How Lidar Scanning Technology on the iPhone Contributes to Construction Projects

Lidar scanning technology has been around for a while, but it was only available at high prices to experienced professionals. This is now changing as more and more people are using their iPhones to scan 3D objects and spaces to document such things as construction projects. With Polycam’s app and the mobile lidar scanner on your phone, you can measure spaces before the construction begins.

This is an excellent time-saver for contractors and designers. Limit the number of trips to the hardware store by more accurately calculating materials. Take for instance this recent floor repair in our rental property.

The floor in this area was sagging and the T&G wood was showing some wear. I believe this might have been the site of a roof leak long before we purchased the home as an investment. It was time to take a deeper look into a repair. My wife and I called several contractors without any luck. Many estimating up to $6,000 for the repair.

If you are like us and starting on this journey of investment properties you know $6,000 is not an option. So it was up to us to fix it. After studying the scan, I was able to bring the model into Blender. Measure the board thickness to confirm they were in fact 2.5" wide. Saved a trip on having to double-check that.

Then after estimating the area was able to determine how much flooring we would need. Now that we had all the material it was time to peel back the floor and see what we were working with. Luckily the joists were in great shape. The subfloor on the other hand was toast. Almost powder…

In this scan, you can see how much of the floor had to be removed. It was time to add blocking and start to shore up the subflooring. It took several trips from above to below and back again. I’m not a big fan of crawling through the crawlspace.

In the end, we were able to add the new tongue and groove wood floor over the subfloor. It might not be the prettiest floor in the world but it’s solid. The last thing you want is unhappy tenants. So glad to say they are satisfied with the work and happy to have some solid floors under their feet. Me Too!

You can check out these three scans on Sketchfab.

Phase One —

Phase Two —

Phase Three —

For those of you that are in the rental property investment world, you should be looking into scanning your homes. If a picture speaks a thousand words, a scan speaks millions.


I’m an Architect. My favorite thing to do is create stories through architectural design. Founder of Whitewash Studio architecture firm in Atlanta, GA.