In tech class we did an print reading quiz( a skill which I fail at for some reason) and since it was my first time I failed miserably(okay I admit it was a 76% , but still!!!). The biggest challenge for me was definitely figuring out the important measurements from the unimportant. Thankfully I, in my supreme wisdom, did some research and learned a few shortcuts on how to read blue prints :). If you have trouble reading them too, you have come to the right place.
Blueprint Reading Basics
1Learn the 3 main types of blueprints. Blueprints can be broken down into 3 main types: plan, elevation and section. Each provides a specific 2-dimensional view of the construction project.
A plan view is a horizontal display of the proposed building project looking down from above. The view is usually on a horizontal plane 30 inches (75 centimeters) above the floor.
An elevation view is a vertical display of 1 side of the project, from either the north, south, east or west.
A section view is a cut-through display showing how something will be built.
2. Know the scale in which the blueprint is displayed. Blueprints are created using 1 of 2 scales: architectural scale or engineering scale.
Architectural (or architect’s) scale uses measurements in the English system of feet and inches. Such blueprints are drawn with a particular length set equal to 1 foot. Scales range from 1/8 inch to 3 inches equal to 1 foot.
Engineering scale uses measurements with a scale ratio that’s a multiple of 10. This can be either metric measurements, or measurements in feet and decimal parts of a foot.
Some blueprints use an English unit scale with metric conversions; this is known as dual-dimensioning. Other blueprints use only metric units.
3. Understand the symbols used to represent the components of a building project. Architects have developed symbols to represent the individual parts of a building and its surrounding grounds, so that the blueprint can convey a wealth of information. Most blueprints include a legend that explains the symbols used.
THE SCALE:Drawing scale is a relationship of the size or distance of the item on a drawing to the real item.
For example a scale of ¼” = 1’ means ameasurement of ¼ inch (the quote symbol “is ashorthand for inches) on the drawing equals 1foot ( the apostrophe symbol ‘ is shorthand for feet) of the real world item
HIDDEN LINES: The hidden line is used to show features or edgesof an object that is not visible. It is a broken line of medium thickness e.g ——
DIMENSION LINE / EXTENSION LINE
Dimension Lines are used to show the extent of a dimension. <__________>
Extension Lines are use to extend a point froman object. l<_________>l
Abbreviations are used to help reduce clutter and simplify drawings. A table is included in the drawing. e.g Pl= property line
certain symbols are obvious like door, toilet, window etc..
hope this helps, if you want a little more information you can watch this blueprint reading video