|A good set of house plan blueprints can prove to be invaluable during the process of building
a house. A set of blueprints will have an affect on the planning, cost estimate, structure, and
the actual overall outcome of the construction of the house. You will normally get what you
pay for in a set of house blueprints.
One of the first concerns would be to check with the bank or mortgage company to see what
they might require in order to obtain a construction loan or permanent mortgage. The next
place of concern would be the city or county agency that issues the building permit. Both
places will probably tell you that what they need is a full set of blueprints. However, their
view of a full set of blueprints might not always the same and your view of a complete set of
Blueprints might not be the same as either one.
A normal set of standard house plan blueprints might consist of the following sections: Plot
Plan, Foundation Plan, Floor Plan, Plumbing Plan, Electrical Plan, HVAC Plan, Roof Plan,
Cabinet Plan, Elevation Plans, Typical Detail Plans, and Specification Sheets. Additional
blueprints or the complexity of the blueprint drawings will depend on the amount of cosmetic
detail and the structural design of the house. A subcontractor, that is giving a bid on a house
to do a particular task, will rely totally on the blueprints and specifications to calculate his
costs. A major part of subcontractors and home owners construction planning is how long
the project is going to take to complete. If the blueprints do not have enough details to
correctly estimate this time, the subcontractor may come back during the project and request
a change order because the blueprints were not clear. The home owners interest money that
was estimated on the construction loan may increase if the total construction time is increased
because of lack of blueprint detail. This issue may continue further and affect the total
estimated cost for the house. Depending on the severity of the lack of details or a poor set of
blueprints, it will ultimately end up back at the mortgage company or bank with a request for
an increase in the construction loan and mortgage. During the construction of a house, it is
very inconceivable that there will not be any changes. If there are issues in the Blueprints,
they need to be addressed as soon as possible in the beginning so they will not escalate to the
point of affecting the actual overall outcome of the construction of the house.
It should be plain to see that there needs to be someone with a total knowledge of every
aspect of the construction of a house, to do a plan review of the blueprints. This review
would verify that every item is in the set of blueprints to correctly estimate and build the
house. Whether it is the home owner, contractor, or subcontractor, everyone needs to have a
complete understanding of what is and is not in the blueprints. As stated above, good set of
house blueprints can prove to be invaluable during the process of building a house. The time
and effort to insure a good set of Blueprints will be worth it in the finished product.
The plot plan blueprint is an outline of the proposed house on the lot. It should show the
distance of the house from property lines, easements, and setbacks. Also it will show all
proposed driveways, sidewalks, or decks. The plan will show the outside dimensions of the
property as well as the house. In some cases the location of septic tanks and wells will be
shown.This view will be a bird's eye view looking down.
A foundation plan blueprint shows the location footings, grade beams, and dimensions
required to complete the foundation. It will show the overall dimensions of the house and the
distance to the individual footings. It should also show the location of brick ledges and any
step ups or slopes as in garage floors. The blueprint could possibly show cross sectional
views of the footings. A part of these views would be the width and depth of footings and the
placement of rebar. These blueprints will be part of the structural drawings.
A floor plan blueprint is a detailed drawing of the rooms of the proposed house. It will show
room names and dimensions. There will also be details referring to cabinets, appliances, and
flooring etc. . From this blueprint, you should get a good idea of the size of rooms and the
location of all doors and windows. This view will be from above looking down. Every item on
the blueprint should be dimensioned, in order to be able to accurately mark it on the
The plumbing plan blueprint is a detail drawing of all water and drain lines to be installed
during the construction of a house. This should include the routing and location of all
plumbing outlets in a house. Sanitary clean outs and cold and hot water lines will also be noted
on this blueprint. If gas is to be used, the outlets and locations will be shown along with the
type of material to use.
Electrical blueprint is a detailed drawing of all outlets, lights, and switches in a house. The
blueprint will show the location of the outside service, inside panel, and any disconnects.
Three way switches will be noted along with any switched receptacles. The location of all
lights will be shown and it should note if there will be any specialty switching such as
dimmers. The overall blueprint should give a complete view of everything pertaining to the
electrical items in a house.
Mechanical blueprint is a drawing of the heating and air conditioning layout in a new house.
The location of the return air chase and all supply lines will be shown on the plan. The size of
the return air grill and the air supply registers will be noted. The compressor and furnace
location will also be shown on this blueprint along with the platform size if necessary.
Roof plan blueprint is a view of the roof looking down from above. In this view you will be
able to see the location of all ridges, hips, and valleys. They are very helpful sometimes in
order to get a clear picture of the overall roof.
Cabinet blueprint can be shown as plan view or elevation view. The plan view shows cabinets
as they would look as if looking down from above. The elevation view is a view of the
cabinets looking at them from the front. This detail will show cabinets sizes and overall
dimensions of the cabinets. Counter tops will be shown along with end and back splashes.
Elevation blueprint is a front, side, or back view of a house. It will show how the completed
house should look from the outside. There will be details defining the pitch of the roof, the
material used on exterior walls, and other miscellaneous items. The exterior elevations should
give an individual a good idea of how the house will look when completed from all angles. All
doors, windows, posts, decks, etc. should be visible.
Typical Detail Plan
A typical detail blueprint shows a typical way of construction of a particular item. This may
be a wall section, footing, roof, etc. .
Specifications blueprint are overall descriptions of every item that will be used in the
construction of a house. One of the most common used sheets is a FHA / VA Specification
Sheet. This separates items of a house into categories. These items can then be described in
detail and allowances set where necessary to clarify what quality of item will be used in the