Guide to reading blueprints

If you are working on a home remodeling or home building project and you have little or no experience in the construction field, reading a blueprint may be a bit intimidating.  Here is a guide to help ease your frustration, and be able to understand the blueprint.

A blueprint is a birds-eye drawing of the architects or contractor’s plan for the project.  The blueprint will contain information such as the location of all items to be used, definition of the materials that are used, and the dimensions of each item.  Often, there are several different blueprints for one location.  For example, for the first floor of a new building, there may be a separate blueprint to show the electrical, another one for the plumbing, and another one to show the dimensioning of the walls and rooms.  Together, these sheets will comprise a set of plans.

When reading blueprints, look at each page carefully, and pick out similar items on each page to help you understand what you are looking at.   For example, if you want to look at the details in the kitchen, find a wall or unique element of the kitchen on one blueprint sheet, and identify it on all the sheets that pertain to the kitchen.  This will help you understand the relationship between the various elements shown in the kitchen.

On each page of a set of blueprints, there will be a legend that explains what all of the symbols are on that page.  Symbols are used when there are a lot of small items, such as electrical outlets.   If each individual outlet were called out, the plan would get crowded with words and would be more difficult to read.  All symbols used on a page should be shown on the legend.

If you have questions about reading your blueprints, please contact us and we will help you understand.

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