Especially if you are appraising a newer home, the possibilities are good that an architectural plan is available for the home. If so, you need to know what you are looking at. In this article, I plan to break down the basic sheets usually found in a set of house blueprints.
The Floor Plan
This is the page that lets you know what the layout of the house looks like. A house plan is basically a drawing that depicts the house if it were cut with a knife on a horizontal plane allowing you to look past the roof down into the rooms. There should be over all dimensions, room names, fixture labels, door and window sizes and styles, etc. Sometimes these plans include an electrical floor plan which is the floor plan with the electrical fixture locations.
You will probably find a sheet with all the exterior views of the home also which are called elevations. These will probably have the types of siding, roof pitches (angles), shutter types, grade heights (ground levels), trim types, and so on.
Foundation or Basement Plan
If the plan is complete there should be either a foundation or basement plan. If so, you can find out what the house was built on and what types of joists or trusses are supporting it.
HVAC and Plumbing Plan
This plan is particularly handy as you can see how the duct work is laid out for the Heating and air conditioning. You will also be able to tell what type of plumbing pipes have been used and what sizes.
Sectional Drawing and Special Details
A sectional drawing is where we cut an imaginary line vertically through the house to expose the elements that create the structure. With these drawings you can tell any special materials or methods were used in the construction of the home.