Understanding house plans

To start with it is important to note that house plans are also referred to as blueprints or architectural drawings. House plans depict how your home, or property will look after it has been built. However, floor plans can be quite confusing for the inexperienced. As such we have compiled this guide on understanding house plans.

The vast majority of people do not know how to interpret architectural plans. These blueprints can contain what may seem to you like coded cryptic symbols. But, as these plans are for you it is in your best interests to have a profound understanding of them.

What is a floor plan?

To put it simply, a floor plan is a scaled drawing or illustration of a room or building. It is important to note that floor plans are drawn from an aerial view. A floor plan will also include measures of anything else that is necessary for the purpose of the plan. Furthermore, architectural plans are essential to help design wiring systems, as well as your furniture layout. Plans usually come in a set comprising;

1. Site plan

A site plan essentially highlights the property’s boundaries, as well as the location of services. In addition, a site plan will show the existing infrastructure and any proposed additions.

2. Foundation/ footing plan

A footing plan is an illustration bringing attention to the location of foundation walls. In addition, a foundation plan also shows the proportions of columns, as well as supporting beam. In simple terms, a foundation plan reveals the outlay, as well as the measurements of the foundation.

3. Elevation plan

An elevation plan typically expresses the finished appearance of the house. Primarily, there are four elevations that are part of the plans. There is one elevation drawing for each side of the house. Furthermore, each elevation drawing will show the vertical height dimensions of a given side of the house.

4. Floor plan

Floor plans explicitly show the aerial perspective of a house. Additionally, the plans will detail the layout of rooms, plus other physical features. Moreover, room sizes, as well as wall lengths are also captured and illustrated in floor plans. Floor plans also detail traffic patterns and other spaces in the property.

5. Roof plan

A diagram drawn to show the proposed roof’s structure is known as a roof plan. In addition, a roof plan will draw attention to the shape, design, plus size of the roof.

The importance of house plans

There is no denying the importance of house plans. House plans are crucial when designing, or building a home. This set of plans provide a clear layout of the home’s structure, from the foundation to the roof.

House plan symbols

Firstly, it is of paramount importance that you be able to interpret the various symbols and feature found on house plans. These can initially seem like coded syntax but we will help you decipher them and get to understand them.

Wall, doors, and windows

When you initially look at plans, walls will most likely stand out quite vividly. Walls are illustrated by lines running parallel to each other. These parallel lines can either be filled with different patterns or simply drawn solid. In addition to the walls, doors open spaces between rooms, and windows are shown by breaks in the barrel lines. It is also relatively popular to add arcs to doors to indicate the door’s opening direction.


Secondly, we take a look at the stairs, which are shown on plans as a series of rectangles. In addition, a direction arrow may be added to show if the stairs lead up or down.

Fixtures and fittings

It is also not unusual for house plans to indicate the positioning of crucial fixtures. Fixtures may include sinks, as well as toilets. The precise layout of fixtures matters a lot and therefore should not be taken lightly.


Likewise, the placement of furniture is very important. These help the viewer to imagine and visualize how a room, space, and home will look and feel. Moreover, the inclusion of furniture placement in the plans may aid the viewer with ideas on how a property may be furnished.


Room, space a house dimensions are equally crucial and quite important. These are expressed in terms of height, width as well as length. In addition to the inclusion of dimensions, house plans also include a scale so the viewer can visualize the actual size of everything.

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