Understanding Blueprints: Everything You Need To Know About Blueprints

Suppose you are web surfing, you land on incredible house designs and decide to have some. After settling with the professional involved, you receive the exact, Truoba Mid-century house plans you requested in your inbox, this time in the form of blueprint drawings – as most designers would send.

Can you read, interpret, and get a clear image of the house you bought a plan for?

If no, don’t worry. This article will help you out, as it will explore everything you need to know about blueprints. Here, you will learn what blueprints are and how to read and interpret them.

Let’s get started.

What is a blueprint?

Blueprint refers to a visual representation of the architect’s construction plan of a building on a 2-dimensional set of drawings, indicating the building’s size, shape, and specifications. In other words, it is a building plan as anticipated by architecture, usually presented as a pack of pages or prints.

Each print contains specifications of a building section (referred to as a plan), including the size, shape, and building materials. Often, some blueprint pages contain the anticipated budget, building codes and regulations, construction contract, and construction period.

What is the Difference Between Blueprints and Plans?

Often, most people use the two words interchangeably. However, there is a flimsy difference between blueprints and a plan, depending on how you use either term.

Blueprint is a broad term that refers to a set of detailed plans of the entire building. Usually, each plan is drawn separately and depicts a particular section of a building – we will list the most common plans found in a blueprint.

On the other hand, a plan refers to a scaled drawing of a home, building, or a specific building section. Often, a plan identifies the placement of a particular item within a structure or a property. For example, an interior design plan will show the placement of a living room within a building. It will also identify the location of particular furniture in a room.

A plan can refer to a part of a blueprint or can be a blueprint when referring to small to medium-sized structures.

How to Read and Understand Blueprints

To read and interpolate a blueprint effectively, you first need to locate, read and understand the following three crucial blueprint sections.

  1. Plan Legend

This refers to a section in a specific print that helps understand the basic information of that plan. The section indicates the building a blueprint represents and the plan you are looking at. Usually, architects use various symbols to label different plans. For example, an architect can use the prefix “P” to label a plumbing plan.

  1. Blueprint’s Scale and Orientation

This section helps you to know the scale ratio used in the blueprint. It also helps you understand the direction you are looking at the plan.

While blueprints represent large structures, architects designate a drawing scale (ratio) representation of the drawing to the actual dimension of a structure. For example, a ¼ inch of a drawing can represent one foot of the finished project.

  1. Notes from the Architect

In this section, architects provide additional information regarding difficult-to-understand aspects of a plan. However, note that the section is optional. Some architects don’t provide.

  1. Revision Block

In case of changes in a plan, the drawing architect lists all the changes he makes on this block –  usually on the top right corner of the revised plan.

For easy access to the listed sections, ensure to read through the title block. This is the first information you see on the first page of blueprints. Usually, the title block contains important information, such as the plan index. It also provides crucial information regarding your project, including the site location, project’s name, plan number, and drawing date. In addition to that, you will find the contractor’s crucial information such as company name, architect’s contact information, and the necessary government approval information.

What are the Most Common Types Drawings in a Blueprint?

Blueprints consist of plans such as site plans, floor plans, among other plans, classified into five categories. Here are the categories;

  • Architectural Drawing – consists of all plans used in the construction of a structure. Examples in this category include a site plan, working plan, section drawings, and elevation plan.
  • Structural Drawing–they are plans involved in framing. The drawings include excavation drawing, column layout, plinth beam layout, lintel beam layout, roof beam, and shuttering layout, and roof slab layout. You will also find a sheet (General Notes) containing information regarding the building structure, building material, and building codes and laws.
  • Electrical Drawing – this is a plan that indicates all aspects of electrical installation, including electrical fixtures.
  • Plumbing Drawing – this plan offers all aspects of the water and sanitation system.
  • Schedules – this is a plan that represents aspects regarding the finishing of various sections of a building. It identifies factors such as painting, floor and ceiling patterns, doors and windows fixtures, among other finishing aspects.

Final Words

Blueprints are not complicated as they may look. However, misinterpretation can mess up your entire project. Therefore, it is highly recommendable to ensure you, your contractors, and the subcontractor understand everything stated on your project’s drawings.

Also Read: How to Get College Scholarships to Study during COVID-19

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