Floor plans are often the bread and butter of any construction project. They provide a starting point for a proposal, and offer a visual representation of what a finished project will look like.

Architects use many views during the drawing process, but the birds-eye view floor plan is the one most are familiar with, and they’re often shared on the websites of estate agents to offer some perspective for potential buyers.

Floor plans will generally include several features:

  • Interior and exterior walls
  • Rooms and room type proposals (e.g bedroom, bathroom, utility room, kitchen etc)
  • Hallways
  • Dimensions of each room and feature
  • Appliances such as boilers, washing machines, and cookers
  • Windows and doors
  • Stairs
  • Interior features such as fireplaces, baths, and showers.

It is extremely important for architects to provide detailed floor plans. They can be used for reference throughout the project, and although some aspects of the finished project may be changed over time, floor plans can be referred back to in the event that any completed project causes a dispute.

How are floor plans created?

A picture of someone working on floor plans on a laptop and in a booklet

The architectural drawing process will differ for every project, but floor plans usually have a similar drawing process. Let’s imagine that a building already exists, but we’re planning to change it into offices or apartments. Architects or interior designers will firstly go to the building to inspect the spaces they will be working with (if there’s no building yet, they’ll probably visit the site and liaise with builders and clients to come up with measurements).

Once the interior spaces have been thoroughly checked, measurements of current interior and exterior walls will need to be taken, as well as measurements for new walls, windows and doors, interior features and so on.

Once measurements have been made, it’s back to the drawing board (literally) to begin constructing the floor plan. Walls will always be drawn first, with doors, windows and interior features added afterwards. Where appropriate, the floor plan might contain furniture or designated areas of rooms – computers in an office, for example, or desks for colleagues.

What other types of architectural drawings are there?

While floor plans are the most common and well known type of architectural drawing, they are by no means the only type. Depending on the project, a floor plan will be one of many drawings needed for either a proposal or later stage in the project. Let’s take a look at other common drawings.

Elevations

Elevations are external drawings of a building. They are often used in the conceptual stage of the project to give an indication of what a building will look like when it’s finished. Elevations are particularly useful for unconventionally shaped buildings, as they allow for more visual clarity than a regular rectangular floor plan.

Architects will often use directional adjectives when referring to an elevation, such as ‘east elevation’; this simply means that the drawing is created from the perspective of a building facing east.

Cross-section drawing

The easiest way to think of a cross section drawing is to imagine a combination of a regular floor plan and an elevation. Like elevations, cross section drawings are from the perspective of somebody looking at the building from the side. This time, however, external walls are removed to show the rooms within. In this sense it is similar to a floor plan, as rooms and features are labelled accordingly.

Cross section drawings are essentially floor plans but from the side, rather than from a birds-eye view.

Site plans

For projects on a larger scale, site plans are essential. They will often be used when projects have multiple buildings and/or features, such as roads, paths, gates, and leisure facilities. Perhaps a hotel and its grounds are being developed, or a housing estate is being built.

Furthermore, site plans are necessary in urban places, or in other areas where the surrounding context is important. For example, site plans will need to consider surrounding buildings and roads, and illustrate solutions to any problems that may occur doing construction due to surrounding areas.

Construction Interior Design Ltd

We’ve been in business for over 25 years, and during that time we’ve created hundreds of drawings for projects of all sizes. We’ve worked with many high-profile clients including Cineworld, M&S, Next, and many more. We offer a range of services, from dry lining to student accommodation construction. Whatever your project may be, we would encourage you to come to us for a free consultation.

If you want to learn more about our architectural draughting service, or any other services we provide, feel free to give us a call on 01476 860800, or email us directly at andy@cidlimited.com and we’ll be more than happy to speak with you.