So what's the story with blueprint symbols? Well, the layout of the electrics, lighting, data, HVAC and plumbing locations will have a big impact on whether or not your home turns out to be a well designed home.
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What’s that I hear you say – “Do I really need to go into this much detail?" I’d say the answer is yes! An architect or home designer will know what ‘best practice’ for all the house systems is. They’ll know the codes and regulations. But who’s going to make sure that all the little details about how you live your life are accommodated in the house systems – and reflected with the blueprint symbols used on the blueprints? – That’s you!
It always pays to check that everything you want is reflected in the blueprints. If things aren’t as you want them on the plans, you’ll be paying for it later on with extra hassle and cost during the build.
Your architect might not know (or didn’t remember when he did up the electrical plan) that by your bed you have a lamp, clock, a hot blanket to plug in and you also like to charge your mobile phone by the bed at night. To avoid bulky adapters or extension cords you’ll need 4 outlets by your bed instead of 2.
Sometimes it’s worth drawing out the parts of the electrical plan where you know what you want and handing them to your architect / draftsman / home designer.
What to look for in blueprint symbol layout
I’ve included a more detailed list of what to check for in each category but in very broad terms.
Think carefully about the activities which will go on in each room and check...
That you have the right number of outlets / switches / radiators etc.
That the location – including the height - of outlets / switches / vents etc is appropriate.
That anything special or unusual that you have requested that isn’t already on the blueprint is mentioned in a call out or annotation.
Blueprint design mistakes
Badly thought out electrical outlet planning. Why is there only a double outlet behind the TV when there’s the TV, satellite box, Playstation, DVD player, karaoke box and a lamp to plug in, all in the same area?
Lights left out. This under the stairs area was designed with a nice little window, but when you go in search of a bottle of wine at night when it’s dark you have to take a torch!!
I’ve also seen...
A pendant light in a plan hanging right in the path of a door swing, and light switch panels on the wall that the door swings into rather than the wall where the door opens.
Plumbing pipes coming up out of the floor the wrong width for the radiators.
HVAC vents placed right in the place where the client wanted floaty voile curtains – those curtains where floating everywhere!