Thoughts That Build – Blueprint Reading

So, last week I talked about project management and site supervision as it pertains to clients and trying to explain it to them but I got a lot of feedback from some of the listeners here who watch this video, wondering if it’s that simple for project management, it’s that simple for site supervision and of course it’s not. When you’re dealing with people, it never is but when you’re trying to get into the industry, especially as a new grad, as an immigrant, some of the keys and the fundamentals need to be known and understood.

Understanding health and safety requirements is absolute key but the absolute foundation for any career in construction is blueprint reading and really, there are three areas in which you can push ahead with a career in construction. I’m talking about from a general contractor construction management perspective because that’s what I do. Obviously there are tons of skilled trades you look at all the divisions, there are tons of them that you can go down but as a general contractor at three, I mentioned two last week the project management and site supervision. The last one is estimating is actually the foundation and the backbone of any business, any construction company. If you’re not able to adequately price projects and be competitive, if you’re not able to interpret those drawings and figure out how all the pieces come together, chances are you’ll miss something and you’ll take some hits on your pricing. You’re never always going to be low but the goal is to be competitive. The goal is to not miss anything on the drawings because it’s a lot to take in just in the architectural. You’ve got one drawing for partitions, another drawing for demo, another one for finish plans, you’ve got elevations, you’ve got section details, then you take in to account your electrical drawings and now you got to take all those with the architectural drawings and let’s not forget interior design as well and try to make sure all of them fit together and yes you’ve got to do that right from the estimating side as well because if you don’t look at it from that perspective from the start, how are you going to come up with an adequate price? How are you going to project how long a project is going to take?

So, for anyone looking to get into construction start in the construction industry with no prior experience, take courses on blueprint reading. I can’t tell you the number of people that I’ve interviewed over the years that do not understand how to read drawings. I’m not saying you’re going to know everything but understanding it and interpreting it, so that we know what trades are involved what materials are involved is absolutely critical.