​How to read an architectural floor plan? | homify

​How to read an architectural floor plan?

modern  by Diligence International Ltd, Modern
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A floor plan is the small-scale replica of your big dream house. It serves as the final draft to be shown by the architect to the client before laying the first brick for construction. In case of an existing house, a floor plan helps in refurbishment as it brings out the changes pretty well. In this case it is easy to brainstorm the changes with the client as it takes place on the properly scaled model of the original house and not just by word of mouth. A floor plan is also essential to avoid the last minute changes that may occur after the construction is done. It serves as the best reference material for construction and thus needs to be present with all the people involved like plumbers, masons, carpenters and even the electricians. However, reading and understanding a floor plan is not as easy as it sounds. So to help you understand the glimpse of your house perfectly, we bring you few elements that need to be paid extra attention for better visual insights.

Firstly, what is a floor plan?

A floor plan is the drawing to the scale of any architectural building. It is a top view of the whole building from the top. This plan or blue print links the different rooms, corridors, balconies and floors to each other.  It is specifically scaled down according to original dimensions to demonstrate the actual look of the house even before it is built. This plan is required to ensure that the whole décor is in accordance with the clients’ requirement too. Once an approval from the client is received, the construction can begin in full swing. In case of any last minute changes, a floor plan is a much safer option to implement. These days floor plans can be made using 3-D softwares as well. This latest invention gives a more realistic picture of your dream house.

Finding north

North direction should be known during the house design. This is extremely important for the construction of outside seating areas like patio, balcony and even decks. This is even helpful for the placement of plants and solar panels. In case you’re living in a dust prone area, the knowledge of direction is again important to save your house from untimely dust storms. Again, if you believe in Vaastu, try placing your headboards and dressing rooms in the north and northwest directions respectively. All these changes or recommendations can be made in the floor plan stage only.

Understanding the difference between walls and windows

A floor plan is also essential to display the difference between a wall and a window. The north side should be majorly windows as it allows the incoming of cool and relaxing air that is important for your overall house ventilation. In the floor plan, the walls and windows should be properly designed with solid and transparent patterns that make the segregation easier. In case you want to have more windows in any part of the house, you can incorporate that change at this stage itself in the floor plan.

Doors and openings

Doors and openings are equally imperative in a house design. To know the rooms better, one needs to know the entrance and exit. A floor plan notifies you about the entrance and exit of each room so that you can decide if it is according to Vaastu or other religious beliefs. The doors and openings also make you aware of the incoming of sunlight and air, which should be divided appropriately in each room. It is impossible to change a door or opening after the construction is done. Therefore, a true depiction in the floor plan is very important. The floor plans should also display the type of doors and windows; whether glass, wooden or metallic. This helps the owner to get a full-fledged idea of the style incorporated.


Fabulous colour Diamond Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by Wools of New Zealand Modern
Wools of New Zealand

Fabulous colour Diamond

Wools of New Zealand

A floor plan gives you an idea about stairs as well. One should be wise enough to place the stairs accurately, so that they do not block the view of the other room. Use of stairs for just bridging the two floors is long gone; it is time to creatively play with this feature in the form of circular or spiral shapes, glass railings, wooden embellishments, etc.  All this needs to be decided in the early stages itself as it helps to plan the room design better. Also, the materials used and style helps to calculate the budget beforehand. Designed by Wools of New Zealand, these stairs just perfectly complement the grey-blue wall shade and the planters. The grey carpet is no less than a cherry on cake! 

Architectural elements such as a fireplace

Architectural elements like a fireplace deserve equal importance as well. These elements need to be considered from the initial phase because they include internal arrangements and fittings that cannot be implemented once the construction is complete. For instance, a fireplace needs an exhaust pipe to dissipate all the fumes out of the house. This can be achieved only when the position, placement and the exhaust pipe is decided from the very start so that later it does not interfere with the other pieces of décor. Even swimming pool and hot tub should be decided from the inception itself as it helps to lay internal electric wiring, water piping and drainage systems as well. A floor plan not only notifies you about the placement of such architectural elements, but also makes the architect aware of all the additional features you want in your house so that internal elements can be adjusted accordingly.

Reading measurements and sizes

classic  by UKAA | UK Architectural Antiques , Classic
UKAA | UK Architectural Antiques

Dimensions of the Lille Cast Iron Bath from the UKAA Bathroom Range

UKAA | UK Architectural Antiques

Reading measurements and sizes are the most important part of understanding a floor plan. In a layout, dimensions of the overall area, rooms and exteriors are mentioned in different units of measurement. They might be either in metres, inches or in feet. These dimensions help you make a rough picture in your mind that will further help in any corrections, if needed, before the actual house is ready for construction. The measurements and sizes also help you judge the size of beds, sofa sets and the dining table. Nothing should be too small to be invisible or too large to overshadow other items.

Hope this ideabook provided you with great ideas to read an architectural floor plan. We would also like you to see this wonderful ideabook to embrace your hallway: Simple tips to jazz up the hallway

Does this article educate you in regards to a floor plan? Let us know in the comments below.
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