Printing Your Drawings

Printing drawings on 24"x36" paper is the standard for architectural projects, and it is often required by some building departments. This is known as ArchD size paper. No, you cannot print full-sized ArchD paper on the home printer you bought at OfficeMax or Costco.  Think about it...24"x36" is much larger than the 8.5"x11" tray on your home printer. Besides, we all know you need to run out and buy some new ink cartridges anyway, right? You'd be surprised at the number of times clients have asked me why their printer won't print the full-sized drawings:) 

I normally suggest only printing the drawings AFTER the permit is approved, so you will have the set of plans PERMITTED by the building department on your job site (which is required at all times) as well as any supplementary plans that need printed for your builder to build from. Before then, I ordinarily print drawings on smaller paper for my own use. You can do the same, but please note they will not be to the proper scale. If you print on 11x17 paper, the drawings will be about half the intended size, or 8.5"x11" paper will be about 25% of the intended size.'s the BEST possible way to print your drawings when the time is right. 

In the Seattle area, call Digital Reprographics, and ask them to print your drawings. I use this company because they have the best price and they are 100% reliable. When all the computers where stolen from my office several years ago, Clint at Digital Reprographics was nice enough to send me all of my stolen files that he had stored in his archives...on CHRISTMAS EVE! That's over-the-top reliability. I have tried other printing companies, but they have all caused problems. (FedEx Kinkos is THE WORST). 

Digital Reprographics can be found at: (206 374 3710 Seattle) and (425 882 2600 Bellevue). I won't bother quoting their rates because they are the best deal, but the first copy is around 3 bucks a page and subsequent copies are around a buck a page. They will also deliver within a few miles for a few bucks too. I ordinarily send them a file to be printed, and they typically deliver the copy to my desk within a couple hours.

When you call the Digital Reprographics location nearest you, specify the name of your project and the number of "full-size" (24"x36") or "half size" (11"x17") copies you want. As we move through the phases of design, I send the files to be printed to Digital Reprographics usually named as such:

YourLASTname DESIGN SET/PERMIT SET/APPROVED PERMIT SET/CONSTRUCTION SET (sometimes I use your address instead of your last name.)

I also have Digital Reprographics use a blue binding for the permit drawings and an orange binding for the construction drawings. This way it is easy for me to see (from my truck) if the builder is reading the wrong set of plans. It's kind of fun to call the builder from my truck 100 yards away and tell them they are reading old drawings, and they say, "Where are you? how did you know that?"