Drawing 1/4"=1' Architectural Plans in Layout


I am a new user and trying to draw a set of plans on 24’ x 36" sheet. Is this possible or do I need a more sophisticated program to do this properly?


Hi Ben-

LayOut does not have a mechanism to do drawings at scale. The recommended workflow is to create a model of your building in 3d in SketchUp, and then use LayOut to create plans from that model.



Thanks for your reply. I will try what you suggested.


benmoss555: While Marc’s explanation is true, it is an oversimplification. You can, indeed, create architectural drawings to any scale using SU and Layout, however, the process will probably be strange to you at first. You create your architectural model in SU, derive the floor plans and elevations in SU and then load them into Layout for dimensions and notes. There are very specific steps to be taken in both applications to achieve what you are looking for. Before you get discouraged trying this on your own, I suggest that you check out the many tutorials on how to create floor plans using section planes and how to create scenes within SU - these two steps are critical in getting things into Layout. It is important to remember that Layout does not act and look like your standard 3D cad program which you are probably used to. Don’t give up. Keep at it.


paul728, thanks for chiming in. I found the SU 3D modeling tutorials to be extremely useful and was able to quickly create the house models that I needed. I guess my question really boils down to this: Can I use SU and L to create real, professional quality architectural drawings? Is it just a process to be learned and then it will produce similar results to a CAD program or is it just not made for that kind of application. I have never used a classic CAD program so I am deciding if I need to buy CAD software for $900 or can I use SU and L? Thanks for your input.


Professional quality architectural drawings are possible. Google “Nick Sonder” and have a look at his videos and you will see exactly what is possible with SU and LO. His work is what some of us aspire to.


Wow! Just watched some Nick Sonder videos as you suggested and I am blown away at the possibilities. I will keep watching, learning and hopefully without spending way too much time, get to a place where I can produce the drawings that I need. THANK YOU! That was immensely useful.


Thanks everyone’s responses they are all helpful.


Contrary to what has been said here…LO IS the way to produce your Architectural drawings and these drawings can be at any scale you desire…if they are in the list of scales…and beyond that make your own; if you need to.

The drawing/model needs to be drawn to scale in SU and then when exported to LO. You can specify the scale that you need for presentation in LO. One drawing can be used at 1/4" = 1’ for a plan and then a portion of it can be taken at another scale for a detail. One drawing; many uses, different scales. Nick Sonder’s presentations show the use of SU and LO in generating a set of drawings…but LO is ONLY in the the Pro version of SU. Pay attention to your line weights as it shows when exported as a PDF. Where we used to vary pencil pressure when drawing, fog now does much the same. The mixed use of Vector and raster overlays will give much the same effect as old school rendering on permit drawings.
Spend the time and experiment. Allow yourself to make mistakes…only in fixing them do you learn how not to do it again.


Good advice…only a minor correction is noted though…

Everything should be modeled to FULL SIZE in SU. The scenes imported into LO can be scaled to any appropriate or desired size.


Sorry, you are entirely correct. When I said “to scale” I meant to the
correct size in all respects and as said by my friend that means full
size. Everything in SU is to “full size”; anything else would be, as
another noted SU expert described…engineeritating.

These days much of my time is weaning the firms that I used to work for off
their Autocad programs and up to speed on SU and LO. I cannot emphasize
enough the importance of making mistrakes :-).


I absotively and posilutely agree! ;o}