Do you have a clear dimension path?

Floor plan with floating dimensions

This may seem to be a simple question, but you may find yourself missing a few.

We all have methods and practices when we dimension a plan but do the sub-contractors know your methods and practices or more importantly care to know?

For example, can your sub-contractors use their finger to follow the outline of a structure and easily reference the dimension needed along the way without using a calculator or doing math in their head?

Floor plan with floating dimensions

We might assume that everyone that reads our plans should know how to use a calculator or should at least be able to do simple math in their head?

Or maybe trust them to be able to properly scale your plans using a worn-out tape measure on the hood of a truck.

Either way, we are asking for mistakes to happen and when they do we are the first to blame.

From my experience building and designing over the years I have seen that most of the mistakes were made due to the sub-contractor was just not taking the time to really understand because they are rushing to finish the job.

So, with that being said. Here is the approach I take.

I start by following the outline of a structure along the outside face of the wall verifying that all single wall segments have dimensions associated.

Inside corner with floating dimensions

Once I verify this I repeat the process and group the minor offsets of each wall section previously dimensioned and associate a combined dimension path, after this I repeat again by grouping all the major offsets and associate another grouped dimension string and then I finish off with a box dimension to complete the entire footprint of the structure with my overall dimensions and making sure I do not miss those pesky inside corners in the middle or that porch the offsets inside the home.

In the end, all dimensions can be segmented down to the smallest dimension without the need or if any calculations left to figure in their head or the use of a calculator.

I will also verify that at the end of all dimensions I will certainly have another dimension pick up where the other left off.

Now, this may cause redundant dimensions, but I will assure you that any sub-contractor will agree that you cannot have too many dimensions.

Hope this will helps! Happy dimensioning.

Chip Hudson headshot.

Chip Hudson is Residential Home Designer Since 1997, Founder and Owner Hudson Home Designs LLC.,, Founder and Partner Portfolio Home Plans., We also offer Sales and Support for Graphisoft ArchiCad and Artlantis Twinmotion.

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