Sheet Layout

Every base sheet and base map, regardless of the scale or sheet size, should have a well – organized layout. To accomplish this, consideration should be given to the placement of (1) title block or sheet title information, (2) plan, (3) north arrow, (4) scale, (5) notes and/or legends, and (6) sheet border. The following paragraphs provide guide­lines for organizing these items on a sheet.

Title Information Each drawing that is produced for design and/or construction should have a title block with the following information:

A. Client/designer information

1. Clients’ names

2. Clients’ address

3. Designer’s or firm’s name

4. Designer’s or firm’s address

B. Drawing information. The drawing information can be located either inside

or outside the title block because it relates more to the drawing itself than to

the clients or the designer.

1. Sheet title

2. Written scale and graphic scale. A graphic scale is recommended because its represented distances remain the same even if the drawing is enlarged or reduced (Figure 6—41). A written scale, on the other hand, is only valid for the original drawing and becomes false if the drawing is reproduced at a different size.

3. North arrow

4. Date

The location and lettering size of this information are two important considerations when drawing the base sheet and base map (Figure 6—42). The most common place­ment is the bottom right corner of the sheet. A person turning the pages of a set of several drawings can read this location easily. Other good locations for the title block are along the bottom or on right side of the sheet. The title block should never be placed at the left side of the sheet because this becomes difficult to read when several sheets or more are stapled together.

There should be a hierarchy of lettering sizes used in the title block. The clients’ names are the most important element and should be the largest and boldest letters of all. Letters about 1/2-inch high are typical for this. The designer’s name is less impor­tant and should be in smaller print, approximately 1/4-inch high. The addresses and the drawing information, although important, should be identified with the smallest lettering (although not smaller than 1/8-inch high).

Plan The plan should be placed on the sheet so it can be easily viewed. Generally, the plan is best placed off center to allow for some “white space” or leftover area on one or more sides of the plan. This white space can be used as a location for notes, leg­ends, or simply a blank background area (Figure 6—43).

North Arrow and Scale These two items should be organized together and placed in an obvious position on the sheet, typically toward the bottom. The north arrow and scale can be incorporated inside the title block or located elsewhere on the sheet.

In terms of orientation, it is standard procedure to position the plan so that the north arrow points toward the top, the left side of the sheet, or somewhere in between (Figure 6—44). An exception to this rule of thumb is when the clients are used to view­ing their property from a certain direction, such as the street. This may cause the north arrow to point in an atypical direction.

Notes and Legends Notes and legends are best placed in the white space next to the plan. In the case of notes, they should be placed as close as possible to the point or area

Figure 6-46

Binding stripis usually lo­cated on the left side of sheets.

they refer to on the plan. Lines (called leader lines) that extend from the note to a spe­cific point on the plan should be kept as short as possible. Both notes and legends should be neatly lettered (1/8-inch high is ideal) and well-organized (Figure 6—45).

Borders Borders, although not absolutely essential, often give an appealing touch to a sheet. Borders act like picture frames and “hold” the drawing and notes on the sheet. Borders are generally placed between 1/2 inch and 1 inch from the edge of the sheet. More space is required on the left side of a sheet if the drawing is going to be com­bined and stapled with others in a package. When there is more than one sheet, it is common practice to put a binding strip on the left side of a package of drawings (Figure 6—46).


Measuring the site and preparing a base sheet and base map are critical steps in establishing the base informa­tion of the site. Both steps should be undertaken with the utmost care in organization and accuracy because later steps of the design process use these drawings as their starting point. You should now understand the following about this critical step: [22]

• Procedure for locating the property lines in relation to the house

• Procedure for locating the house on the lot

• Recommended process for locating the walls, doors, and windows of the house

• Technique for recording measurements of other site elements such as the gas meter, electric meter, down­spout, and so on

• Methods for locating utility lines

• Procedure for locating trees and other plant materials

• Process for drawing the base sheet and base map

• Guidelines for paper type, drawing scale, sheet size, and sheet layout