Tag Archive | how to

blue print reading

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 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


how to insert windows into a house using Google sketch-up

As complicated as it may sound i have devised a simple way to insert windows into  a wall that is part of a home using Google-sketch-up

step 1:  pull down the wall using the push/pull tool so that it’s height it 4′

step 2: choose a window component

step 3: outline the sides where the window will be on the top of the wall using the line tool

step 4:  put in the window

step 5: pull up the walls on either side of the window

step 6: rotate slightly to the side and mark the height of the window

step 7: use the push/pull tool to pull the wall above the window and close the gap

step 8: erase all unneeded lines

here’s  video if you need more help 

How to draw stairs on a floor plan

Decide where the stairs should go in the floor plan. Consider the layout of the building and which places are convenient to move between floors.

Determine the distance the stairs have to travel upward. This action plays a huge role in determining how long the stairs have to be because the risers and treads of the stairs are always the same height and width and the stairs have to be comfortable to walk up or down. For example, a room with a 9-foot ceiling would have stairs that have risers that are 7 inches tall and treads that are a standard 11 inches, calling for 15 treads. This translates into a bit less than a 12-foot long stairway.


Convert your stairway length into the scale you’re using for your floor plan. For example, if 1/4 inch on the drawing equals 1 foot in real life–a common scale for blueprints–a 12-foot stairway would be 3 inches long in the drawing.

Draw a rectangle of the right scaled dimensions to the stairway you wish to build. Draw an arrow parallel to the long side of the rectangle and inside the rectangle. Point the arrow in the direction the stairwell is leading in the building. The arrow always points from the base of the stairs to the top.

Draw parallel lines dividing the rectangle into the treads. Draw about seven treads and then draw a diagonal line dividing the rectangle and cutting through a couple of the treads. Insert a jagged line into the diagonal line so that it looks like a seismograph reading. This is a symbol that indicates a stairwell and is a shorthand method for drawing stairs in a floor plan.