4 Common Mistakes Made By Clients When Reading Electrical Blueprints

29 June 2015
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


If you're in electrical construction, you undoubtedly know how to read your own blueprints. The problem is that the client usually does not. There are many mistakes that can usually be headed off with some foresight, as long as you make sure to explain everything during the planning stages. Otherwise mistakes like the ones below could happen, ending up being quite costly.

1. Not Understanding Where the Electrical Outlets Are

Electrical outlets are very important for the usability of a space. Many clients will simply think that there are "enough" electrical outlets in a room without thinking about where they're positioned. For instance, in a residential home, it's often important that electrical outlets be placed along where the client is thinking about putting their television. While you can anticipate some of the client's needs as a professional, there are some quirks of their own interior design that you might have to compensate for.

2. Not Asking About Their Switch Options

Clients may see a wall switch and think: "That's just a switch." And that's not necessarily true today. Today, there are many types of switches: toggle switches, 3 way switches, dimmer switches and even smart switches. Many clients may know about more advanced switch types but just assume that they can wire them in at a later date. Going over these options with them can avoid any confusion later on. 

3. Not Knowing Which Switches Control Which Outlets

Occasionally, clients may want to be able to turn off power in a room. While switches are usually used for lights, they can also be used to turn off electricity to outlets -- and this can be very confusing for a client who doesn't understand blueprints. Make sure that you specify what each switch does in addition to the type of switch, so that the client can determine whether that would truly be convenient to them. 

4. Not Being Able to Intuit Scale

This issue comes into play with fixtures such as lighting. Electrical construction professionals work with numbers all the time and understand how large 12 inches or 12 feet is. A client usually needs to be shown. They may not understand how large a three foot recessed lighting fixture is or how small a twelve inch chandelier will be, even if they see it drawn out on the blueprint itself. When in doubt, show the actual item.

When reading blueprints to a client, make sure to specify everything -- not just the things that you think might not be common sense. Clients come from many different backgrounds, and some may have never even seen a blueprint before. It's worth it to check and check again before the wiring begins. For more information, consider talking to another electrical construction company like Albarell Electric Inc.