AutoCAD Scale Nightmare

Having recently built my house using AutoCAD as one of the CAD systems, I can relate to this story. A UK couple who are building their 1 million pound dream home are fighting a battle with authorities who are looking to tear it down – all because the blue prints were automatically scaled down by 4 percent to fit the page.

When the plans have been printed out, we didn’t realise the printer had reduced them by 4 per cent and these were the plans that were passed“, said Colin Walker, the 50 year old owner of the house. “The trouble is that the plans were drawn up with AutoCAD and it’s dangerous to use a scale ruler because printers often have these discrepancies with computer aided design. This is why the plans clearly state that all the dimensions should be checked or measured on site and not scaled from the drawing. However, plans containing full dimensions were subsequently submitted to West Lancs building control.
Unfortunately, the plans approved were the original scaled down drawings and the authorities are now taking the stand that Walker is building a house 4 percent larger than what they approved. Walker has already lost an appeal against the enforcement notice and now hopes that the High Court will stop the demolition of his four bedroom home. Apart from the scale problem, there are 15 other discrepancies between the approved plans and the currently built structure. I wish him luck.
  • al dean

    Not entirely sure who is at fault here? Surely the drawings had the correct numerical dimensions on them and the local authority should have checked against those (AutoCAD isn't stupid enough to scale the dimensions as well as the print size)? Or were the local authority taking dimensions with a rule from a drawing and scaling them up working to a defined scale on the drawing without any numerical references? Honestly. Doesn't make much sense to me.

  • al dean

    Not entirely sure who is at fault here? Surely the drawings had the correct numerical dimensions on them and the local authority should have checked against those (AutoCAD isn't stupid enough to scale the dimensions as well as the print size)? Or were the local authority taking dimensions with a rule from a drawing and scaling them up working to a defined scale on the drawing without any numerical references? Honestly. Doesn't make much sense to me.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Al Dean: "Honestly. Doesn't make much sense to me."I agree completely. However, in such cases, all efforts are directed to a blame game and the people involved (architect, draftsman, authorities) end up squabbling on who screwed up, instead of solving the poor owners problem and regularizing his structure after an adequate fine, if required.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Al Dean: "Honestly. Doesn't make much sense to me."

    I agree completely. However, in such cases, all efforts are directed to a blame game and the people involved (architect, draftsman, authorities) end up squabbling on who screwed up, instead of solving the poor owners problem and regularizing his structure after an adequate fine, if required.

  • ralphg

    I am surprised they would want to tear down a 104% house. On 1000 sq ft, that's just 40sqft over — a walkin closet.In the old days of hand drafting, it was common for preprinted borders to include the warning, "DO NOT SCALE," meaning Don't use a scale ruler on these hand made lines; read the dimensions, instead.It would appear the DO NO SCALE warning needs to make a comeback.

  • ralphg

    I am surprised they would want to tear down a 104% house. On 1000 sq ft, that's just 40sqft over — a walkin closet.

    In the old days of hand drafting, it was common for preprinted borders to include the warning, "DO NOT SCALE," meaning Don't use a scale ruler on these hand made lines; read the dimensions, instead.

    It would appear the DO NO SCALE warning needs to make a comeback.

  • fcsuper

    "Do not scale" should be on all drawings. Also, drawings should reference the fact that the drawing is based on a CAD file. It sounds like several people on difference sides don't understand basic drafting.

  • fcsuper

    "Do not scale" should be on all drawings. Also, drawings should reference the fact that the drawing is based on a CAD file. It sounds like several people on difference sides don't understand basic drafting.