If you’re new to the process of building your own home, it can be an overwhelming experience. You might not know where to start or what questions to ask. One question that many people have is how important floor plans are when designing their house? In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of floor plans and why they should be a consideration when building your house.
We’ll also discuss some tips for managing expectations with your architect so you end up with a design that meets all of your needs and is within budget. So let’s get started!
A floor plan shows the flow of spaces in a room, indicating the footprints of furniture and the remaining area that is available for circulation. It depicts accurately scaled down walls, positions of windows and doors, electrical and plumbing points, along with the furniture layout.
One reason why a floor plan is as important as images, if not more important, is because a floor plan is a fact that you can rely on. Images can be touched up or at least taken in a flattering light or at a flattering angle to make you feel that the property is more spacious or attractive than it actually is. With a floor plan, you have the truth detailed in front of you, which is essential if you want to make the most informed decision about a property. This means that buyers and tenants want to have this information which means that people marketing property need to provide this information.
A floor plan allows users to picture the layout of a room or the home in their mind and it provides them with a chance to determine the flow of the home. There is also a lot to be said for providing the actual dimensions of the property which will allow people to determine if the furniture they have will fit in certain rooms. At the most basic level, potential buyers and tenants want as much relevant information as possible and when it comes to vital information for a home, the dimensions of a floor plan are essential. Providing the floor plan is not just something that helps people to decide to buy or let a home, it will also provide them with benefits after they have secured the property, so making this available as early on in the process will see you, and your property, viewed in a positive light.
If you want to make sure that you create the best possible environment to sell or let your property, providing a floor plan will ensure that potential buyers and tenants receive everything they need to make a decision on your home.
Types of Architectural Plans
Floor plans are essential to any interior design or architecture project. With a floor plan, you can see everything in your space as if you took the ceiling off and were looking down. Think of yourself as a giant looking at the plan from a bird’s eye view.
There are a few different kinds of floor plans, each with its own purposes. One kind of floor plan is a 2D version, which usually includes measurements of the space, like how long the walls are and where the doors are located. If they’re very detailed, they can be used as the basis for a building plan.
There are also 2D versions of furniture plans, which are floor plans with furniture drawn in them. The focus here is less on measurements and instead on how objects (like couches and tables) fit in the space.
The floor plan above is a 3D model of a furniture plan. You can see how the entire apartment looks with furniture from above, giving you a way to see not only how objects fit in the space, but how specific furniture pieces look together.
Site plans are similar to floor plans, however, you get to see the entire building with a site plan. Site plans can be anything from a single home to an entire apartment complex.
Depending on your scope, you can have one building’s floors detailed (like above) on a site plan. If you’re wanting to show how multiple buildings relate to each other, you can create a separate site plan to represent that.
The site plan you see here is a 2D site plan. This plan is focused on calling out specific measurements of the space.
Like the floor plan, you can have a 3D site plan. Creating one of these would give you more details on the look of the space instead of listing measurements.
Reflective Ceiling Plan
Reflective ceiling plans are almost the opposite of floor plans. By that, I mean that floor plans show you what the floor would look like if you took the ceiling off and were looking down from the top.
When you’re looking at a reflective ceiling plan, imagine that you’ve taken off the floor of a home and have then turned the entire space upside down. The ceiling is the floor of a reflective ceiling plan if you will.
Reflective ceiling plans can be as detailed or as basic as you’d like them to be. Some plans include descriptions of architectural details, like vaulted ceilings. Other plans include details of lighting fixtures while others include the wiring for lighting and the location of switches.
In the plan above, we can see the shape of the ceiling and where the lighting fixtures will be located, but not the wiring or switch locations.
Millwork drawings show you the smallest of details in your design plan. These are commonly done for pieces of furniture, crown mouldings, baseboards, or cabinetry.
When you’re looking at a millwork drawing, you’re looking for precision. These will have exact measurements on them and will show you the smallest of pieces involved in the construction of a product, down to every last screw.
The millwork drawing above is a section of a reception desk. When looking at a section drawing, you’re seeing what that object would look like if you were to cut it in half and look at it from the inside.
For our reception desk example, you can see exactly what pieces make up the desk on each side. Millwork drawings can as a set of instructions for whoever is building the desk. They can let the builder know exactly what they need to do to construct it.
Exterior elevations show you the outside of the building. When building, it’s best to have an idea of what the structure should look like once construction is finished, which is why these are incredibly useful.
Exterior elevations can be 2D or 3D drawings, and they can be as detailed or as simple as you like. 2D drawings typically have measurements on them, showing where the relationship between exterior elements like doors and lights should be. 2D elevations also can have callouts to different kinds of bricks, stones, and paints, so you know exactly where each material needs to go.
3D exterior renderings are similar to their 2D counterparts, except they focus entirely on the visual. Most of the time, a rendering is a concept drawing to take to whoever is constructing your project to give them an idea of what you want the exterior to look like. From the concept, they’ll create the detailed exterior elevation they need to build from.
The 3D rendering above showcases a house with a simple modern and sleek design. This rendering looks like a home in a neighbourhood, which means it could have been created to show a family their future custom home or could be a tool for home builders to show an available model.
Interior elevations are very similar to exterior elevations in purpose. With interior elevations, you can create a view with just the baseboard, windows, and crown moulding or a room with all of the furnishings. Elevations are extremely useful when constructing a room such as a kitchen or a bathroom, which require the visualisation of built-in elements.
Some interior elevations are drawn in the 2D. These can show measurements, can show what the room looks like with cabinetry, or can show what the fully furnished space looks like. Showing furniture in 2D interior elevations is uncommon, but can be useful in some situations.
3D interior renderings that show your furniture in your space are quite common. These are generally concept plans that designers come up with to show you what your space could look like. Many times, after receiving a rendering, clients will seek out interior designers that can take these inspiration images and make them a reality. Designers will be the ones to find the real versions of the rendered products to bring your space to life. Some designers will even provide an updated render after finding the specific items they’d like to use in your space.
The interior renderings above are of a restaurant. This is an incredibly detailed drawing, showing everything from the wires for the lighting fixtures to the full canisters of sugar on the table. This was most likely a final render before going ahead and purchasing items.
Designing the exterior and interior of a space is only the beginning of creating a home or business. Without proper landscaping, your space will look completely incomplete.
There are many designers that go through years of training to specifically create beautiful landscapes. If you’re looking for a small garden in your backyard, a landscape designer can help. If you’re looking to add foliage and walkways to an apartment complex, a landscape designer can help, too.
On landscape plans, you’ll see everything from flowers to sidewalks and lawn decorations to fountains. Your landscape designer can collaborate with a pool or spa designer to create a full oasis in your yard. When you hire a landscape designer to help with a multi-building area, they’ll best be able to increase the flow of foot traffic while making it as pretty as possible.
Steps To Choosing A Floor Plan
While the various types of home floor plans available may be overwhelming, following the right steps can help you choose the floor plan that is best for your family and your current desires. Follow this guide to discover how to choose a floor plan.
Decide the Size of Your Home
The size of your home should be your highest priority. Decide how many rooms you need for your children and what space you want for your guests. The number and size of rooms will determine how comfortable you will be for years to come, so make sure you take time to consider how much space you’ll need now as well as in the future.
Consider Your Design Style
Everyone wants to put their own finishing touches on their homes. Your floor plan can either work with or against your design style. If you like everything to have its own place, a traditional floor plan may be the right fit for you. If you want your home to look uniform throughout, the open concept floor plan might be better. The type of furniture and decorations you choose for your new home will also help you determine which type of floor plan matches your style.
Look at Where You’re Moving
When considering a floor plan, drive around your neighbourhood and observe the style of houses on your block. Although your house doesn’t have to look exactly like every other house on the block, you may have to choose a floor plan that fits the theme of the neighbourhood. Make sure you don’t build a home that conflicts with the zoning regulations of your new community. SK Builders have pre-approved floor plans to comply with architectural and square footage guidelines in all of their communities.
Release Your Expectations for the Perfect Home
Building your dream home does not mean that your house will have everything you’ve ever wanted in a home. The different floor plans available are sketches, but they may need to be adjusted to make your home the way you want it. Before you invest in your home, write down what you want in a home, and think about what you’re willing to sacrifice to have what you need. Then, browse which floor plan will give you the most of what you need for the money you’re willing to spend.
Pay Attention to the Layout, Not the Finishes
The layout of the floor plan is the most important element of designing your home. You can always change the wallpaper, but it’s a lot more difficult to remove the wall itself. Focus on the layout of the house as a whole instead of the minor details.
Consult a McAlister Realty Agent
Real estate agents have experience looking through homes and paying attention to aspects of houses most people don’t think about. When you’re choosing a floor plan for your family, ask a real estate agent for their professional opinion.
Don’t Ignore Your Instincts
Much of choosing the right floor plan involves comfort. Your instincts will tell you how comfortable you and your family will be and how at home you will feel throughout your house.
Go with your instincts and make decisions about what is best for your family. Use factors such as the age of your children to determine where you want the master bedroom or the size of each of your other rooms.
Think About Your Furniture
Your furniture is what completes your floor plan. However, we often don’t consider furniture until we move in. If you’re bringing furniture from your previous residence, make sure you measure the furniture and imagine where it will be located in your home. Your furniture shouldn’t take up so much space that your floor plan feels cramped.
Make a Budget
While you may have your dream home in mind, you need to think about your budget. Don’t fall in love with a plan, only to incur a heaping mound of debt. Buying a home doesn’t just involve the cost of the mortgage, but also furniture and decorations, as well as taxes and the monthly utility bill.
Collaborate with a contractor to build a home within your budget. Consider how much you’re willing to put toward a down payment and how much the bank is willing to give you. You don’t have to spend an excessive amount of money to build the home of your dreams.
Modify Your Floor Plan as Needed
A standard floor plan might not have everything you need. Maybe you want to knock down a wall to expand the living room or add a closet to your child’s bedroom. As you browse through your floor plan options, remember that you can customise a plan to make it work for you. Remember, customisation will add to the cost of your home and will have to be approved by the builder.