How to Read Different Floor Plans

Posted by Team on Monday, October 14th, 2019 at 10:19am.

4 Things to Know About Floor PlansMany prospective homeowners look at the floor plan of a home before making a purchase. This can help them to determine if it will meet their needs, as well as the general layout of the house. Reading a floor plan can be complicated, particularly since the small size often requires abbreviation. With this information, prospective home buyers in Stony Plain or elsewhere will understand how to read a floor plan, what to look for as they browse, and how to compare different options.

1. What Buyers Should Look For on the First Read

The floor plan is intended to give people a rough representation of how the property looks or will look once completed. Once buyers get used to reading plans, it can be easier to get a sense for what is included. At first, people should quickly identify:

  • number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • position of closets and other storage features
  • exterior doors
  • room dimensions, usually specified in centimetres or feet
  • location of windows or doors
  • classification of the room
  • position of the house in relation to direction (e.g. north, south)

This will help them figure out which aspects of the home are unclear.

2. Questions to Answer When Reading the Floor Plan

Looking at a floor plan can often be as confusing as trying to read a map on a mountain. This means that people need to clarify aspects of the plan that are vague or unspecified. Asking these questions while reading will paint a clearer picture of the home's design:

  • How tall are the ceilings?
  • Is this a window or a door?
  • How many floors does the plan feature?
  • Where are windows placed on the wall?
  • How much clearance do the doors need to fully open and close?
  • What are the precise dimensions of this room?
  • How much of the basement is finished?
  • Which aspects of the floor plan are optional?

For new construction, buyers should confirm that they understand exactly what is included in the base plan. This will help avoid disappointment later on.

3. Comparing Different Floor Plans

Floor plans tend to vary greatly, even when used by the same builder. Home buyers should identify the primary focus of each plan to get a sense for how they compare. Minor differences can lead to a significantly different appearance, even with a similar area and architectural style. For example, one house might offer multiple enclosed rooms perfect for people who prefer privacy. Another house may have an open floor plan that increases natural light and communication between living spaces. Homes with lots of bedrooms may feature smaller rooms overall. A house of the same size with fewer rooms might have multiple master bedrooms or other luxury features. If buyers are looking at two specific floor plans, they should compare dimensions of each room as well as number and location.

4. How to Make a Decision

Ultimately, a two-dimensional representation of a property may not give a full picture to a home buyer. A home with high ceilings may make smaller rooms look even more cramped, and this is not something most buyers would get from the floor plan. As such, people may want to consider the floor plan one part of their information-gathering exercise. Going to visit a model home or looking at artist renderings of the interior of the property can help fill in the gaps. It helps if buyers also know the general dimensions of the furniture they plan to put in the space. This will make it easier to determine if a room will be big enough to arrange beds and seating in a way that makes sense.

Buying a home often includes looking carefully at floor plans, especially for new construction. By following these tips, home buyers will be better informed about the property and whether or not it will be right for them.

By Justin Havre


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