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Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners

 
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:44 PM   #1
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Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


If this is considered a HOW TO thread than go ahead and delete it, but i think its a usefull topic and i think some people would agree, so i figured its worth a try

I'm a young guy that started framing almost 2 years ago. I understand you cant teach someone how to read blueprints without a set of drawings. I'm asking for tips and advice on things that may have helped you guys develop as framers. What are things you look for in the plans? What jumps out at you first?

I notice Its the guys with the most experience that tackle the important layout. I realize eventually i'm going to have to start looking at the plans. But how does a guy like me go about learning how to read the plans.. is it experience or is it something you have to be taught? My boss is usually to busy to take the time and explain the drawings.

For me, i can find simple things like joist spacing, where the center of windows go, heights of windows, where partitions go...but i always wonder about heights of walls on the second floor...some are high some are low because of the roof..and i can't find on the elevations if it shows the heights of these walls..plus sometimes the trusses have raised heals so how do you know you're not supposed to raise those walls?

Also, I notice few of our repairs have been changing stair openings. i thought stair opening would be easy..how could you screw up a stair opening?

Anyways, any help would be appreciated...i've searched the forum for any articles on framing layout and i couldn't find anything.. Maybe we If we get good responses on here this could be an important thread for young guys like me who want to learn the plans and things that must be taken into consideration when laying out for framing.

Thanks in advance

- Dan

Last edited by Workin Kid; 02-11-2013 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:56 PM   #2
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


when I first started out framing the foreman liked me and had me help him snap all the floors, holding the dumb end of the tape and chalk line ofcourse. i used to peer over his shoulder and try to make sense of the numbers he was spouting off when looking over the floor plans. As we got some projects behind us I would ask for sets of the plans of completed projects. I would look them over at lunch or at home and begin to make sense of what I was looking at. This was really helpful because I was already familiar with the lay out of each of these projects because we had just finished builiding them. I was slowly given more responsibility in lay out. At first all I did was mark shear and hardware- nail type and spacing for shear panels, holdowns, ltp4's, a35's, etc. A few tracts later and I was snapping all the slabs and second floors with MY helper. Just be patient, work hard, take an interest in learning and make sure it is noticed. Try to learn all you can. Roof cutting is a dying art, if you can work with an old school roof cutter for as while, do so.

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Old 02-12-2013, 12:10 AM   #3
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


If you work with someone who's nice or even not so nice ask them to explain what you don't understand when you're looking at the plans.

Depending on where you are there might be a class available on reading plans . We have them here at a couple of community colleges that offer construction technology.

Your local library might also be a resource that would have books on plans and how to read them.

Also, not all plans are created the same. Some are really well developed, are cross referenced and have a lot of useful information and others are pathetic.

P.S. If you're using Simpson connectors, such as the ones mentioned up the thread (LTP4 and one of my favorites, the A35) get a catalog from Simpson and when you see one of the connectors look it up in the catalog. It will usually have a drawing of it, nailing schedules and other interesting and useful information.

Like anything, the more you work with them the clearer they'll get.

Last edited by Rio; 02-12-2013 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


Sorta in the same boat Dan, figuring it out a little bit at a time.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


Grew up looking at blueprints - fascinated by them

Ask for the plans when the job is done or to look at them during lunch break. Ask questions about why what how ect. after hours, during breaks. Shows respectful incentive.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


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Sorta in the same boat Dan, figuring it out a little bit at a time.
Except you look at them during the Super Bowl....

what the heck man....
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:00 PM   #7
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


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Except you look at them during the Super Bowl....

what the heck man....
Did he have the lipstick on?
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


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Did he have the lipstick on?
Haha I was kinda thinking the same thing!
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:17 PM   #9
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Haha I was kinda thinking the same thing!
It was Halloween
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:19 PM   #10
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


Quote:
Originally Posted by Workin Kid View Post
If this is considered a HOW TO thread than go ahead and delete it, but i think its a usefull topic and i think some people would agree, so i figured its worth a try

I'm a young guy that started framing almost 2 years ago. I understand you cant teach someone how to read blueprints without a set of drawings. I'm asking for tips and advice on things that may have helped you guys develop as framers. What are things you look for in the plans? What jumps out at you first?

I notice Its the guys with the most experience that tackle the important layout. I realize eventually i'm going to have to start looking at the plans. But how does a guy like me go about learning how to read the plans.. is it experience or is it something you have to be taught? My boss is usually to busy to take the time and explain the drawings.

For me, i can find simple things like joist spacing, where the center of windows go, heights of windows, where partitions go...but i always wonder about heights of walls on the second floor...some are high some are low because of the roof..and i can't find on the elevations if it shows the heights of these walls..plus sometimes the trusses have raised heals so how do you know you're not supposed to raise those walls?

Also, I notice few of our repairs have been changing stair openings. i thought stair opening would be easy..how could you screw up a stair opening?

Anyways, any help would be appreciated...i've searched the forum for any articles on framing layout and i couldn't find anything.. Maybe we If we get good responses on here this could be an important thread for young guys like me who want to learn the plans and things that must be taken into consideration when laying out for framing.

Thanks in advance

- Dan
Just recently i really learned alot about this, did the framing take off and estimate for a 6 block of town houses. I really had to analyze the plans to find out where and how to build the lowered areas, but even if the plans are unclear, there usually is enough info to fudge your way along.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:28 PM   #11
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


I don't know that you can teach someone to read plans- it takes experience- seeing different situations and being able to picture how things will go together in your mind. Especially for framing- there's usually multiple ways to accomplish architectural details. There's no substitute for time on the job.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:57 PM   #12
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


Thanks for the responses guys, i appreciate it.. so from what i understand its a mixture of being shown a few things and allot of experience...

coincidentally, on thursday my bosses brother told me hes thinking about getting me reading the plans and that "im going to be one hell of a carpenter one day" so that made me happy.. I guess these kind of things come little by little. I just gotta keep bringing my mind and the right mentality to work everyday
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:38 PM   #13
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


Get the plans in PDFs, print them up read them on the toilet. Stay late, come in on the weekend and when you screw up fix it for free on your own time. Not to many want to put the expense in to training people especially if you want a decent wage. Start with houses as commercial buildings and multiple unit construction drawing require you to get info from multiple sources. Arch, structural, wall type pages etc. Don't expect it over night. Been reading them for 12 years and I still have things to learn.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:34 AM   #14
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


As others have said get a set of plans of what you are currently working on. Go in on the weekend before framing gets covered up and fully look over the plans and compare it to whats been built. Somewhere on the plans you "should" have all the info you need. Study, listen and learn.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:31 AM   #15
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


I am going to admit something here...I took mechanical drawing in school and one of the things that helped me take things from 2D on paper to 3D in my brain was training myself to look at things from the backside.

For example...when I had to draw a chair in mechanical drawing I had to do front,back,side and top view...so using this mindset even when I am not building something I look at it from those different perspectives. Try it with the monitor in front of you right now..without moving it..imagine the outline from behind...the side view..and what would be the background from the rear view?...the wall behind you..the tv..the dresser..etc..This simple brain training trick will help you identify things on plans that look static in 2D.


And this one is my silly hint...colored pencils....make a legend for what each color represents..here is mine.

Trusses are blue
Structural walls are yellow
Masonry walls and floors are grey
Electrical outlets and service panels are red
Non structural walls are green.
ETC...lots of color
So when I do a material takeoff I have a set of plans that I color in when my material lists are being formed...it helps me to know what has been counted as well...plus I write notes all over them too..these are the preliminary plans not the stamped ones..

Flame away..lol...yes I color my plans...

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Old 02-18-2013, 02:47 AM   #16
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


Quote:
Flame away..lol...yes I color my plans...
I would love to be able to provide color on all of my plans.
The cost is just prohibitive for that though. Even if I have just a little color on the logo for the contractor or mine the cost is about 5 times what black and whites are.

Andy.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:41 AM   #17
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


You can always take a blueprint reading course, there's technical colleges everywhere offering those. There's a lot of things that need to be memorized with print reading. For example:

"North Elevation", what's that mean? Does it mean you're on the south side of the building looking north? Or does it mean you're on the north side looking south?

If the number on a datum point goes up does that mean the elevation goes down same way when looking at it through a transit? Or does it mean it goes up?

Does first floor refer to the floor or the ceiling? What's the main floor mean? That used to confuse me.

What's this mean? A.B. 5/8" @ 24" O.C

Learn to start out with the floor plan and refer to sections. If you see a line going through your wall with a circle showing the letter A over 5, what's that mean?

Can you define these: niche, scuttle, water closet, G.I, T&G, E, ADA
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:16 AM   #18
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


Quote:
Originally Posted by Workin Kid View Post
If this is considered a HOW TO thread than go ahead and delete it, but i think its a usefull topic and i think some people would agree, so i figured its worth a try

I'm a young guy that started framing almost 2 years ago. I understand you cant teach someone how to read blueprints without a set of drawings. I'm asking for tips and advice on things that may have helped you guys develop as framers. What are things you look for in the plans? What jumps out at you first?

I notice Its the guys with the most experience that tackle the important layout. I realize eventually i'm going to have to start looking at the plans. But how does a guy like me go about learning how to read the plans.. is it experience or is it something you have to be taught? My boss is usually to busy to take the time and explain the drawings.

For me, i can find simple things like joist spacing, where the center of windows go, heights of windows, where partitions go...but i always wonder about heights of walls on the second floor...some are high some are low because of the roof..and i can't find on the elevations if it shows the heights of these walls..plus sometimes the trusses have raised heals so how do you know you're not supposed to raise those walls?

Also, I notice few of our repairs have been changing stair openings. i thought stair opening would be easy..how could you screw up a stair opening?

Anyways, any help would be appreciated...i've searched the forum for any articles on framing layout and i couldn't find anything.. Maybe we If we get good responses on here this could be an important thread for young guys like me who want to learn the plans and things that must be taken into consideration when laying out for framing.

Thanks in advance

- Dan
Dan, none for nothing but after framing for 2 years, you should know how to read a blue print... and there is no one to teach you on the job, you should of learned on your own long time ago.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:33 AM   #19
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


It's fine Dan, I know very few framers who learned to adequately read prints after two years.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:29 AM   #20
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Re: Framing Layout And Blueprint Reading - Seeking Advice And Tips For Beginners


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It's fine Dan, I know very few framers who learned to adequately read prints after two years.
I've seen superintendents that have been running projects for 20 years that don't know how to accurately read prints.

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