Construction Drawings: Size & Scaling

Updated: 5 days ago

When it comes to architectural and engineering drawings there can be some confusion regarding size and scaling. Let’s take a closer look at some of the industry standards to better understand the roles of each.

~Construction drawings are usually created at ARCH D or ANSI D size~

Scaling

Most construction drawings are created by the engineer or architect to be at a specific scale. This identification will be noted somewhere on the document, usually near the bottom of the page, in the title block, or underneath an individual section.


~When a drawing is in its original size, it's considered FULL SIZE & TO SCALE~


PAPER SIZE

There are two sets of standardized page sizes for construction documents:

ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and ARCH (Architectural).


When a drawing is created to scale by an architect or engineer it is typically formatted to fit one of these page sizes. The chart below shows both sets of standards:



Most scaled documents at full size are created at ANSI D or ARCH D size. Occasionally they will be created at a larger or smaller size depending on the needs of the project.

HALF SIZE

To save money during the printing process, contractors may have their documents printed at half size or half scale. This is done by printing the original document at a 50% reduction. If done correctly, the document will still be to scale, albeit, a half scale of the original (1/8” = 1’ becomes 1/16” = 1’). As you can see in the chart above, the standardized page sizes are formatted to accomplish this.

SUMMARY

Most construction drawings are scaled and drawn at their full size. If you're working with a PDF you can find out the document's dimensions by moving your mouse to the lower left corner of the program window. After a moment, the document's dimensions will be shown. Refer to one of the standard construction drawing sizes when making a print order and clarify if you need the document to scale or not.


~Rylee imparts her deep understanding of blueprint sizes.~

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