If you’re looking at designing or modifying the layout of a home, knowing the basics of how to sketch floor plans will help you create a vision for the home you want to build. Floor plans serve as a map of a building or room, which can help home buyers tell architects precisely what they want. Find out the basics of floor plans and translate your home design ideas to tangible paper-based or computer-based designs that will save time and money down the road.

What Is a Floor Plan?

how to draw floor plans

Image via Flickr by maryjohum

Floor plans are a two-dimensional drawing of the layout of a home or a room on paper or a three-dimensional rendering created using a computer program. They can be drawn to scale on graphing paper and illustrate how the rooms and living spaces connect. Floor plans are an excellent way to test design ideas before beginning the blueprint drafting process, allowing you to create designs or sketch out ideas.

Floor plans help bring your ideas to paper, showing the lines, measurements, and placement of fixtures and other objects in your future home. Floor plans allow easy adjustments and alert you to potential issues early in the process. Having a floor plan also is economical, allowing a clear line of communication with the home builder and making materials and labor planning easier. Floor plans can also help by providing an overview that can guide shopping for homes and modifying spaces.

Floor plans can be simple drawings with pencil on graphing paper or artistic renderings with colorful details like furniture, rugs, appliances, and even house plants. Check out a wide variety of Northwest Indiana home plans for many price points, styles, and sizes created by Steiner Homes.

What Information Should I Include on a Floor Plan?

Preparing for the initial sketches of a floor plan will help you translate your vision of living and working space into plans that give key information to home builders. Include the dimensions of all spaces, even hallways, the basement, and the garage. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, closets, and other areas should indicate room layout and how they flow with staircases and hallways. In addition to mapping the rooms and spaces, be sure to include any doorways and their width, window sizes and locations, and entryways. Including these will help you determine furniture placement and envision how the rooms will function.

Permanent fixtures are also important to include in floor plans. Decide where appliances will be located in the kitchen, as well as the location of the washer and dryer, fireplaces, and other fixtures. Separate floor plans are required for the basement and second story of a home. Steiner Homes offers many two-story home plans.

How Are Measurements Done?

The more accurate the measurements, the more quickly the architect can finalize the design of the home and move on to the next step. The exterior dimensions are needed before any other measurements are made. Interior walls should be measured corner-to-corner to the nearest quarter inch to ensure square footage calculations are accurate. Noting the height from floor to ceiling is also essential. Calculate the size of entryways as well as the placement and size of windows and doors. Details like which way the doors swing are helpful as well.

How Do You Draw the Plans?

Drawing floor plans can be done two-dimensionally on paper or by using three-dimensional design software. Floor plans may be for a single room or the entire home; each floor requires its own set of plans. For a two-dimensional floor plan, all you need is graphing paper, a pencil, a ruler, and an eraser.

Be mindful of dimensions and square footage. For those who draw the plans by hand, graphing paper can help with keeping to scale. It’s best to pencil in initial plans with light marks in case you need to erase and make changes. Draw to scale to maintain accuracy, following common styles for windows, doors, and other elements. Include space for furniture, utilities, and switches and outlets, ensuring everything fits and is accessible.

Consider the direction and placement of the house in the yard. Sunlight will change the appearance of the room and colors depending on which direction the windows face. Skylights may be a good idea to maximize natural light in areas that aren’t near a window.

If paper-and-pencil sketching isn’t working, look into software options to bring your plans to life. Numerous options exist, including ones that are free. Three-dimensional planning tools offer a way to experiment with designs and layouts and inspiration by viewing other plans online. Some software options create photo-realistic renderings of interiors and exteriors of homes, while others are geared toward users who want to experiment with various furniture and appliance layouts.

How Do You Create Quality Plans?

Floor plans serve as a starting point for designing a home, so the more information and accuracy, the better. Floor plans for a new home should show the flexibility of different spaces, such as a home office that is also able to serve as a bedroom.

Floor plans should show good home design, reflecting a layout that works well for everyday living. Bedrooms should be distanced from entertainment areas to keep sleeping spaces quieter. Kitchens should be closely connected to dining and living rooms and outdoor spaces like patios for entertaining. You should also consider where the best placement is for bathrooms and a laundry room.

Floor plans should reflect a balance between utility and design, taking budget and upkeep into account. Large windows could add beauty and light, but they also could add money to the construction budget, affect energy efficiency, and require a lot of cleaning. Finally, be sure to consider safety and convenience as well.

What Are the Advantages of Floor Plans?

Floor plans are useful from the initial sketching of home building ideas through marketing and resale in the future. They are beneficial communication tools to inform architects and home builders of your desired specifications. Floor plans are also excellent marketing tools for both new construction and existing homes that are for sale or rent.

Floor plans help people visualize how they could use space and are considered an essential part of a real estate sale or rental listings. Floor plans are also useful for illustrating adjustments to blueprints or remodeling of an existing home, providing detailed information to streamline the home-building process. If you’re interested in learning more about floor plans, contact the knowledgeable team at Steiner Homes, LTD. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have or help you get started.