant risk of mistakes into your drawings.
A huge margin for human error such as this can cost you more time if you need to go back and regather that data in the future. Why not get it right the first time with laser scanning? This is why turning to a laser scanning company seems like the right way to go. But how do you ensure that the firm you choose is reliable?
Just about any novice firm can click on an "add to cart" button and add laser scanning to their repertoire of services, provided they have enough capital. However, just because someone has a laser scanner, doesn't mean they know how to get you what you need.
Not every laser scanning company can provide reliable and accurate data. The best firms will be able to tailor their scope of work to meet your specific project's needs. Collecting important measurements and seamlessly integrating that data into a drafting program such as AutoCAD or Revit does not come to a firm as a result of purchasing the right equipment. Just as buying the best hammer in Home Depot doesn't make you a master carpenter. It takes the skill of a qualified, experienced laser scanning company to create a comprehensive, reliable, digital drawing of your building. That firm will take on the difficult measurement activities for you so you can get back to doing what you do best.
Whether you're talking about a lawyer, a doctor, or a laser scanning company, at the end of the day, experience matters. The laser scanning company you choose should know what they are doing, inside and out, top to bottom, from kickoff to delivery. If you're working with an experienced firm, these factors are non-negotiable. Experience is important because it allows a laser scanning firm to apply past lessons learned on site to your project. Effectively, by hiring an experienced firm you are able to benefit from the thousands of hours that firm's team has spent in the field doing the exact type of work that you require of them.
However, budget constrictions in the building industry are a very real thing, and they can sometimes cause professionals to shy away from hiring a more experienced firm. Weighing companies by cost alone is tempting , but ultimately you'll want a laser scanning company that can provide you with the most accurate data. Sometimes, this higher quality service can end up costing you a bit more up front, but will help you by providing accurate service the first, and only, time. In many cases, the cost of working with an experienced firm is actually lower than that of working with a newer firm, since the younger company may be baking in their own uncertainty into the project cost.
Ideally, you should look for a laser scanning company that:
Works off your pre-established template of standards (if applicable)
Tailors their scope of work to meet your needs
Has worked on buildings similar to yours with similar objectives
Communicates with you throughout the entire data gathering process in case any changes need to be made
Understands the context of your questions and has answers ready to go
You get the service that you pay for, and in this situation, you want to make sure the drawings you receive are worth your money.
Providing a good experience means expert service from start to finish. The firm you choose should be viewed as much more than just a one-time partner. Rather, look for someone who is interested in building long-term relationships. If you have questions, concerns, or need to meet with someone to change the direction of your project, you should never waver on knowing that your needs will be taken care of. The best laser scanning companies are those with decades of experience meeting the needs of top architects, owners, developers, and general contractors.
Existing Conditions provides an unmatched level of trust and accuracy with every single one of our clients. We have been trusted for over 23 years to provide detailed, reliable, and accurate existing conditions surveys.
Our staff members have worked for, and been trained by, professionals in the building industry. They have the equipment, experience, and expertise to provide you with the information that you need. They get the job done right on the first try.
To see how Existing Conditions can assist your firm, please contact us here.