How to Interpret Home Design Blueprint

Drawing PlanCredit: max4object

When prospective home builders receive their house designs blueprints, the floor plans are undoubtedly the most interesting pages they'll love to view and savour. However, to understand the house drawing plans, there is the need to decipher the symbols and numbers which provide the keys to what the details of the drawing plans mean.


All floor plans are drawn to scales of often one-quarter of an inch or one-eighth of an inch to one foot. What this translates to is every one-quarter or one-eighth of an inch on the drawing plans equals one foot in actual size.


Using a scale rule is by far the easiest way to translate scale measurements into their actual size. On plans drawn to a one-quarter of an inch scale, for example, two inches equal eight feet of actual space. Every page of the home plans will be labelled to indicate the scale the architect or home designer used when drawing the floor plans.


Measurements will be labelled directly on the blueprints as dimension lines, which show as solid lines with a slash or triangle at either end of the line, making the space between the two marks equal to the distance noted next to the line. Vertical measurements are also indicated with dimension lines and section drawings usually include dimensions that indicate the ceiling height of the room.


There are a number of triangles, hexagons and circles with numbers inside of them. These symbols are placed by the windows, doors and other elements, such as lighting fixtures and plumbing fixtures. These notations should correspond to those on the window, door, plumbing, and electrical schedules found as schedules at the back of the house blueprints. Schedules indicate the type, size and number of the doors and windows to be used including manufacturers and sometimes the model numbers as well.


Roof section plan with dimensions(50828)Credit: roof truss designs

When reading floor plans of home designs, you will also notice a few circles with numbers and/or letters inside them. These are symbols used to indicate a cross-section of a particular interior space or house feature that can be found elsewhere in the home plans. Oftentimes, a page of the blueprints will include two or three cross-section drawings with the numbers in the circle indicating which page the cross-section will be found, while the letter notes which cross-section on the same page is being indicated.


Sometimes the circle symbols may include an arrow on one side that points in the direction of the view depicted in the section drawings.


And on a last note, while all symbols used in house designs and floor plans are too many to mention, it's good to be familiar with the most standard ones. For example, thick solid lines indicate full height walls, while thin solid lines indicate other built-in features and structures like fixtures, cabinets or shelves. And thin dotted lines indicate overhead features like kitchen wall hung cabinets, or an arched opening in the dining room.