How to Read Plans

If you are not familiar with reading plans, it can be a little daunting. In this section, I will give you some tips on how to become more comfortable with reading plans and understanding where you can find the information you might need.

#1

 

Types of Views

 

In order to understand how a building is constructed, we need to view the building in various ways. These different views help us to see the building from multiple angles and with varying degrees of detail and clarity.

Understanding how these views relate to the building will help you decide which view you need to go to in order to get certain information.

Click here to learn about the types of views you will see in a plan set.

#2

 

Types of Pages

 

A typical plan set is made up of various individual pages depending on the nature and complexity of a project.

Each page type has a specific type of information and specific type of view on it.

 

Click here to learn about the various pages within a plan set.  

#3

 

Markers (or Pointers)

 

Markers are like street signs pointing you to another location within the plans, where you might find more related information.

They not only tell you where to look, but they also give you a hint of the direction you will be looking once you get there!

Click here to learn about the various markers you will see.

#4

 

Dimensions

 

Understanding how to read dimensions is a critical skill not only for building but for calculating quantities and ordering materials. 

Click here to see how dimensions are shown.

#5

 

Common Symbols

 

While a plan may look like a set of hieroglyphics at first, you can quickly become familiar with the most common symbols.

Click here to see some of the more common symbols used in typical plans.

#6

 

Common Line  & Fill Types


Another way to give subtle informational clues is to use various line and fill types.

Line types might help us to distinguish where the ground level is while at the same time telling us whether it is to be earth or gravel.

Fill types can tell us if your foundation is to be concrete, or if your walls are hollow or filled with insulation.

Click here to see some line and fill types.