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My Favorite Sheet Size

A professional title block frames your drawings, serves up important project information, and gives a first impression of your firm… but what’s the best sheet size for construction documents? In my experience, there’s only one size that fits all of my residential design projects, and makes printing cheaper and easier!

Presentation or Construction Documents?

When casually presenting I like to use a lightweight presentation title block that shows my company logo, file name, date, and page numbers. I use a presentation title block for diagrams, schematic plans, and scaled sketches, typically on letter size 8.5 x 11 or tabloid size 11 x 17.

Later in the design process, I switch to a professional title block that shows more information and sits on a larger sheet. In my experience, Arch D 24 x 36 always fits my residential designs at my preferred scale of 1/4″ = 1′ – 0″. This gives me plenty of room to add notes, callouts, schedules, and coordination.

Remove Default Templates

When you start a new document in LayOut you are prompted to choose a template, or title block. LayOut’s default title blocks haven’t changed in over a decade, and they lack a professional look. Follow these steps to clear them out…

  1. Click on the Edit dropdown (LayOut on Mac) > Preferences…
  2. On the Folders tab, under Templates, select the first default path
  3. Click the minus sign (-) to remove it
  4. Restart LayOut
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Heads Up!  You can always click “Restore Defaults”, then restart LayOut to get the default title blocks back.

Install Professional Title Blocks

Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you start a new project in LayOut you have professional presentation and construction document title blocks!  To the right are two of my favorites to get you up and running. Follow these steps to install them in LayOut…

  1. Download and open a title block file in LayOut
  2. Click on the File dropdown > Save as Template…
  3. Fill in the Template Name, for example “BD_24 x 36 – Construction Documents”
  4. Click OK
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7 Professional Title Blocks

Get all 7 professional title blocks by starting a free trial of our ConDoc Tools extension. On install, all of my presentation and construction document title blocks are automatically dropped into Layout. They are yours to keep, even if you cancel and don’t pay a dime!

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Print Half Size Progress Sets

What I really like about an Arch D 24 x 36 size set is that I can easily print a perfectly scaled half size set in my office on super cheap Super B 13 x 19 paper.  A 24 x 36 set costs about $65 at the print shop, while progress sets that I print in my office cost next to nothing. Plus I don’t have to pick them up! I like working at half scale, the drawings look great reduced and they are easier to present and redline.  First, follow these steps to create a PDF…

  1. In LayOut, click the File dropdown > Export > PDF… (Don’t use File > Print!)
  2. Choose a folder to save in, give the file a name, click Save
  3. Set the PDF Export Options, my preferred settings are shown at right
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Finally, use the Acrobat print dialog to set a custom scale.  Follow these steps…

  1. In Adobe Acrobat, click the File dropdown > Print…
  2. Click Properties to set the Paper Source, Document Size, and Color
  3. Turn on Custom Scale and enter a value of 50%.
  4. Click Print
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