Design Process 101: Reading Floor Plans

Whether you consider the use of the space for your home or business, a builder floor plan is a vital element in your design process. You should identify how the area flows, or specify where you prefer things positioned, and in what proportions. The information below will help you identify the floor plan elements, so that you can read and understand them easily.


A floor plan assigns the dimensions of the building’s floors, as well as the position of rooms, fixtures and walls, designed by an engineer or an architect. Its function is to direct a contractor or builder during the construction process. It also aids people looking to purchase or use the building to observe whether it will provide their desires and needs. A floor plan angle is as if you are gazing downward upon the structure’s level positioned directly above, which is typically comparable to about three feet over the floor.


Each floor plan has a plainly planned scale. A scale specifies what a segment of a line is corresponding to in actual dimensions. For instance, a scale of “1 foot = ¼ inch" applied on a floor plan indicates that ¼ of an inch within the floor plan drawing is equal to 1 foot of area in actuality. Thus, a wall which is 3 inches long along the floor plan is 12 feet long within the real building, based on the example scale.


The placement of doors and windows is very significant in the design process. Outer doors, as well as offices and room doors should open inwardly, so they do not obstruct what limited walking space is offered in hallways and entryways. Doors to storage, including pantries, laundries and closets, should open outwardly, because there is small to no space within for the stored items, door, and you. There should be ample windows along any given floor to maximize lighting from outside, and to offer an open ambiance to the home. Bear in mind that in whatever direction the windows face, how much light comes in during the day is necessary. For instance, several windows along the western or eastern side of a building will make it even hotter in the afternoon or morning because of direct sunlight.

Flow of Spaces

While examining or designing a floor plan, think about how suitably the design flows in the process. The most greatly trafficked parts of the design, just like hallways and entries, should maximize movement then minimize floor treatments’ wear. It is vital that individuals can move fast to exit the building in case of a fire and other emergencies. Also, the position of rooms increases the flow of a construction. Most individuals do not want guests to gaze straight to the bathroom once they enter a home, but instead the front door must enter into the living room. Formal dining rooms and kitchens should join or be fairly close with each other. If not, your goal of suitable placements is beaten.


The majority of floor plans indicate room dimensions within the drawn room’s center, among the walls. On the other hand, some floor plans indicate the room dimensions along a “Plan Detail Page,” a detach page incorporated with the plan.