To fully understand the “fit and feel” of a home and its features, we use a tool called the Floor Plan. To the inexperienced, a floor plan can look like a confusing collection of undistinguishable lines and numbers that lacks personality or feel. Do not despair. A floor plan is loaded with information, and with a little understanding, you will be able to critique a floor plan like a professional. A floor plan displays door and window locations, structures, directions, layouts, dimensions, and so much more. The following is an easy-to-understand guider about floor plans and how to read them.
Components of a Floor Plan
1. The Model Name
When you preview floor plans for a particular project, you will note many different model types, each with a particular name. It is important to keep notes on the models that fall into your “favourites” category. In the example above, the model name for this floor plan is 2-A.
2. Model Specs
A good floor plan will clearly outline the major components of the unit. The Specs will tell you the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and other major components that make this unit unique. For example, a den could be a unique major component. In our example above, we are looking at a 2 bedroom, 2 Bathroom model with a large outdoor patio.
3. Room Dimensions
Floor plans will give you the planned dimensions for each room. When analyzing a floor plan, paying attention to Square Footage will help you find the best fit for your lifestyle and comfort.
There are two common ways to demonstrate a door in a floor plan. If you look for marker 4 on the above diagram, you will find it in the upper right corner, in the Foyer. The Foyer has three different doors. The front door of the unit has an arc line representing a swinging door into the unit. You can tell by the direction of the arc. The Foyer also has a coat closet that uses a sliding door represented by thin-overlapping rectangles. The third door in the Foyer hides the stand-up washer and dryer, which remain hidden behind an outwardlyswinging door.
Generally speaking, cabinet “lowers” are not usually represented in floor plan schematics but they are implied. It is understood that there are lower cabinets in both bathrooms and kitchens. They are usually below the sinks and countertops. The upper cabinets are denoted by a thin hyphenated-line. These can sometimes give you a good perspective on their depth and storage abilities.
6. Walls and Windows
Walls and windows are represented in floor plans in a few ways. Structural walls, beams, pillars and such are shown in heavily shaded lines. These are bold markings, along with very dark circles and rectangles that demonstrate those walls which are solid and fortified.
Window panes and sliding glass doors are the opposite. They are represented on a floor plan as thin, empty rectangles,denoting the size and thickness of panes. Often, when there are sliding windows and doors, it is common to see an arrow depicting the opening direction. See image above #6.
Closets are an essential part of a floor plan, and are their layout and properties are displayed. Doors are indicated by either the swinging or sliding design icons. Because closets are important for our storage needs, we find important information about the closets in the Floor plan. With the example above, you will find the Master Bedroom has a closet with a door that swings into the closet. It is a walk-in closet that features a clothing storage system in an L-formation. The second Bedroom offers a sliding closet door with a linear clothing system.
8. The Compass Arrow & Key Plate
In every floor plan, you may or may not have noticed a compass arrow pointing North. Well, this little Icon is a very important detail, and you should be well aware of it from now on. The North Arrow will inform you about the direction that the building and your chosen unit will face. Eastern facing windows will flood your home with morning sunshine, and many people prefer this orientation when starting their day. For others, a western-facing home will give them an option for late day or evening sun. To understand all of your North, South, East, and West considerations, keep an eye on the floor plans’ north compass point.
The floor plan of a home is an excellent tool for evaluating the value of a design for your best use. With a birds-eye view, you can visually walk through and understand the shape and scope of any home. For each project, a builder will offer many design choices. There is something for everybody, from end-user to investor. Happy Browsing!