A Beginner’s Guide to Reading Construction Blueprints

A Beginner’s Guide to Reading Construction Blueprints


Whether you are a homeowner with a practical approach to home restoration or a professional contractor, knowing how to read a construction plan or say blueprints is an essential skill. 

You do not always have to be a professional, say an engineer or an architect to translate and understand a construction blueprint. Even though all the lines and symbols on construction plans may seem extremely complicated and hard to interpret, the truth is that you need to understand the basics of these drawings before starting the construction of your choice. Being able to comprehend these two-dimensional plans will not only allow you to learn everything about the project but will also enable you to conclude the construction schedule, bill of materials, total cost and more.

What basically is a construction blueprint? A construction blueprint is a set of two-dimensional drawings or plans. They include all the details and specifications about a project including the name of its architect, visual demonstration of the building, dimensions of the structure, construction materials to be used, the layout of electrical wiring, and more. Every required basic information is written in a construction blueprint and makes it easy for a layman to understand their project more evidently.

These drawings are classically printed on white or blue papers and property holders require these to obtain construction licenses from concerned development authorities. 

Additionally, each set of blueprints has multiple sheets. Construction plans, construction drawings, building plans, and floor plans are all varieties of blueprints. Blueprints are the core of any construction project. All the people involved in the construction project need to know and have a good understanding of how to read a construction plan as it helps everybody to be on the same page and later have a clear understanding on how to maintain, modify and even renovate your property!

The first step in how to read structural drawings is understanding the different perspectives or angles used by architects and engineers while developing blueprints.

There are three types of views used in construction drawings; 

Plan View: This type of construction blueprint is on a horizontal plane and depicts a bird’s eye view of the structure from overhead. Each floor in the building also has a separate plan view drawing. 

Elevation View: This drawing is on a vertical plane and depicts how the structure would look from the front, back, right, or left side. These include both interior and exterior elevation view drawings.

Cross-Section View: This construction plan is also on a vertical plane, though it wedges through the structure to show its interior. The cross-section view depicts the placement of walls, studs, insulation material, and outer layer, etc.

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