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Understanding How To Read Blueprints

Each of those little symbols on your blueprints really do mean something.  Our free article center was formed to help you build, plan, and execute your wood working project as smoothly as possible.


Understanding How To Read Blueprints and Plans
We realize blueprints and professional shed plans and construction plans can be confusing and hard to read.  That's why we created our shed plans with the beginner shed builder in mind.  Our shed plans are purposely made to be easy to read, and easy to follow with minimal use of fancy symbols and advanced blueprint techniques.  I wrote this article as a primer on advanced blueprinting techniques just for your information only to show you how complicated plans can get.  Every effort has been made to make our shed plans easy to use for all shed builders, regardless of experience.

Blueprints and shed plans may look confusing at first glance, but if you know the basics of how to read them, they eventually will become clear to you.  First learn how you need to read the lines, because it is with various types of lines that a blueprint or a set of plans represents a structure's component parts.  hen turn your attention to the symbols commonly used so you can have a complete understanding of what is shown.  Bear in mind that some architects and engineers litter blueprints with construction notes, some of them may be important, others less so.

Blueprint Lines
A solid line on a blueprint or shed plan or house plan indicates an object's visible outline.  You would see a solid line along the edges of a concrete wall where it meets the floor because those edges would be visible.  A broken line indicates a hidden object.  When a basement slab hides the footing below, a broken line can indicate the shape of the structure.

Aspects of a building, such as a window or door, often have to be located precisely in a wall or floor.  This positioning is often handled with a centerline to establish the center point of an area.  A centerline is indicated by a C and a broken line drawn perpendicular to the wall or window frame.

A section line indicates where an aspect of the building is shown in cross section.  It indicates the point at which the structure is sliced and the section view is shown.  A break line indicates a shortened view of an aspect of the building that has a uniform and predictable shape.  A leader line simply points from a specific measurement or note on the side about a detail or other aspect of the building to that part of the building.

Blueprints also give dimensions, or distances between various points of a building.  Lines play a role here, too.  If the distance between two walls is 10 feet, the dimension 10'-0" interrupts a solid line with arrows pointing outward on both ends.  Sometimes a dimension line has dots or slanted lines instead of arrows at its ends.  An extension line establishes a reference away form the building lines where dimensions are noted.

Utility symbols
To maintain consistency in the construction industry and avoid confusion, blueprint floor plans use standard symbols to show the positions of heating and plumbing components (such as radiators, thermostats, and water heaters) as well as parts of the electrical system (such as outlets, switches, utility panels, and smoke detectors).  Here are some of the most typical examples of blueprint symbols that are used in industry:
Shed plans blueprints collection

Shed plans blueprints collection

Shed plans blueprints collection

We hope you enjoyed this free shed plans and blueprints guide on symbols continue to visit our site for more great plans.  Our catalog is always growing.  Currently, our best value package is our shed plans package that contains thousands of woodworking plans and wood tips such as this.  Our categories are always available on the left of your screen on any page of our site.