What is a Floor Plan?
A floor plan presents a scaled drawing of the aerial view of a room or building. It can also illustrate the complete structure, just a single floor of the whole house or only a room. The house plan also comes with necessary measurements of appliances, furniture and any other thing that a house requires.
Generally, floor plans help us to understand and design the best wiring systems, furniture layout and other things for our house. In the hands of real estate agents or leasing company, floor plans are a valuable tool that assists them in successfully selling or renting out a property.
How To Read Floor Plans?
Floor plans are essential for building any home. If it is good enough, it can enhance the convenience and enjoyment that the occupants of the house experience while living in it. It can also increase its resale value. This is because the house will have a nice flow from one space to the other, and the occupants will not find it too hard to make the best of the spaces.
House plans will usually consist of the following:
- Detailed Floor Plans
These drawings contains a bird’s eye view of each floor layout – showing all walls, rooms, doors, windows, dimensions, drainage, notes and details of material items. It also provides references to other sections and components located elsewhere on the plans
- Side Elevations
This show the sides of the house normally when viewed from all 4 sides – North, South, East and West. The external treatment of walls, exterior materials and finishes is also shown. These drawings give notes and details to drainage components and vertical dimensions of the structure. Corbelling details and roofing notes are also elaborated. All other specific and unique details to the plan in question are indicated here.
- Cross Sections
A cross-section shows a sliced view of the entire structure taken at specific points. Large-scale views show sections or cuttings of the foundations, ground level, staircases, walls, floors and roof details. Additional cross-sections may show important details which may otherwise be hidden in the deepest layers of a structure. Sections show how different components interconnect to form a solid and monolithic outcome that becomes a dwelling house. In some cases a large scaled drawing may be necessary to illustrate the interconnections of even the smaller components of the building which then translates to the builder and other building consultants what the structure is made of.
- Electrical Plan
This plan provides suggested positions of electrical switches, plugs, lighting, outlets, etc. A layout is provided for each floor level, each room, garage and the exterior. NB. The electrician is responsible for the designs and reticulation of all circuits, wiring and all engineering details of the entire system.
- Drainage Plan & Details
These are included in the respective Floor plans and Elevation diagrams. Their details and notes are also specified here.
- Roof Plan
This plan shows an overview of the roof configuration. Roof valleys, ridges, Overhangs and Angles are shown. The specifications and details of roofing materials to be used are also detailed.
- Window & Door Schedule
This is a list of the windows and doors to be used in the project. Usually it depicts the sizes and specific material types of each item. The schedules are read in conjunction with floor plans. Any codes on the floor plans is used to point to the actual item in the schedule.
What are the Key Characteristics of a Good Floor Plan When Designing Your House?
- Versatile and Flexible
A good plan must not only be versatile, but it must also be flexible. In other words, it should not be too hard to convert what was initially meant to be an office into a child’s bedroom. This feature will prove very vital in the future when the need for such a change arises.
- Ideal Room Layout
When designing a floor plan, you need to ensure that bedrooms are not near rooms meant for entertaining. This is because bedrooms are intended to be private, and with guests in the entertaining room, the whole purpose will be defeated. Also, bathrooms are not supposed to face entertainment rooms like the dining and living rooms. Many people find it ideal if their kitchen space and dining or living rooms are open to each other.
This way, whoever is in the kitchen will not be cut off from those in the living or dining areas. He or she will, therefore, be able to monitor the kids or interact with guests.
All in all, the different spaces have to be connected creatively and functionally.
Size matters Too
When it comes to designing hallways or even rooms, you need to consider the number of people who will be using a particular space at a time. This will guide you into designing an area that can accommodate the number of people it is meant to hold. The room should be big enough such that the occupants will have enough room to move around even while there are pieces of furniture there.
- Fits Your Priorities and Lifestyle
Some people love entertaining guest. If this is important to you as well, then it is only normal that you design your home with this in mind. You will want to make sure that the flow from kitchen space to the living space and outside area is on point. Plus, if you’re the type that has to work from home a lot, you’ll want to make sure your house plan includes a home office.
It is also best that this office is situated in the quietest place in the whole structure. Besides this, most people do not appreciate having to climb from one to the other to get their laundry done. Therefore, you can avoid this stress by creating your laundry room in a space that is most convenient for you, the master bedroom, for instance.
- Find the balance
When we say find the balance, it is in terms of weighing architectural details and practical considerations and coming to a possible meeting point. The idea here is not to let one overshadow the other. As much as you want your design to be pleasing to the eye, modern and unique, you still need to consider things like the safety of kids, if you have them. You may also need to think about the heating, cleaning and cooling bill and let this influence your floor plans where necessary.
Marketing and Communicating With Floor Plans
One of the things you need a house plan for is to communicate how your spaces flow to the intending buyers and renters. A study released by Rightmove in 2013 indicates that buyers of real estate consider house plans to be more than just something that would be nice to have or access. To them, floor plan designs are critical when purchasing a property. They estimated that at least one in five prospective buyers would ignore a property if there are no house plans.
They went ahead to rate floor plans higher than photos and the property’s descriptions. Rightmove once again noticed that when sellers are trying to hire a real estate agent, 42% of them don’t usually go for an agent who fails to offer a floor plan.
In other words, including a house plan to any real estate listing can boost click-throughs from buyers by up to 52%. One can also take advantage of a house plan and use it to communicate with contractors and vendors, especially where a remodeling project is concerned.
How to Draw a House Plan
You shouldn’t start decorating a space without an analysis of an accurate floor plan. With one, you can easily make the best of the space you have. These are a few significant steps that you need to follow when creating a floor plan:
- Choose an Area
If the building is not already in existence, you have to decide which area to draw. If the structure is already there, you’ll need to determine how much of the entire building to draw– a room, a floor or the whole house. A lot of brainstorming will be required to get designs that will correlate with the size and shape of the building site.
- Take Measurements.
The next step is to measure walls, doors, and all the necessary furniture, that is if there’s already an existing building. This is to ensure that the house design is accurate. Measure the length of a wall along the baseboard, do this from one corner of the room to another. For the sake of accuracy, measure to the nearest 1/4 inch. Then, write the measurement on your rough house plan and also in your notebook.
In situations where the house plan is being designed for a completely new space. Make sure that the whole area will fit where it is to be built. It will help if you first examine the other buildings in the neighborhood. And then use them as a guide for your house plan.
- Draw Walls.
In your floor plan, include walls for every room of the building. However, you do need to ensure that you draw all of them to scale. Note that while drawing, it’s best to lightly pencil in the room’s principal areas on your graph paper. Before making the lines much thicker or drawing hard-to-erase dark lines.
- Add Architectural Features
Start including features to the space. You can do this by adding all the unchangeable elements, like the windows and doors. Also, the refrigerator, dryer, dishwasher, and other vital appliances that must be installed in a specific location should be drawn at this stage.
- Add furniture
If you think your house will require furniture, then go ahead and add it to your plans. This will also help get a good idea of all the space that will be available in the house.