How to Find Home Blueprints

How to Find Home Blueprints

Whether you are renovating your house, want to add an extension, or simply curious about the original layout of your home, finding home blueprints can provide valuable insights. Here are some tips on how to locate these blueprints and gain a better understanding of your home’s structure and design.

1. Start with the local building department: The first step is to contact your local building department or city planning office. They often keep records of building permits and blueprints, especially for older properties. Provide them with your property address and request any available blueprints.

2. Consult the original builder or architect: If you know the name of the original builder or architect, reach out to them directly. They may have kept copies of the blueprints or have access to the records. Even if they don’t have the blueprints, they might be able to point you in the right direction.

3. Search online databases: Numerous online platforms offer access to blueprints, such as the National Archives, Architectural Designs, or House Bluebook. These platforms often require a fee and may not have blueprints for all properties, but they are worth exploring.

4. Explore your county records office: Visit your county records office or courthouse and inquire about property records. Many records are now digitized, making it easier to search for blueprints. If the records office doesn’t have the blueprints, they may provide information on where to find them.

5. Contact previous owners: Reach out to previous owners of your property and inquire about any blueprints they might possess. They may have kept copies or can direct you to someone who does.

6. Hire a professional: If your efforts are unsuccessful, consider hiring a professional surveyor or architect. They have expertise in accessing blueprints and can guide you through the process.

7. Research architectural journals and libraries: Architectural journals, libraries, and universities often hold extensive collections of blueprints. Visit these resources or search their online databases for potential leads.

8. Join online forums and communities: Engage with online forums and communities dedicated to home renovations or historical preservation. Members might be able to provide guidance, recommend resources, or share their own experiences in finding blueprints.


1. Can I find blueprints for any house?
Blueprint availability varies. Older properties may have blueprints, while newer homes might not. It depends on the building regulations and whether the blueprints were kept on record.

2. Are blueprints the same as floor plans?
Blueprints are detailed technical drawings that include floor plans, elevations, and other construction-specific information. Floor plans, on the other hand, are simplified representations of a building’s layout.

3. How much do online blueprint services cost?
Online blueprint services typically charge a fee for access to their database. Prices vary depending on the platform and the complexity of the search.

4. Are blueprints considered public records?
Blueprints are generally not considered public records. However, some government offices or archives may make them available for public inspection.

5. Can I modify the blueprint of my home?
Modifying blueprints requires professional expertise. Consult with an architect or engineer to ensure the changes are structurally sound and in compliance with building codes.

6. Can I use blueprints to estimate renovation costs?
Blueprints provide essential information for estimating renovation costs. Contractors can refer to them to assess the scope of work and develop accurate cost estimates.

7. What if I can’t find the original blueprints?
If you can’t find the original blueprints, you can hire professionals to create an accurate representation of your home’s layout through a process called “as-built” drawings.

8. Are there any restrictions in accessing blueprints?
Some blueprints may be protected by copyright or privacy laws. Ensure you have proper authorization if you intend to use them for any commercial purposes.

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