How to Read a Blueprint

Blueprint symbols are the universal language of builders and contractors. Once you've learned the language, you, too, will be in the know.
Symbols 1-10

The codes shown here are in general use in the building industry but may vary slightly from architect to architect. Consult with your contractor if you don't understand a symbol on your blueprints.

Additional notes:

  • In the kitchen, appliance and door swings are noted on blueprints, which will help you visualize the flow of the space and anticipate any potentially awkward problems.
  • A circled number with a triangle means there is additional information elsewhere in the set of plans, or it indicates a revision.

Casement window hinged left [A] and right [B]; elevation view

1. Casement window hinged left [A] and right [B]; elevation view

Awning window [A] and hopper window [B]; elevation view

2. Awning window [A] and hopper window [B]; elevation view

Casement window; plan view

3. Casement window; plan view

Awning window [A] and hopper window [B]; plan view

4. Awning window [A] and hopper window [B]; plan view

Double-hung or fixed window

5. Double-hung or fixed window

Vent or louver

6. Vent or louver

Horizontal sliding window

7. Horizontal sliding window

Sliding doors

8. Sliding doors

Bifold doors

9. Bifold doors

Pocket door

10. Pocket door

Continued on page 2:  Symbols 11-20