How to read a floor plan

Understanding your floor plan

A floor plan is an in-scale drawing that shows the different rooms, spaces, and physical features of a single level of a building.

If you’re building your own home, a floor plan is probably the most detailed and important part of the drafting process, and knowing how to read it is essential to understanding the inclusions in your home.

It is important to remember when reading a floor plan to have all the information, importantly this will include the specification list. The specification list shows all details of the materials used within the build, such as: floor covering, choice of fixtures, and model and brand of appliances. This document helps identify the quality and value for money of the build.

A floor plan gives you the understanding of the layout, allowing you to visualise how each space will connect and if there is enough room for your intended purpose. Floor plans include symbols, split within 3 categories; appearance (i.e. toilet), conventions (e.g. windows are denoted with 3 parallel lines) and labels (e.g. WC stands for Toilet).

A few common features you may see on a floor plan include:

Walls: The walls can be represented by two parallel lines. The outer one representing the exterior and the inner line representing the interior wall.

Doors: Different door symbols can represent various styles of doors.

Wardrobe: Within bedrooms the wardrobe is represented as below with the dotted line to represent the rail. 

Bathroom fixtures: The following symbols denote a bath, corner bath, shower, sink, double sink, and toilet that are marked on a floor plan.

Whilst floorplans are useful for planning your home, it’s important to remember that they only provide visual information. There are many factors that aren’t depicted on floor plans, such as ceiling height, quality of materials and workmanship, and trusted suppliers and trades.

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How to read a floor plan

If you’re building your own home, a floor plan is probably the most detailed and important part of the drafting process.