Blueprints - Notes
It is worth putting lots of notes on your drawings to help the inspector know what you are doing.
Notes to accompany blueprints
In addition to the drawings it is necessary to provide a comprehensive set of design and implementation notes. Some of these notes can be written onto the blueprint drawings, but others can be handled in a separate word processor document. Either way, there is a certain set of info that your local building department will want before they approve the plans.
For my area, King County require that the following aspects are
properly described and specified in the package of drawings supplied
with the building permit application...
1. Line of Structure Above - Particularly overhangs and cantilevers, roofs, etc.
2. Crawl Space Vents - Call out typical size and quantity.
3. Crawl Space Access - Call out size of opening.
4. Type of Foundation - Example: concrete, wood or masonry – Call out sizes.
5. Footings Continuous and Pads - Call out sizes.
6. Columns/Post - Call out member size.
7. Bearing Wall - Call out for clarity.
8. Framing (Floor, Roof, Deck) - Show direction of layout, size, species, grade and spacing.
(Example: roof rafters 2 x 10 H.F. #2 @ 16” O.C.).
9. Beams & Headers - Call out size, species and grade. Example: HDR 6 x 8 D.F. #1.
10. Ground-Cover - 6 mil. Polyethylene or equivalent.
11. Connectors - Beam to beam, post to beam, truss to beam, hangers; call out size. Provide
detail and engineering for custom fabricated connectors.
12. Miscellaneous Structural Components - Show doubled joist, blocking, etc.
13. Spaces (Rooms) - Label areas; (Example: crawl space, closet, bedroom, deck, etc.)
14. Heating System - Show location and call out size in BTUH or other appropriate unit;
15. Stairs - Show Direction of Travel (up or down). Refer to Section 1009.3 of the IBC or
11.5.3 of the IRC.
16. Toilet Fixtures.
17. Mechanical Ventilation.
18. Doors - Show swing; if pocket door, show pocket area. Call out sizes.
19. Sliding doors - Call out size.
20. Windows - Call out size. Indicate if fixed or operable. Window sizes must meet minimum
requirements for light and ventilation. Windows in sleeping areas must meet Section
R3101.1 of the IRC (or Section 1025 of the IBC).
21. Half Walls/Guardrails - Show height.
22. Decking - Call out type; if wood, call out size.
23. Line of Floor or Ceiling Openings - Call out stairs, elevator shafts, laundry chutes or
24. Skylights - Call out size.
25. Attic Access - Call out size.
26. Fireplace - Install per manufacturer’s specifications. Chimneys must extend 2’ - 0” vertically
above any structure within 10’ - 0” measured horizontally.
27. Ridges - Call out size and species of ridgeboard.
28. Hips - Call out size and species of hip rafter.
29. Valleys - Call out size and species of valley rafter.
30. Roof Framing.
- Trusses - Show direction of layout; call out spacing. Show and label hip masters,
hip jacks, end jacks, girder trusses, hangers, bearing areas, etc.
- Conventional Roof Framing - Show direction of roof rafter and ceiling joist layout; call
out spacing, and
- Show and label rafter ties, purlins, blocking, support joints, bearing points and/or walls,
31. Smoke Detectors.
32. Concrete Foundation - 48” maximum unbalanced backfill; if higher, submit engineering
calculations and details with stamp from licensed professional Architect or Engineer.
33. Concrete Foundation With Cripple Wall - 4’0” maximum unbalanced backfill restrained at
base by concrete floor; if higher, submit engineering calculations and details from licensed
professional Architect or Engineer.
Obtaining A Residential Building Permit Bulletin 9
Bulletin 9 09/22/2008 Page 11 of 14
34. Slope of Roof - Rise and run.
35. Finish Roof Material - Call out type of roofing; specify interlayment and/or underlayment.
36. Roof Sheathing - Call out size; indicate if solid or spaced.
37. Roof Members - Call out size; indicate if stick framed or trussed.
38. Insulation Baffle - 1” minimum clear vented air space above the insulation.
39. Eave Blocking/Attic Ventilation.
41. Overhang - Dimension.
42. Ceiling insulation - Call out R-Value.
43. Gypsum Wall Board (GWB) - Call out thickness.
44. Floor - Call out system. Indicate insulation and any level changes. Example: 3/4” T&G
plywood decking over 2 x 10 floor joist (FJ) @ 16” O.C. over 1/2” GWB.
45. Wall - Call out system.
(Example: Exterior - 1 x 8 bevel cedar siding over 1/2” plywood sheathing over 2 x 6 studs
@ 16” O.C. with R-19 batt insulation on 1/2” GWB. Interior - 2 x 4 studs @ 16” O.C. with
1/2” GWB each side.).
46. Studs - Walls supporting two floors, roof and ceiling minimum 3 x 4 or 2 x 6 spaced @ 16”
47. For Foundations Supporting Wood, Extend Concrete 6” Above Grade.
48. Damp proofing and Waterproofing of Foundation Walls Enclosing a Room
Below Grade – Refer to Section R406.1 and Section R406.2 of the IRC (or Section
1807.2 of the IBC).
49. Foundation Wall - Indicate type of construction and size – Refer to Section R305.1 of the
IRC (7’0”) or, 1208.2 IBC (7’6”).
50. Floor To Floor, Floor to Top Plate - Minimum 7’ 0” ceiling height for IRC applications.
Refer to Section R305.1 of the IRC. (Minimum ceiling height for the IBC applications is
7’6” – Section 208.2 of the IBC).
51. Garage Separation - Refer to Section R309.2 of the IRC. 5/8” type ‘X’ GWB is used on
ceilings below habitable space. Garage to house walls, and garage walls supporting
habitable space above shall be protected with a least ½ inch GWB.
52. Pressure Treated Sill - Call out size.
53. Anchor Bolts - Call out size and spacing. Example: 1/2” 0 x 10” AB 6’ - 0” O.C..
54. Reinforcing Bars (Rebar) - Call out size and spacing.
55. Drain Tile - Recommended and required in some areas.
56. Grade - Show on elevations.
57. Patios, Decks - Call out materials. Indicate distance of finished floor from grade.
It is worth using the above as a checklist to make sure you have not forgotten anything. When not building a wooden house some of the questions will need a bit of interpretation and judgment, but the list is still helpful in letting you know the types of info required. If in doubt about whether some aspect needs to be specified, it is worth specifying it. Too much info is better than not enough and the plans inspector will appreciate it.