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OST 3.97 - 06.01 What is Scale and Why is it so Important?

Reference Number: AA-03637 Views: 782 Created: 11/19/2019 07:41 am Last Updated: 12/13/2019 11:16 am 0 Rating/ Voters
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After you add your plans to a project, or create blank pages to use with a digitizer, and before you draw any measurements, you need to set the Scale on each Page.

Scale is and indicator of the relative size of your drawing to the actual building object. So if you draw a line that's 1" on the screen, it represents, say, 10' on the plan.

Scale is usually listed on the blueprint or plan, often times in the title block of the page. But do not take the listed Scale as fact, always verify!

Why is Setting and Verifying Scale So Important?

Setting and verifying the scale for each page in a project before starting takeoff is of utmost importance. Because Scale affects the Results of every piece of takeoff you drawn, if a Page's Scale is wrong, your Results will be wrong.

Think of it this way, if you used an estimator's ruler to calculate the takeoff on paper drawings but used the wrong side of the ruler, you're measurements would be wrong - this is no different that an incorrect Scale.

But My Page Shows Its Scale

Even if a page indicates a particular scale (on the drawing itself), you must verify that Scale to make sure it is accurate. Even a small discrepancy in Scale can affect takeoff quantities - especially as a project gets larger and you draw more takeoff.

You may ask yourself, "Why would the Scale shown on a drawing be wrong?" - That's a great question! The answer is... it all depends on how the drawing/plan was saved/created. Was it saved to the correct page size to make the Scale accurate? If you are dealing with a scanned copy of an original, paper plan, did the scanner distort the Scale? Was the Scale accurate in the first place?

Anyway, in the next few articles, we cover Setting, Calculating, and the most important step, verifying the Scale of your drawing, before you do anything else!

Notes about Scale

Every Page in a Plans Set may have a different scale - that's alright and not expected and why you have to verify the Scale on every Page before doing anything else. However, each page can be assigned only one scale.  If you come across a drawing and there are several regions drawn to different scales, you just duplicate the Page and set each copy to a different scale, see OST - Handling More Than One Scale on the Same Plan for information on how you can accommodate multiple scales on a single drawing.

Changing the scale of a page after you have drawn takeoff is not recommended because On-Screen Takeoff may not be able to resize all takeoff objects correctly. The new scale may cause some takeoff to extend outside the page or there may be objects that cannot be resized because of related or connected objects. It is vital that you set/calculate and verify the scale on each page before drawing takeoff.

If the Scale isn't listed on your drawing, don't worry - the program can calculate the Scale based on a known dimension shown on the drawing. We cover that in the articles that follow, also. 

Let us start with the simplest process, setting the Scale based on what the drawing shows you.

previous article arrow Using Style Sets to Create Multiple Conditions QuicklySetting the Scale of a Plannext article arrow

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