Understanding Construction Drawings,
7th Edition

Mark Huth

ISBN-13: 9781337408639
Copyright 2019 | Published
360 pages | List Price: USD $124.95

This proven, uniquely practical text provides your students with a thorough guide to reading, understanding, and working with construction drawings. Now updated to reflect the 2015 International Building Code® and 2015 International Residential Code®, the Seventh Edition includes accurate, up-to-date information on current materials, practices, and standards to prepare students for career success in modern building trades. The text is designed from start to finish for real-world relevance, with topics organized by actual construction processes, realistic construction drawings integrated into chapter content, hundreds of practical questions and activities, and full-size residential and commercial construction prints. The author covers fundamental concepts including views, lines, basic dimensioning, and symbols, as well as more advanced principles and practices such as orienting and cross-referencing drawings, interpreting complex drawings, and working with commercial construction elements like structural steel, masonry, and reinforced concrete. In addition to updates related to 2015 codes, the text features an all-new unit covering multi-building developments, fire code and sound control measures, and seismic considerations, with new drawings for a four-story, two-family building in an urban, seismic-sensitive area.


1. The Design-Construction Sequence and the Design Professions.
3. Scales.
4. Alphabet of Lines.
5. Use of Symbols.
6. Plan Views.
7. Elevations.
8. Sections and Details.
Part 1 Test.
9. Clearing and Rough Grading the Site.
10. Locating the Building.
11. Site Utilities.
12. Footings.
13. Foundation Walls.
14. Drainage, Insulation, and Concrete Slabs.
15. Framing Systems.
16. Columns, Piers, and Girders.
17. Floor Framing.
18. Laying Out Walls and Partitions.
19. Framing Openings in Walls.
20. Roof Construction Terms.
21. Roof Trusses.
22. Common Rafters.
23. Hip and Valley Framing.
24. Cornices.
25. Windows and Doors.
26. Exterior Wall Coverings.
27. Decks.
28. Finishing Site Work.
29. Fireplaces.
30. Stairs.
31. Insulation and Room Finishing.
32. Cabinets.
33. Lake House Specifications.
Part 2 Test.
34. Orienting the Drawings.
35. Fire-Rated and Acoustical Considerations.
36. Seismic Considerations.
Part 3 Test.
37. Heavy Commercial Construction.
38. Coordination of Drawings.
39. Structural Drawings.
40. HVAC & Plumbing Drawings.
41. Electrical Drawings.
Part 4 Test.
Appendix A: Math Reviews.
Appendix B: Material Symbols in Sections.
Appendix C: Plumbing Symbols.
Appendix D: Electrical Symbols.
Appendix E: Abbreviations.

  • Mark Huth

    Mark Huth is a former editor at Cengage Learning, a role that took him inside hundreds of classrooms and allowed him to glean the best teaching methods for his students and readers. He travels extensively throughout North America, gaining first-hand knowledge of construction methods and materials. In addition to UNDERSTANDING CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS and BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR CONSTRUCTION, he is the author of several other respected texts on construction principles, technology, and mathematics. Mr. Huth has also taught high school building construction and worked as a professional carpenter and subcontractor. He holds a master of science degree in curriculum and instruction, as well as permanent certification in building construction from the New York State Education Department.

  • *NEW* The Seventh Edition includes an additional unit with all-new content related to multi-building developments, fire code and sound control measures, and seismic considerations, as well as new drawings for a four-story, two-family building in an urban, seismic-sensitive area. 

  • *NEW* Coverage of trusses is now enhanced by a new drawing of a single-family home, complementing the core chapter content with a relevant, real-world document to help deepen students’ understanding.

  • The text follows a logical sequence that reflects real-world processes and industry standards, presenting essential concepts and practices before showing how they are used in developing construction drawings and constructing buildings.

  • Construction prints are integrated into chapter content, providing real-world examples to illustrate key concepts and techniques while helping students appreciate the professional relevance of what they are learning.

  • More than 600 questions throughout the text encourage students to study building plans and construction drawings in detail and consider key aspects from numerous perspectives, enabling them to hone key skills across a wide range of projects. 

  • Virtual walk-throughs help students visualize applications of key concepts and relate drawings to actual buildings, making it easier to connect chapter material to real-world applications.

  • The text includes several full-size construction prints for students to consult while completing assignments and reviewing chapter content, allowing them to gain familiarity with the kinds of construction drawings they will encounter as working professionals.

  • A special section on construction math provides step-by-step instructions to help students understand and apply essential math concepts they will need to succeed in modern building trades

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.

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