Blueprint for Small Projects?

If you’re finishing a basement or adding a master suite to your home, is a blue print required? Do you have to incur the expense of having one drawn up?

The simple answer is that in most areas, a blueprint is not required for small remodeling projects. That’s the simple answer, but there’s more to the story.

You Will Need a Diagram

Many DIY remodelers use graph paper, one square equaling one foot for example, to draw up the plan for the project. Exact measurements for everything should be written on the paper. There should be no room for misunderstanding. The more detail, the better.

This allows you to properly plan for materials, knowing how many feet of pipe or how many sheets of drywall you’ll need, for example, and to be able to accurately factor your kitchen remodeling costs, bedroom remodeling costs, etc.

In addition, if the project requires getting a building permit, the building inspector who approves the project will have to see a pretty detailed drawing – but in most cases it does not have to be a blueprint produced by an architect.

You Must Communicate with your Contractors

If you are hiring a general contractor for the work, or are doing the hiring of sub-contractors yourself, more communication will be needed if there is no blueprint. Again, an accurate drawing of what you want done will be essential.

First, it will be the basis for contractors giving you written estimates for the work. Secondly, it will guide the work going forward. Since your graph paper drawing might not be as complete as a blueprint would be, the need to communicate with the contractors will increase. Details will have to be discussed a bit more thoroughly, so that misunderstandings don’t lead to a window being placed in the wrong spot, a tile shower being 6 inches too narrow, or other types of issues.

So, do you need a blueprint for small projects? Check with your building codes office, but the answer is probably no, even if permits are required. However, without a blueprint, be sure your drawings are accurate and detailed, and the contractor(s) knows exactly what you want done.

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