How to Understand Floor Plans?

When starting the process of developing a new home, a floor plan is probably the most detailed and important aspect of the drafting process, it is critically important to understand how your house will layout to understand what’s needed to go in.

What are floor plans?

A floor plan is plan of how the house will look from a birds-eye view. If the house has more than one storey, the floor plan will show each separate storey clearly labelled.

What’s on a floor plan?

The floor plan is comprised of many different elements, and whilst most people are able to understand it at a glance, there’s still plenty of information to process if you’re not familiar with how things are presented.

Below is a quick explanation of the more important features on a floor plan and how they’re represented:


The doors in the house shown on the plan display in which direction they’ll move and on what side the handles will be located.


The walls are critical in the development of a floorplan, because they determine the size and shape of the house that is to be created. Exterior walls are displayed on the floor plan as thicker than interior walls – often to the scale of the actual intended width.


Stairs are displayed with arrows on the plan. This ensures that the direction for the installation of stairs is understood prior to instalment. This critical aspect demands details about, specific sizes, how many risers will be used for the stair and the exact space that is required.


Windows are shown as blocks on the exterior walls of a plan. Because there are so many different options for windows, these often feature a ‘Window Schedule’ on typically on the same page showing detailed specifics about what the intention for them is to be.


What do the symbols and figures mean?

For the most part, a floor plans pretty easily understood at first glance, but you’ll notice that there’s quite a bit of detail in it and that a great deal of time and evaluation has gone into producing the final output.

Any floor plan should be drawn to comply with what’s laid out in the Australian Standard AS1100 (Part 301: Architectural Drawing) however depending on what software’s used to draw the plans this could vary.


Floor plan orientation

A north point should be present on each plan to show how the house is oriented the direction it will face makes a big difference several factors including heating, cooling and lighting the house as shown by The Block 2018 floor plans

Where possible, other plans (e.g. site plans, drainage plans etc.) should also be oriented in the same way to help prevent any kind of unnecessary confusion.


Have plans and are looking to build a new home or multi unit development? Contact us today!

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