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Old 07-16-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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Question Blueprints

Can you use a regular ruler to get an accurate measurement of sq. footage from blueprints ? If yes how is it done with a 1/8 scale blueprint and a 1/4 print?
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
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You absolutely can use a regular ruler. Although I'm not sure that I follow your question.

It sounds like you have a drawing that is marked as 1/8" = 1', but that is reduced to 1/4 scale to fit on a smaller sheet of paper. This is common with projects with drawings on 22*34 paper, and we get half sized prints in 11x17.

In this case, if I am understanding your scenario correct, 1/32" = 1'. Since most rulers don't have 32nds on them, you can use 1/16" = 2'.

As always, you need to double check your scale against a known dimension on the drawing. Say you know a wall is dimensioned at 10', make sure that you measure that wall with your ruler, and that your ruler measurement is 5/16". That way you can confirm that you are using the proper scale for the drawing. This is important as drawings when printed and copied can be reduced or enlarged inadvertently and you want to make sure you catch it.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:07 PM   #3
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you CAN, but your mind has to be geared to it.

How is it done ? 1/8" on the BP equals one inch in real life. As the scale says, 1/8" = 1 foot. So if something measures 3 inches on the BP, that dimension will be 24 feet in real life. Now, here come the problem, answer quickly, what if you measure 4 5/16 inches on the BP, what is it in real life ?

See? not fun.

Go buy BOTH an architectural scale AND an engineer's scale at Staples or Office Max or Office Depot or Charrette. They're like $5 each.



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Old 07-16-2011, 07:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyson2001 View Post
You absolutely can use a regular ruler. Although I'm not sure that I follow your question.

It sounds like you have a drawing that is marked as 1/8" = 1', but that is reduced to 1/4 scale to fit on a smaller sheet of paper. This is common with projects with drawings on 22*34 paper, and we get half sized prints in 11x17.

In this case, if I am understanding your scenario correct, 1/32" = 1'. Since most rulers don't have 32nds on them, you can use 1/16" = 2'.

As always, you need to double check your scale against a known dimension on the drawing. Say you know a wall is dimensioned at 10', make sure that you measure that wall with your ruler, and that your ruler measurement is 5/16". That way you can confirm that you are using the proper scale for the drawing. This is important as drawings when printed and copied can be reduced or enlarged inadvertently and you want to make sure you catch it.

Yea thats right i have a copy of a blueprint and i'm not sure what the blueprint scale is.... i know prints are usally 1/8" or 1/4" inch scale. So your saying if its a 1/8" scale print copyed to a 11 x 8 sheet of paper 1/16" = 2' What about a 1/4" scale print copyed to 11 x 8 sheet?
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:20 PM   #5
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you CAN, but your mind has to be geared to it.

How is it done ? 1/8" on the BP equals one inch in real life. As the scale says, 1/8" = 1 foot. So if something measures 3 inches on the BP, that dimension will be 24 feet in real life. Now, here come the problem, answer quickly, what if you measure 4 5/16 inches on the BP, what is it in real life ?

See? not fun.

Go buy BOTH an architectural scale AND an engineer's scale at Staples or Office Max or Office Depot or Charrette. They're like $5 each.

Agreed going to buy them both...what a headache without em!!! Now i just need to figure out how to do this with this downsized copy they sent . Worst copy ever of blueprint downsized on a 11x8 piece of paper.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:24 PM   #6
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be carefull if you get a print that was originally drawn at 1/8 scale and is "copied" to a different size paper.

I get these all the time from bubble headed designers. If someone take a BP and puts it through the scanner and then pdf's it to you, you have NO idea what the new scale is because more often than not, that BP has been "scaled to fit" the pdf size.

There are ways around this, but it sounds like your understanding is not up for my explanation. That's not a slam, just what I perceive.



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Old 07-16-2011, 07:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
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be carefull if you get a print that was originally drawn at 1/8 scale and is "copied" to a different size paper.

I get these all the time from bubble headed designers. If someone take a BP and puts it through the scanner and then pdf's it to you, you have NO idea what the new scale is because more often than not, that BP has been "scaled to fit" the pdf size.

There are ways around this, but it sounds like your understanding is not up for my explanation. That's not a slam, just what I perceive.

No i'm understanding all your saying,just have no idea what the scale has become when copy on a 11 X 8 sheet of paper.....never tried to get sq. ft without an actual blueprint and correct ruler
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:36 PM   #8
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Anyone feel like explaining how to know what your BP scale becomes after its been "scaled to fit" the pdf size..... I'm all ears
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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Harry would know.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:21 PM   #10
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Don't try to use a regular tape or ruler on prints. Do your self a favor and buy a cheap tape for 1/8" and 1/4" scale.

http://www.artstuff.net/Pacific-Arc-...ape_p_697.html

Here's a link to the cheapest on the net I think, I bought tons of em. They are worth the money considering the Lufkins are between $25-$35 a piece. You can buy 3 or 4 of them for the price of a Lufkin. I've used them in class for years also.

I wouldn't even screw around with the triangular scales...just get the one I showed you.

Be careful with prints that have been reduced in size because, obviously the scale will be off and will not necessarily be a typical or realistic scale.

Check a typical door opening. If it's 3' wide you've got the right scale.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:31 PM   #11
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Harry,

Difference of preference I guess. I love my flat architectural scale, and I feel kinda real special when I pull out my grandfather's old wood triangular scale. I don't think I could ever get use to a tape. When I studied architecture I had a handy six inch flat one. Nice to carry around to classes. It's somewhere here.

Snowbird,

One time a pdf drawing that was emailed me had some dimensions marked. I converted it to a jpg, opened it with my photo editor, resized it on my screen until that dimension corresponded to the correct measurements on my scale, saved it, printed as full size , figured how much off it was, sized it again on my screen appropriately, and printed it again. It was close enough.

BTW, as much as I understand what Harry is saying, I would not blindly accept that all door openings are 3' 0". An estimate I did last week the FRAMED openings were 3' 6".



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Old 07-16-2011, 10:41 PM   #12
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Go to the depot and get a digital one, way faster and a lot easier. Mines got dust on it cause most plans are digital these days.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daArch View Post
Harry,

Difference of preference I guess. I love my flat architectural scale, and I feel kinda real special when I pull out my grandfather's old wood triangular scale. I don't think I could ever get use to a tape. When I studied architecture I had a handy six inch flat one. Nice to carry around to classes. It's somewhere here.

Snowbird,

One time a pdf drawing that was emailed me had some dimensions marked. I converted it to a jpg, opened it with my photo editor, resized it on my screen until that dimension corresponded to the correct measurements on my scale, saved it, printed as full size , figured how much off it was, sized it again on my screen appropriately, and printed it again. It was close enough.

BTW, as much as I understand what Harry is saying, I would not blindly accept that all door openings are 3' 0". An estimate I did last week the FRAMED openings were 3' 6".
Bill,
The triangular scales weren't created with measuring hundreds or thousands of feet in mind. They were a drafting tool.

If I had to use a triangular scale to measure, I'd be short about 4,000 bids

I also don't know of any bonafide estimators who use them.

But...if they make you happy, by all means, be happy
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Harry,

Difference of preference I guess. I love my flat architectural scale, and I feel kinda real special when I pull out my grandfather's old wood triangular scale. I don't think I could ever get use to a tape. When I studied architecture I had a handy six inch flat one. Nice to carry around to classes. It's somewhere here.

Snowbird,

One time a pdf drawing that was emailed me had some dimensions marked. I converted it to a jpg, opened it with my photo editor, resized it on my screen until that dimension corresponded to the correct measurements on my scale, saved it, printed as full size , figured how much off it was, sized it again on my screen appropriately, and printed it again. It was close enough.

BTW, as much as I understand what Harry is saying, I would not blindly accept that all door openings are 3' 0". An estimate I did last week the FRAMED openings were 3' 6".
Show me the job...

You're a paper hanger. You probably mean that the total width, of frame is 3'-6" which MAY be true but that isn't the opening width...at least not in a USUAL setting. And of course there can be exceptions

And let me add that obviously, we'd match up our scales with some dimension that would be shown on prints...but just to get in the zone, we'd use the 3' idea.

Of course I'm not talking about oddball residential doors that may exist.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:39 PM   #15
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Maybe I am missing something here. I typically have found that I can aquire most of the basic information I need from the floor plans and the two elevation plans. The cover sheet will guide me to other details I may need otherwise. If the plans are not legible that is a 'flag' to me. A phone call or a f2f meet with the super or gc would likely keep you from wasting your valuable time trying to aquire data which should be readily available if you are to do a cost estimation off of them. Basic sq. footage, heights and window and door sizes and styles and materials are all there or you got a set of plans like none other I have ever received.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:48 PM   #16
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Show me the job...

Your a paper hanger. You probably mean that the total width, of frame is 3'-6" which MAY be true but that isn't the opening width.

It's a McMansion in Wellesley.

No Harry, I mean the DOORS were wider than any I've seen, 3'6"

And as far as "estimating", yes being a residential paperhanger I need precise measurements per room. Agreed, the rules are drafting tools, and when I sketch a room out to pre-plan my seams correctly, I do need precision, to the inch. I can understand how an painting estimator just needs rough footage. That's all I needed when I painted. But as I said, personal preference. Can't argue that.



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Old 07-16-2011, 11:49 PM   #17
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Maybe I am missing something here. I typically have found that I can aquire most of the basic information I need from the floor plans and the two elevation plans. The cover sheet will guide me to other details I may need otherwise. If the plans are not legible that is a 'flag' to me. A phone call or a f2f meet with the super or gc would likely keep you from wasting your valuable time trying to aquire data which should be readily available if you are to do a cost estimation off of them. Basic sq. footage, heights and window and door sizes and styles and materials are all there or you got a set of plans like none other I have ever received.
I believe that we were talking about non typical sized blueprints and how to realize that they are incorrect scale.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:59 PM   #18
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It's a McMansion in Wellesley.

No Harry, I mean the DOORS were wider than any I've seen, 3'6"

And as far as "estimating", yes being a residential paperhanger I need precise measurements per room. Agreed, the rules are drafting tools, and when I sketch a room out to pre-plan my seams correctly, I do need precision, to the inch. I can understand how an painting estimator just needs rough footage. That's all I needed when I painted. But as I said, personal preference. Can't argue that.

Bill, i've measured thousands of wall covering jobs and I've never used a triangular ruler to do so.

As far as laying out your work, I've never had to do that "to the inch" thing with a triangular ruler but I'm not going to disagree that you have.

I think we're getting away from the crux here...which is simply, getting an idea of whether our prints are accurate when reduced, etc...or if they're not.

BTW, I'll bet you know some of the old guys...Charlie Becker, Lenny Levine, Paul Hanky...been there.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I think we're getting away from the crux here...which is simply, getting an idea of whether our prints are accurate when reduced, etc...or if they're not.

BTW, I'll bet you know some of the old guys...Charlie Becker, Lenny Levine, Paul Hanky...been there.
That's the crux. And I haven't seen any that are accurate when reduced. It's a chore getting them printed out right. This internet thing has sure messed up delivering architectural drawings. I'd rather have a full sized sheet to spread out.

I have, however, printed some out and one of the "odd" scales become accurate, like the 3/8"

nope, don't know any of those names. Who are they?



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Old 07-17-2011, 12:20 AM   #20
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Ok but even on the pdf I have received I have had the ability to zoom in and out and read measurements and details of the finishing carpentry. Wall heights etc.

Maybe I get to receive some schooling tonight. I like school. Not being a smartypants either.

If on PDF: printed on my dell whatever it is.

Let's pretend I have a perfect measurement of the length of one continuous side of the house that shows it to be 100'.
The masterbed wall alongside that same wall is exactly one quarter of that 100' using my ruler.

Is the length of the wall in the master going to be 25' on the original print? Minus the thickness of the wall one one side, I would say yes and that I drew that conclusion based upon the pdf. I have been wrong many times before so this won't be the first if I am.

PDF always provided me the other details I though I needed as well like types of siding, decorative pieces and materials they were made out of. What was to be painted and what was to be stained. Specifics on brands are even there often enough.

Right? Man I hope so or I am going back to college.

Honestly I have found that being honest with builders or whoever is in charge, sitting with them and asking questions has awarded me far more than pulling my hair out trying to figure something out I don't understand. Communicating with them kind of presents an opportunity to see if working together will be beneficial anyway. Be prepared with a list of questions prior to enaging in the discussion also.

Again though, the prints I have come across are likened to a book of any sort and basic math and flipping back and forth a bunch should reveal all you need.

Harry I wish I could make use of someone like you here one day. When my company is better positioned to take on something BIG I will be looking for one of your kind to guide me I am sure. Most paint reps I meet here are lost with estimating. A couple know a little bit but.......I have a dream! haha
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