House blueprints are usually needed so the inspector can get the same idea as the builder about a house design structure. Many inspectors will demand professionally-made blueprints with the engineer’s seal on it. This is not always the case however. In some cases where the owner files an Owner/builder Affidavit, he or she can draw up blueprint plans from scratch.

Small house plans are naturally cheaper to create with blueprint software than luxury home plans. If that’s the case, it could cost easily over two thousand dollars to have them made.

The way I see it, you’ll have to pay that fee whether you build your house or a contractor does it for you unless you can make your own plans.
If your inspector doesn’t demand professionally made house blueprints, then you can save a lot by doing them yourself.

Blueprints used to be blue and they was printed on a special paper that let the light show through so all the lines and symbols had better clarity. Many different kinds of paper is used in the modern day and so are many kinds of printers.

Blueprints will use a lot of
blueprint symbols and blueprints codes
that are important, but a little hard to remember unless you work with them all the time. You can make your own blueprints and use these symbols.

home blueprint

Inspectors are less concerned about the type of paper and ink. They just really need to see the diagrams and understand all the house construction details.

In preparing for blueprints, you should also consider the expected cost of the house you are to build. But this is no longer a problem as there are many home that will help you in your needs. You can also try other means to have the money you need for your ideal home.

One particular way is through refinancing which means the replacement of an existing debt obligation with a debt obligation under different terms.

If the owner wants to save some money on architectural fees, he or she can get some software that makes oversized copies or they can even just go buy paper that’s at least 18″X 24″ and do their own plans.

If you buy the software, you can take your house plans on a CD to a print shop somewhere and they can print off your plans on wide format paper.

If you’re like me, you’d rather do it all yourself on a big table with a yardstick. Buy lot’s of papers to allow for mistakes though.

Now, to start out, most house floor plans are 1/4-inch = 1 foot in scale. That means that every one-quarter of an inch on the plans represents one whole foot of the real house. One full inch on the floor plans would equal four whole feet of the real house. This is how we are all able to get our brains wrapped around something that hasn’t happened yet. It’s our house design plan.

If it helps, you can draw in your own grid so you can keep everything to scale. Try to keep the grid squares almost transparent so you can see your diagrams and symbols. You can also make your own grid in Excel. That’s easy too.

Now, Draw your outside walls first, then draw the inside walls after that. You should be able to keep everything even with the grid paper. You might just want to start out with an 8.5 X 11-inch sheet of science paper and then take it to a print shop and have them kick out several 18 X 24-inch copies of your floor plans. That also works really well. From that point, you can write in the Architectural, Electrical, and Plumbing Symbols.

One thing to remember is to write down the scale size right below the diagrams so everybody understands the perspective. This is necessary because not all plans are the same scale.
Now, I will give you the symbols that are mostly used in modern home blueprints so you can put them into your plans. That will give them a professional touch and it’s really quite important that the right symbols are used or it gets confusing. You can see some actual
home blue prints
by clicking here.

Click on Pics to Enlarge

Electrical Plumbing Architectural

Electric Symbols
Plumbing Symbols
Architectural Symbols

For more advanced blueprint symbols, check out my
blueprint symbols pages.

With the information you have, you can now create your own house-blueprints using the symbols above. The building inspector just needs to get a clear idea of what is going on in your mind. That’s why he or she will need certain types of blueprints from different angles. A home blue print is what an inspector relies on for consistency.

Don’t get discouraged, this looks harder than it really is. Here they are, and I will explain each kind:

Plans the inspector will need

  • Foundation Plan
  • Floor Plan
  • Elevations
  • Details
  • Sections
  • Interior Elevations

Foundation Plan -This plan shows how the foundation should be built according to the information from the soil sample. It shows how deep into the ground the footings will go and it gives the dimensions of the footings. It also shows the dimensions of the foundation wall and any columns or blocks used in the foundation. It also shows the size of floor joists and how they are spaced. Finally, it needs to show the vent locations in the foundation walls. See below.

Click to Enlarge

Foundation top view
Footing plan

Floor Plan -This is what most people are familiar with when they are designing a home. It is sometimes called a home blue print. It is the layout of the exterior and interior walls.

The floor plan house blueprints also needs to include the dimensions for walls, rooms, wall thickness, windows and doors, kitchen and bath layouts, electrical and plumbing layouts, stairs, ceilings, and flooring.See below.

blue prints

Elevations-This part of the plans help the inspectors understand the height of the outside of the house. It also shows the shape and size of windows, doors, trim, roof material and slope, and anything else that can help describe the outside building designs of the house.

Side Elevation

Front Elevation

Details -this is a plan for some of the smaller things that have special instructions to build. This is more for the carpenters so they can get a good idea of what the architect has designed, but inspectors also like to know what’s going on. Some of the details might include how a fireplace should look, stairs and handrails, molding and trim or just anything that is different from normal houses. The details sheet is part of the house-blueprints and is as many pages as needed. See below.

Detail of Stairs

Detail view of window

Sections -This part of the house-blueprints just show how the parts of a building fit together. Most of it is common sense, but sometimes walls, stairs, and things like fireplaces need a little extra explaining to get the clear picture. Like detail plans, the sections plans are more for the builder than the inspector, but they like to be kept in the loop. House-blueprints need to fit together seamlessly. See below.

Sections View

Interior elevations-This is a plan of the important interior items that need special consideration. The usual items are kitchens, bathrooms and fireplaces. Most house blueprints will include specialty interior items like these. See below.

Interior Elevation

Whew, that seems like a lot of stuff!

Most of it is redundant, but it’s always good to be over prepared. I hope this isn’t too discouraging to first time home builders. I know it can be in the beginning. The best thing to do is go get some really big paper and get started. You’ll find that it’s the excitement of starting your plans that motivates you.

So go ahead, get some paper, tape it down to the kitchen table and start to draw your plans with a yardstick. It will flow from there.

Top of House blueprints

Blueprint symbols

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