Details and Page Sets

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Tami Olsen
Tami Olsen's picture
Details and Page Sets
SoftPlan Version:
2016 Plus

Being very new to using SoftPlan, and trying to figure out "best practices" for my workplace, I am setting up a template project.

We have over a dozen foundation wall details we use, sometimes 10-12 on the same house. If I want a detail sheet that I can show only the ones I am using, is it best as far as file size and workability to put all the details on one drawing, pull them onto a page set multiple times and crop them; or to put each wall detail on its own drawing and just pull in the ones I need to my page?

I am planning on having all my details already in the project, but maybe I should have a "drawing dump" where I fetch the ones I want to use instead and copy them into the project? I plan on making standard stair sections, schedules, etc. At what point do these really start to slow down my SoftPlan?

Dennis Asher
Dennis Asher's picture
Detail Sheets

I have my detail sheets already made up for each job.  I put each individual detail on it's own layer.  If a particular detail does not apply for that specific job then I just turn that layer off.  This wastes paper sometimes but the advantage is that your detail dots for each detail never changes.  In other words if a particular wall section is 1/A6 ( Drawing 1 Page A6) then the label for that wall section never changes.  Clear as mud??  

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Starter project

This is the way I have my starer project set up.

I have drawing files already in place for the floor plan, cabinets, foundation, front, left, back, right, and roof. Most of these are just empty drawing files used as place holders. When setting up the Plan Sets I had actual drawings in them but after the Plan Sets were set up I erased everything from the drawings. This allows me to have my Plan Sets already set up when I start a new project.

I have 4 different plan sets. Each one is configured a little differently and they reflect the various stages. The Plan Review set contains Floor Plan, Elev 1, Elev 2, Electrical, and Cabinets. Next I have the Pre-Construction set. This has the same drawings as the Plan Review set but adds in the Foundation, Typical Details, Roof, HVAC, and Plumbing. Next I have the Final set which is the same as the Pre-Construction set but is deemed Final. Additionally I have a set called Appraisal which just has the floor plan but has certain items turned on or off. This is essentially like a flyer that would be given to a potential customer.

Each of the sets has its own border. So for instance the Final set says Final on the border and the Pre-Construction set says Pre-Construction on the border. At each phase of the design I simply select the appropriate Plan Set to export to PDF or print.

I have 3 Custom Drawing Modes set up. HVAC, Plumbing, and Appraisal. And I have matching layers for each of these modes. In each mode the default layer is set to be the matching layer. So for example anything I draw while in HVAC mode will be automatically be placed on the HVAC layer because that is the default layer for that mode. In the visibility settings I have the HVAC layer turned on for HVAC mode but turned off for all other modes. So anything I draw in HVAC mode only shows up in that mode. The same for the Plumbing and Appraisal modes.

In the floor plan drawing in Drawing Mode I have all the symbols, notes, etc. that I typically use all grouped together off to the side. As I am drawing I can simply move, copy, or use Select Item to Draw to pull items from this group. After the plan is finished I delete this group. I do a similar thing for Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing modes.

For your situation where you have a dozen or so foundation wall details I would have all of the details included in a Foundation Details drawing and I would have this drawing already inserted into the plan set. Then simply open the Foundation Details drawing and erase the unneeded details and rearrange the remaining ones.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com

Tami Olsen
Tami Olsen's picture
Details and Plan Sets

Dennis: I like the idea of that, but if I do it with other things I start getting a lot of layers. Hoping for a solution that works for most everything. :)

Bill: We don't yet do plumbing or HVAC plans. We are playing with electrical plans, and we do a furniture plan and a foundation plan. I like your idea of setting everything up ahead of time. That will work for many of the drawings. I also have what I've been calling "shop" drawings for us to send our custom components to sub-contractors. Things like custom picture windows, metal railing designs, tile layouts, etc. These I've just done as line drawings as the project requires and make a page each time a new item comes around. I'll need to look into window schedules more, as we need the elevation drawing in the schedule too.

The only thing that confuses me is that when I did the tutorials about starting a project, it has you create the main floor, make a reference point, then save as the basement... If the drawings already exist do you just save over them then?

A side note... is there any way to get another section/folder in the navigation pane? I'd like a place to put old drawings in the case where we end up doing a redesign and don't want to get rid of them, but don't want someone using the old ones.

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Questions

If the drawings already exist do you just save over them then?

You could just save over the existing drawing. Or if you want to save the existing drawing for reference you could rename it first and then save the plan to the original basement name. Just make sure that you don't have your Plan Set pages open during the renaming process or you could end up with the old drawing on your plan set page rather than the new one.

is there any way to get another section/folder in the navigation pane?

No, you can't create a new section. But you could just drag the older drawings down to the "Other" section to get them out of the way. And sections can be minimized by clicking the [-] next to them.

Tami Olsen
Tami Olsen's picture
Thanks

Thanks! I'm sure after I do the first project with the template in place I'll have lots of adjustments to make!

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Adjustments

Yes, I developed my starter set over a period of several months. Each time I found something I would have liked to have done a little differently I go back into the starter project and make those changes. Then they are there the next time. Also, if I made any changes to the Drawing Options I made the same changes to the System Options. That way I could go back to older drawings and use Reset to System to bring in the new settings.

Tami Olsen
Tami Olsen's picture
Cleaning

Yes. I'm finding that there are a LOT of custom symbols, speed notes, walls, etc that are either single use, incomplete, doubles, or just plan wrong. From years of people just doing whatever they thought best at the time. I'm slowly sifting through these to streamline the process. Trying to get some semblance of order before the next house needs to be drawn up!