How to Read House Plans?

If you have never even glimpsed a set of house plans, then you might struggle with understanding what is set out before you. It is definitely a learned art, and unless you are a skilled builder or architect, the language of the layout can be difficult to comprehend. While they used to be termed blueprints signifying the blue lines printed on white paper, today’s house plans are more often than not viewed online for ease.

A set of standard house plans or a drawing set which comply with Australian standards will communicate everything a builder needs to know about your home. It not only covers the room layout, but it will also detail such things as plumbing and electrical specifications.

What does a set of house plans include?

A set of house plans may encompass:

·         A sketch of the finished exterior

·         Floor plans showing walls, rooms, stairs, window, doors, electrical outlets and fixtures

·         Roof plans detailing the slopes and outline of the exterior roof

·         Wall details showing insulation materials for the floor, ceiling and walls

·         Interior elevations including vertical wall measurements and built-in cupboards

·         Exterior elevations providing measurements of the four sides of the house

·         Structural plans will include trusses and framing for second and third floors

House plans are always drawn to scale, shown as 1:100 for example, and the actual scale will be noted on the title block along with the details of the architect, the date and other pertinent information.

Your house plans will also contain a myriad of standard symbols that can be identified by any builder or architect in Australia. Symbols will represent doors, windows and electrical outlets to name a few. Your house plans will also detail the materials and finishes used in the floor, walls and on countertops.

Important basics of a house plan

At first glance, you can’t help but notice the walls which are indicated by parallel lines. Breaks in the walls will indicate openings between rooms, adjoining doors and windows.

Key fixtures and fittings will be pretty easy to interpret. They will include toilets, fridges, sinks, ovens and bathtubs. You may find that beds, sofas and dining rooms are added to the plan for context and scale. This will help you imagine what the room looks like when complete.

The specific type of flooring may be marked by drawings of wooden planks or square-shaped or rectangular tiles.

If you struggle to understand what you are viewing, your architect or builder will be more than happy to answer any questions. While it may look complicated to amend if there is an issue, it is much simpler adjusting a set of house plans than demolishing a newly built house and starting again.