Architectural Detail Drawings

Architectural details are drawings that are made at a larger scale than the floor plans and elevations. They are used to accurately describe the various methods of construction. The scale of detail drawings vary according to the need. 3/4″ = 1′ – 0″ is a good size for the general details like exterior elevations and wall sections while interior elevations are often made at a scale of 1/2″ = 1′ – 0″. Full size details are drawn when absolute accuracy is needed for things like fine moldings of a fire place mantel.

The smaller scale details are usually included in the main drawings while full-size details are furnished only to the professional worker who specializes in a particular trade such as the finishing framer, plumber, or H.V.A.C. installer.

The details for most any building consist of the following types of drawings.

A. Vertical wall sections describing all horizontal moldings, the sill, wall thickness, method of framing the floor into walls, windows, cornice, and roof lines at the cornice.

B. Details on the exterior elevations that could not be shown properly by the 1/4″ or 1/8″ = 1′ – 0″ scale elevations.

C. Detailed elevations and sections of the various items in the interior of the house such as doors, fireplaces, stairways, ornamental beams, cornices and other decorative features.

D. Parts of the plan are detailed when necessary.

After the general drawings are completed, the full-size details are drawn, usually in the order in which the building is finished. So then the basement windows are almost always the first full-size details made for the better class of residence work, since these windows must ordered and then delivered before the basement wall can be completed. The interior trim, stair finish, etc., are drawn full sized lastly because that is the last work to be put into the home.

My name is Tim Davis and I draw architectural and mechanical plans for a living. I also teach others how to draw house plans, site plans, mechanical and shop drawings and other types of drafting that I have been trained to do in a virtual classroom at

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