If you are about to begin the process of having a new home built, you will want to be sure that you understand how to read floor plans for new homes. For the uninitiated, floor plans can look like an unreadable map. However, like maps, they are quite easy to follow if you understand what the various symbols and terms represent.
- First, you must understand the scale. The symbol indicating scale is very similar to the scale symbol on a map, but on a floor plan, the scale is inches to feet instead of miles. It is important to have a good comprehension of the scale of your floor plan, in order to understand the dimensions of your new home.
- Next, understand the lines that represent walls. They actually look like long, thin rectangles, and by noting the width you can calculate the thickness of your walls. Some will be shaded in, while some will be left open; the ones with the shading indicate full walls, while the open ones represent half walls.
- Windows can be tricky. The basic symbol for a window is a thin line across a break between two sections of wall. Two such thin lines, overlaying each other, shifted to either side, represent a sliding glass door. However, windows go far beyond basic panes of glass. Discuss the various types of windows with your builder, and be sure you have a clear understanding of how they work, as well as how they are represented on the blueprint.
- Be sure you understand the direction in which your doors open. Doors are represented on a floor plan by a perpendicular line on one side of a break in the wall, with an arc traveling down to the other side of the break. The arc indicates the direction of the door swing, which can be extremely relevant to the flow of traffic through your home. Bifold doors are indicated by a “v” shape on either side of a wall break, with the point of the “v” indicating the fold of the door.
- Many symbols are self-explanatory. A toilet looks like a tiny drawing of a toilet. A stove is a box with circles on it, representing an electric range. Often, just by looking at the pictures, you can determine what is in the room. One symbol that may not seem self-explanatory is the shower without a tub, which looks like a box with an “x” across it.
- Landscaping symbols also look like what they represent. A shrub looks like a sort of starburst, and a tree looks similar, though larger.
- When in doubt, ask! Your builder will be happy to explain the symbols on your floor plan, and answer any questions you may have. After all, the builder’s goal is to produce a home that you will be proud to call your own.
Clark Wilson Builder
Once you know how to decipher floor plans for new homes, you are ready to hire a builder! With more than 35 years in the residential real estate business, it’s clear that you can trust Clark Wilson Builder to deliver the dream home you’ve always wanted. Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a retiree looking to move into your fantasy home, the process starts with filling out our contact form. You can also call us at (512) 423-6262 for answers to all your questions. Stay up-to-date on the Austin, Texas building industry by reading our blog, finding us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.