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Reading Blueprints for Beginners

You may hear or read this phrase a lot when you are building a new home “Locations As Per Plan”. But, if you are a newbie to reading a job plan it may be difficult to figure out exactly where those ‘locations’ are. 

When you come to designQ for your interior selections appointment, it’s important to know a few of the more common “as per plan” notations on your blueprints, so you can be prepared for your appointment. 

Flooring Locations

One of the largest selections you will make at designQ is what flooring will be in your home. If you are sticking with the included flooring options as per the Builder, then you will want to know which areas include what. 

The best place to see what is included is in the threshold of a room, or at the top or bottom of a stairwell. There will typically be a line separating the rooms, with a type of flooring on either side of that line. This will tell you what flooring is in what location. If there is no line in between rooms, then the flooring is continuous from the rest of the space (ie: great room to the half bath)

See below for some examples.

Railing or Stubwall?

Another item most people want to look for is does the home include railing or a stubwall, and furthermore is it just on the main floor or upstairs too? 

First step is to find the staircase. Once you have located the staircase, look on the outside edge.

  • If it’s stubwall it will show diagonal lines and will read STUBWALL
  • If there is railing, it will generally show a smoother line space, and will say 36″ HIGH RAILING

Type of Hoodfan

Another big question from clients is “what type of hoodfan do I get”. On the plans, search for the kitchen, and more specifically the stove. It will generally look like a square with 4 round circles on it. Typically, the hoodfan is above it. There will be a notation of what type of hoodfan is there. Types include:

  • OTR Microwave – This stands for ‘Over-the-range’ hoodfan + microwave combo
  • Hoodfan – This is just a hoodfan. The microwave will be located elsewhere in the kitchen. 
  • Chimney Style Hoodfan. This again will only be a hoodfan, no microwave. 

Upper Cabinet & Shelving Locations

A blueprint is generally showing a 3D building in a one dimensional version. Therefore, seeing an upper cabinet or shelving location can be a bit hard to locate. 

For a kitchen, the cabinet locations are drawn with just a simple solid line. You can usually tell they are cabinets because a) they are in the kitchen (or bathroom), and b) they show where the appliances will go. 

For an upper cabinet though, the line is shown as a dashed line, usually 3/4 of the way up from the solid lower cabinet line. 

Some shelving lines will also be represented by a dashed line. For example, a shelf above a washer & dryer. Or in a closet too. 

Bathroom Accessories

Towel bars, robe hooks and toilet paper holders may seem like small details, but trust me when you get out of your shower and have to run across the room to grab a towel, you’d wish you thought about the locations sooner! 

Most of the time, the builders standard locations for these items is in the right spot. However, if you customize your plan at all just double check these items are all in the correct spots, and there are enough of them! Here is how to spot them:

PH = (Toilet) Paper Holder
TB = Towel Bar
TR = Towel Ring
RH = Robe Hook

The above notations are simply a guide, and may not reflect each client’s individual blueprints or job plans. This is intended to provide a simple, easy reference for finding certain items, however all blueprints will be different. Please refer to your area sales manager or interior designer for accurate locations in your home. 

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