Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! This page is the blueprints page.

Design

BLUEPRINTS

Don't let the architects and technical design artists fool you into believing that designing your own addition is so complex that you can't handle it yourself. With a few years of postgraduate education and a parallel ruler, you will be able to easily handle any modification you have a whimsy to draw. I did my own drawings, and it only took me two months to put them together.

I explained in the last chapter how beer might be used to assist in the initial planning stages. Though the result of this process may be sufficient in a practical sense, the Bureaucratic Bureau of Permits and Urban Development, hereafter affectionately known as B-B PUD, wants something more than a verbal description punctuated by alcoholic burps and more than a sketch on a spaghetti-sauce-stained napkin. They want something all amateur carpenters dread and disdain...A BLUEPRINT. They require not just one blueprint, but six blueprints, and not just one copy of each, but three!

The B-B PUD in my town requires six basic drawings. This number varies in different localities, depending on the level of civilization. As a rule: the more sewage treatment plants servicing a town, the more blueprints needed for an addition. The drawings required include: a floor plan: front, back and side views of the proposed addition; a cross section; a site drawing; and a detailed framing diagram. The permit office is somewhat picky about the order, size and format in which these drawings are submitted. (We have more than one sewage treatment facility.)

When I started this project, I had no idea how to make a blueprint and no inclination to use one in the prescribed manner. I have always held the belief that blueprints, like other large pieces of paper displaying technical drawings, were a combination designer oil catcher and tool marker. When I am putting something together, I spread out the instructions in a prominent location; for example, the dining room table. I place any machinery undergoing assembly (or disassembly), along with greasy tools, on top of the paper. This serves a dual purpose: it protects the table top, while it appears to my wife that I am consulting the blueprints or instructions.

Of course, in carpentry there is not as much grease to worry about, so blueprints are basically useful only as a tool marker. Spare hammers, nails, etc., may be placed on top of it. Thus, when you need more nails or have to resort hastily to the first-aid kit, you will know where to go. Even in addition building it is important to make your wife believe you have consulted the blueprints. She will have more confidence in your work if she mistakenly thinks that you simply did not make things up as you went along.

Every man has his own reason for not following assembly instructions on everything from bicycles to buildings. The reason I never use instructions is I can't learn anything unless I put my hands on it. You can draw me fifteen pictures (from fifteen different angles) of an attic dormer, and I will not understand it until I physically try to make one. The other reason I do not use instructions: I have absolutely no patience. My wife thinks I am hyperactive. I contend that I simply have a strong work ethic.

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Design:
Blue Prints
Vellum Paper
Drawing
Brainfarts
Research
Printer

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Introduction | Decision Making | Design | Permits | Buying Materials | Demolition | Digging | Masonry | Framing | Electricity | Plumbing | Inspections | Roofing | Sheathing / Siding | Soffits | Insurance | Insulation | Fat Fireman Rule | Drywall | Finish Carpentry | Tile | Painting | Carpet | Done

About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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