No matter if you are building a family home, high-rise, convenience store, or a sweet treehouse, your structure depends on a good blueprint. There are two ways to create a blueprint. The first or the original way would be to draw by hand (the purists are still out there). The second more common way today is through the use of specific graphing software.

**We suggest you consult the appropriate construction professional before you build anything, nail to board. (Please at least for your neighbors’ sake). **

Create your own blueprint

Hand Drawn Blueprint 

To do this at its most basic level, you need tracing paper and an architect’s ruler. An industry size wide format sheet of paper, 24 in x 36 in, will be a good starting point. A big desk is a good idea too.  

Need a place to get paper at. Try your local blueprinter.

Create your outer walls first. Then draw an interior line symmetrical to the first line, to indicate your inner walls. When drawing doors and windows use an architectural ruler for a consistent design marker that anyone can recognize. A rule of thumb to remember is doorways are usually 3 ft wide. Label your specific spaces like rooms, hallways, garages, closets, etc. A rule of thumb to remember is doorways are usually 3 ft wide.

Hand Drawing Blueprint

Moving on to MEP fixtures, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing specific items. Make sure these are easily marked and drawn to scale ie cabinets, outlets, toilets, etc. Label your accessories, or create a key to the side to reference later. 

Finally, we are going to add dimensions to the drawing. Add a length determiner by drawing a line on the outside of each wall. Using a ruler draw hash marks to mark the scale of your construction plans. A common scale ratio for blueprints is 3/8″ inch = 1 ft. Create dimension lines for the inside spaces of your building as well.

By the end of this, you probably have a very rugged looking blueprint. And that’s okay, as a novice construction planner, this plan is just a starting point. This blueprint will help organize your ideas to later explain to a professional that can make this dream a reality. Or maybe this leads you into a new career in construction design.

Software Blueprints

Construction Design Software

Purchasing a complete construction design software can be very expensive. AutoCAD is the most common software choice for professional architects. It has everything you need and more. Also, it costs the price of your firstborn. 

If you are a beginner it might be best to work with specific software meant for beginners. 1) It will cost less. 2) The interface is more conducive to novice designers. 3) It will cost less. One option is Smart Draw.

When starting, make sure you have the dimensions of the building you are creating. You don’t want to finish the blueprint and be off right from the start. Now its plug and play. Add rooms and then choose doorways etc. Stay consistent with your design and make sure to label your items. Construction drawing software really does make creating a blueprint easier, well at least faster.

Now all you need to do is print your drawings. A blueprinting shop is probably in your city. Shop local, they will be cheaper than your big box store anyway. If you are in St. Petersburg, FL give LDI Printing and Signs a call 727-573-9070. Your first blueprint order is 50% off!