How to Draw Electrical Plans

Planning a major remodel or DIY project? Plan out the electrical work beforehand. Trust us, it's not as difficult as it looks.


Carefully drawn plans help show the building inspector that you've thought through your project. And spending an extra hour or two with pencil and paper helps you spot potential problems before you begin tearing into walls, saving you time and expense in the long run. A drawing must include the locations and types of fixtures, switches, receptacles, hardwired appliances, and cables. On an attached sheet provide a list of materials.

More Important Remodeling Tips

Know the Layout


Get a pad of graph paper, a straightedge, a compass, and several colored pencils if you are installing several circuits. Make a scale drawing of the room, including features such as counters and cabinets.

Using widely accepted symbols, make a quick freehand drawing, using colored pencils to indicate each circuit. Are the switches in convenient locations? Are all the circuits correctly loaded? Do you have enough receptacles, and are they easy to reach? Once you've made your final decisions, draw a neat, final version of the plan.

See an Example


Our plan for wiring a kitchen includes a 15-amp circuit for lights, some controlled by three-way switches. A 20-amp refrigerator circuit has been added, as well as two 20-amp small-appliance circuits and a 20-amp circuit for the dishwasher and garbage disposer. The range has its own circuit.

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