How to Create a House Blueprint


This is an easy way to make a simple blueprint without using a lot of drawing tools or a drawing board.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencils, felt pen , ruler, graph paper, tracing paper
  • Scale: Scale refers to the size of your drawings in relation to inches and feet.
    Just about all blueprints are done in the quarter inch scale. That is one quarter inch equals one foot. After you have drawn a thumbnail or rough sketch of your house plan you can transfer it to one quarter inch graph paper. One sheet will not be enough unless you are drawing an extremely small house. This is for creating a reference blueprint that can be converted into a working drawing.

  • Use the squares on the paper to measure your room size. Remember one square equals one foot. Use a pencil to draw with at this stage. Don't worry about doors and windows yet. Use the straight edge for your lines, not the ruler.

  • The line you are using for your walls will wind up being the center of the wall. In other words prints are measured from the center of the wall to the center of the wall. If you make the drawing fourteen feet from line to line the room will actually wind up being the thickness of the wall smaller. Don't let this freak you into using odd ball measurements
    If the "thickness of the wall less" bothers you just step up to the next whole number.

  • When you start to get too big for the sheet just tape another to it so that the graph lines up. Continue doing this until all lines are drawn.
    If you don't have a budget or are just drawing a dream house let yourself go wild. However if you do have a budget keep a few things in mind. Rooms at common sizes are easier to build and leave less scraps. Let sixteen feet be your widest room. It can be as long as you like.
    Avoid long skinny halls. Ladies would rather have a walk in closet than an extra large bedroom. Plumbing is cheaper if you keep bathrooms back to back.

  • After you have drawn all the rooms you can go back and add the doors and windows. For starters make all the outside door openings three feet. Just draw a little perpendicular line on each side of your walls. Most of the inside doors will be smaller than three feet but go ahead and mark them at three feet for now.
    Windows will vary but if you are not sure just make them three feet also for now and mark them the same way. Later on you will write a door and window schedule when you are sure of the sizes you want.

  • After you have marked all the doors and windows you can figure which way you want them to open and from which side. Just draw a line from one corner of the opening that looks like a door standing open. For windows they usually are up and down or swing to the outside.
    There are craft stores that sell plastic templates that have one quarter inch scale appliances and bathroom fixtures on them. These are great for figuring rooms. Blueprints don't have furniture but they do show tubs and commodes (water closet) and kitchen fixtures, also washer dryer, these should all be on your template.

  • You will want to mark the sizes of your rooms and overall dimensions.
    Just use a straight edge and try to keep the lines from running into each other or looking like walls. It would be nice to get a real blueprint to go by and see how they ran their lines and measurements. By now you will most likely be using the most of the top of your kitchen table as your work area.

  • Two things you might notice, their blue print has double dark lines that look like walls and a lighter line in the middle. Also they have light fixture symbols and electrical symbols, don't worry about all that. Those things can be added later. Just go ahead and draw a darker line on each side of your existing wall lines for the entire drawing leaving the door and window spaces open.

  • Now get a piece of tracing paper large enough to cover the entire drawing. Tape your drawing to the table top then tape the tracing paper over it. Now transfer everything to the tracing paper using a black soft tip pen for the walls and lines and letters. A pencil for the center line in the walls and a pencil for all the measurement lines. Have someone sit with you and go over the drawing for missing or needed measurements.

  • You now have a tracing you can take to the copy shop and have printed.
    Make at least five copies so you can add electrical locations and lights.
    You could do this on your tracing paper but you don't want to wear it out and you also need to have an original of the basic plan. If you want to be ambitious you can make several tracings and add to them as you go.

  • Using one of your prints compare it to the real blueprint. They can be many sheets and usually all the information is not on just one. Make them as complex as you like but the basic print without electrical specs. is enough for a builder to get an idea of what you want.

  • If you want to draw the elevations they are usually in the one eight inch scale so one block on your graph paper would equal two feet. Use the same technique and you will have your elevations. Sometimes the front elevation is in the one quarter inch scale and takes up a whole page.
    Get everything printed and now you have your blueprint.
    (Which may or may not be blue.)

Tips & Warnings

  • Take your time
  • Double check all measurements
  • Don't try to go too fast
  • Don't stress, at this stage an eraser can correct your mistakes.

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  • Photo Credit All drawings D A Machado 2009
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