How Do I Number Construction Drawings?

Updated February 21, 2017

There is no one universal system for numbering construction drawings. Depending on the type of project, its complexity, the location, and the contractors involved, there are a handful of different ways you may choose to number your drawings. However by adopting one method, your coworkers, contractors and clients will become familiar with the numbering system, making your drawings much easier to read and use.

Allocate a job name to the beginning of each drawing. For instance, if you have a set of drawings for the Johnson residence, use the prefix "JOHNS."

Divide your drawings into their different trades, i.e. Architectural, Structural, Landscape, Mechanical, etc. Assign a letter designation to each subset of drawings, according to their discipline or trade. For instance, all mechanical drawing numbers would use the letter "M." Place this letter after the job name, using a dash, i.e.: "JOHNS-M."

Divide each subsection into the following drawing types:

100 series: plans 200 series: elevations 300 series: sections 400 series: detail plans 500 series: details 600 series: schedules

Number each sub-series of drawings as required. For example, Mechanical Elevations would be numbered as JOHNS-M201, JOHNS-M202, M203, and so on.

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About the Author

Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.