Did you know that 33% of potential buyers are less likely to enquire about a property when it doesn’t have an available floor plan? Although photos are helpful, actually seeing the space from a bird’s eye view is easier to understand.
Drawing a floor plan for your own home is also beneficial. This way, you can see elements of your design before anything becomes permanent—and all professionals will require one before construction begins anyway.
So, whether you’re renovating a part of your home or building from the ground up, you’ll need a floor plan to get the ball rolling.
What Is a Floor Plan?
A floor plan is a two-dimensional birdseye drawing of a room or floor of a building. They can be done by hand with engineering paper, or online with planning software.
Floor plans are different from blueprints, which are more technical and intended for engineering teams. Floor plans usually only show the interior spaces and include examples of where furniture would be placed.
Benefits of a Floor Plan
“Floor plans are more of a neutral backdrop for them to see what’s in the apartment and how the rooms relate to one another,” says realty marketing director Gerald Makowski.
Drawing out a floor plan before planning the space is not only helpful to you, but also to the architect and designer. A floor plan helps your professional team maximize the use of the land, plumbing, electricity, and overall design with a single sketch of the floor. Some other major benefits include:
- Help your professional team layout your ideas
- Allows for adjustments
- Displays measurements for features and furniture
- Creates a better relationship between buyer and seller
Unfortunately, floor plans don’t magically appear—so if you’d like to take a hand at drawing your own, here are some of the most important tips to draw your own floor plan.
Tips to Draw Your Own Floor Plan
Sketching is the easy part, but doing it right is a whole other process. By considering essential tips like measuring correctly, window directions, adding architectural details, and furniture placement, you’re more likely to have an accurate draft.
Tip #1: Essential Measuring Tips
First, begin by gathering measurements of each room in the floor plan. Measure side to side across the base of the wall and then floor to ceiling. When you take the numbers to the drawing board, use each box to represent one foot and round your measurements to the closest ¼ inch.
When mapping out your furniture ideas, keep in mind that the walkway between a piece of furniture and a wall should be 30 to 36 inches in residential spaces and 36 to 42 inches in commercial areas, which can help you determine the size of rooms, furniture, and hallways.
Tip #2: Always Map Out the Windows
Window arrangement might not be high on your priority list, but it should be! Where your windows sit will determine furniture placement, heating and cooling costs, and the types of window treatments you might opt to do.
North-facing windows receive the most sunlight year-round while east and west receive the most during summer. South-facing windows receive little at all, so unless you live in a hot climate, you might want to avoid putting important rooms on this side.
It’s always best to place furniture that faces the windows. You’ll also want to point screens away from them to prevent an unwanted glare. So, for example, your living room TV might sit on the same wall as the window while the couch is parallel.
Cooling and Heating Costs
Where your windows are can help determine your home’s cooling and heating costs. Up to 30% of heat gets lost through inefficient windows, so choosing a window treatment for your climate can help reduce high prices in extreme temperatures.
Tip #3: Don’t Forget Architectural Features
One of the worst things to do when you’re in the final stages of your floor plan is realizing you forgot to include architectural features.
Architectural features are parts of the space that won’t be removable, like built-in shelves, staircases, fireplaces, doorways, windows, and sometimes plumbing and electrical details.
Tip #4: Furniture Placement Is Essential
After you’ve added the essential parts of your floor plan, you can add sketches of what furniture pieces could fit. Keep in mind that furniture usually sits between two and three inches from the wall.
If you’re adding furniture that you already own, then take careful measurements of each item. If you plan on buying new pieces, then you have some creative freedom on what kinds of pieces to add to your plan.
Characteristics of a Well-Flowed Room
“When you do one room, you have to think about everything that touches it, all of the spaces that connect,” says designer Stephanie Henley on the importance of room flow.
A room’s flow refers to the natural route and relationship between doors, windows, and furniture. Think of it this way: when you walk into a room, the last thing you want is to bump into a desk or couch.
Some examples of a well-flowed room might refer to feng shui, which is the harmonization of elements. The rules of feng shui translate well to traditional Western design, including:
- Avoiding clutter
- Keeping a clear path to the entry door
- Maximizing natural light
- Using furniture that fits the space
By utilizing the room’s natural flow, you’ll be able to maximize your furniture and space.
Tip #5: Functioning in Small Spaces
If you’re designing a small or cramped space, then consider the essential aspects of your design. There are several things you can incorporate into your floor plan and design to make use of every inch of space, like:
- Pocket doors
- Recessed shelving
- Allowing maximum sunlight by drawing that face north, east, or west
- Integrating appliances into cabinet space
- Glass doors in bathrooms
When possible, doubling these pieces’ functions works best. “If you ensure that every piece of furniture in a room has a purpose, it becomes the most used room in the house,” says designer Cari Giannoulias.
When it comes to designing a floor plan, there are several factors you have to take into account, like design, functionality, and practicality. But most importantly, you have convey these critical elements into your floor plan.
So if you plan on drawing your own floor plan, always be sure to:
- Measure everything
- Map out the windows
- Add architectural features
- Consider furniture placement
- Maximize small spaces
After you’ve finished, you might wonder what’s next. The good news is that the team at Monster House Plans has architects and designers whose expertise is finalizing floor plans. By consulting with one of our building and designing professionals, you’re one step closer to bringing your floor plan to life.
Contact Monster House Plans today to get started!