5 Useful Books on Reading Blueprints

If you want to go far in the construction and contracting industry, you’ll need to have a strong grasp of reading blueprints. Don’t freak out if you’re not a pro right now at deciphering these difficult documents. Reading and doing research on your own time can help you wrap your mind around blueprints. If you want to go the extra mile, check out Contractor License Resource Group’s weekend class on reading blueprints. Until then, here are 5 books get your started.

reading blueprints

1. Blueprint Reading Basics

Long considered required reading for anyone dealing with blueprints, Blueprint Reading Basics brings 50 years of industry experience into one little handbook. Warren Hammer has a way of simplifying even the most complex concepts, which makes this one easy to read. Whether you’re an armchair reader or you’re working deep in the industry, this book will help you get your bearings when it comes to reading blueprints.

2. Blueprint Reading for Construction

This book starts with a simple description of what a blueprint is, then takes you gradually through the history and philosophy behind blueprint making and reading. The author includes many practical pictures of blueprints so that nothing feels too abstract as you’re reading. Whether you’re interested in residential, commercial, or industrial building plans, this book covers all types of blueprints.

3. Print Reading for Construction

With 140 sheets of actual blueprints, this book is a hands-on dive into reading blueprints. The book is often used as a textbook for print reading classes, but it gives you plenty to explore on your own. In fact, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how blueprints work before you jump into a certification class. Once you’re ready to get serious, check out Contractor License Resource Group’s comprehensive list of seminars and classes. You can get all the tools, resources, and knowledge to read blueprints of any kind over just one weekend.

learn to read blueprints

4. McGraw-Hill’s Blueprint Reading

For a step-by-step guide into the world of reading blueprints, you can trust McGraw-Hill’s book on the subject. McGraw-Hill has made a name for itself as an authority in everything from blueprint reading to literature. The book features a large section on CAD design, the software the constructs and prints blueprints. There’s a user-friendly glossary of terms for reference, in case you run across any terms you’re unfamiliar with along the way or need a quick refresher.

5. Blueprint Reading for the Building Trades

This book offers a handy section on common problems builders run into while designing or reading blueprints. This is a great reference to have if you hit a wall on a certain problem. There are some issues with construction specifications you’ll run into often, and this book is a handy thing to have to help you get out of hot water.


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