log home floor plan More Tips to Reading Blueprints
What to make of the drawings, elevations and floor plans that will eventually become your dream log home
by: Log Home Living editorial staff

6. On the blueprints of a two-story house, you will encounter a staircase, revealed by a group of parallel lines.
The number of lines is equal to the number of steps. The lines are accompanied by arrows. Those labeled "up" mean that the staircase leads to a higher level; conversely, those labeled "down" lead to a lower level.

7. Letters on the drawings serve as keys to the information listed in the margins.
For example, on the blueprint of the floor plan, a series of circled letters beginning with "A" refer to the types of doors selected. This "door schedule," as it is called, coordinates the location of each door, as well as the style and size. A closet door, for example, has a circled letter at the proper place on the blueprint. In reading the blueprint, the corresponding margin notation may read something like "2′-0" solid core flush door, paint-grade veneer."

8. Openings on the blueprint for windows bear a number within a circle.
This marking refers to the list of window styles and sizes cited in the window schedule in the blueprint margin. As an example, a bathroom window may bear the designation of "1" in a circle. Looking at the window schedule, the circled 1 may be listed as a "3’0" x 2’10" awning window."

9. The same approach applies to electrical symbols.
Here are some common examples: A capital "S" stands for a wall switch that controls an overhead light fixture. A capital "S" with a subscript "3" refers to a three-way wall switch. A capital "J" in a box marks the location of a junction box. A capital "L" in a circle is the site of an exterior light fixture. A triangle indicates the location of a telephone receptacle.

10. Large letters accompanied by carets (>) pointing toward each wall refer to an elevation, or drawing, of the wall as it will appear when built.
An exterior elevation is illustrated by a large letter and a 90-degree, angled line to the side.

How To: Read Blueprints Tips for Reading Blueprints