There are a few simple tricks to verify you are looking at a schematic floor plan that was created with attention by a professional. Let’s use this house as an example; two floors of gorgeous, spacious living and working areas with four large bedrooms, a functional mudroom, and more.
You could go on verbally describing the features and finesses but a high quality floor plan will do the same in a more compelling way, visually.
Blue-Sketch uses a thicker wall for the outside wall (6″ in the United States) and a thinner wall for all interior walls (4″). The 6″ comes from American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) guidelines for residential real estate measurements. This makes our area estimate more accurate, and gives the overall floor plan a more realistic feel.
Whenever there is a wall on the floor plan it is a floor-to-ceiling wall. If there are openings in the wall we would use a window to indicate that.
A rule of thumb with placing windows on the floor plan: If all of the panes are inside the same window frame, draw that as one piece of window. The floor plan does not separate window panes. However if you have many windows placed side by side and they are all in separate frames, then the floor plan should indicate these as separate windows.
The window should be placed exactly in the middle of the wall if that’s how it is in real life. Windows that are wrapped around a corner should be positioned equal length from the corner.
Most interior doors are 28″, 30″, 32″, or 36″ wide. We’re using a 30″ interior door and a 36″ front door. Closet doors vary from 25″ to 55″. Doors are often either in the middle of a wall, or in a corner. If the door is in a corner, for example at the end of a hallway, and has other doors nearby they should all be placed from an equal distances from the corners they share.
If you have two doors on the opposite sides of a hall make sure they are aligned and face each other 100%.
If the house has french doors they typically always open to the same direction – either in or out – through out the house. Also it’s uncommon to find french doors that vary in width, the developer or house manufacturer likely ordered all of their doors from the same provider.
Pocket doors, sliding doors, and bi-folding doors should have separate icons so they can be distinguished.
Stairs are drawn as close to the original as possible but always that’s not possible. What’s important with the stairs is to roughly indicate the number of steps, their direction, and shape.
There is no industry rule on how to point the direction arrow on stairs, at Blue-Sketch the arrow is always pointing up towards the upper level. There is however an ANSI rule on including square footage: Always include square footage under the stairs that are descending from a level.
Fireplaces is drawn where it takes up real estate; normally there is a small part of the chimney – the Breast – built to come into the room. Most of the actual chimney is on the outside.
The Fireplace should only take as much space on the floor plan as it does in real life. The slip in front of the fireplace should not be drawn as fireplace, as that is actual usable floor space.
The floor plan should indicate main appliances in the kitchen: Refrigerator, dishwasher, oven/stove, and the sink. These appliances are hooked to water and electricity and are not easily moved around. Kitchen island and cabinets can be marked with a simple white icon. In this example we labeled the Refrigerator and Oven on clients request.
Blue-Sketch default colors indicate bathrooms, mudrooms, and laundry rooms with blue colors. This is a quick way to see where water outlets are in the house (with the exception of kitchen).
Schematic floor plan is not intended to give information on plumbing and wiring but placing the washer and dryer in their right places inside the laundry room helps home buyer identify these locations.
Most bathrooms are simple rooms with a toilet seat, vanity sink, a bathtub or a shower. Sometimes, as in our example, the Master Bathroom has more complicated structures. The built-in spa style bath tub is surrounded by a white area indicating a built-in elevation.
The vanity structure is wrapped around two walls and indicated in white, as throughout the house any built-in structures that will remain there for the next family.
There are no rules for naming rooms but there are some conventional guidelines that real estate professionals would like to see in their floor plans. When you first enter a house, you are entering a Foyer, or with a large house this area could be Grand Entrance. Very likely you will have a Living Room and a Dining Room close to the entrance. This makes entertaining easy. There will also be a small Powder Room. Sometimes an Office is replacing one of these rooms.
If there’s a small space between the Kitchen and the Dining Room, that would be the Butler’s Pantry. The real Pantry where food stock items are located is attached to the Kitchen.
A large living area which may be directly or indirectly connected to the Kitchen and Breakfast Room is the Family Room.
A side entrance either with or without a water outlet is a Mudroom.
One of the Bedrooms will be Master Bedroom, with an Ensuite or Master Bathroom. Other Bedrooms may be numbered.
If a room has a built-in closet it is a Bedroom, unless it is on ground level with large windows in which case it could be an Office.
In very large houses you may also have a Media Room, Den, Recreation Room, Exercising Room, Wine Cellar, a Workshop and a Bonus Room.In the basement you may find a Utility Room or a Mechanical Room.
Rooms should always be labeled generically so that whoever is buying a house immediately can feel at home, regardless of their family status.
The purpose of indicative measurements in a schematic floor plan is to give the home buyer a grasp of the sizes of the rooms, and also to be able to plan for furniture. Measurements should always follow the same logic, at Blue-Sketch we place the horizontal measurement first, vertical second. Inches are rounded down to the nearest full inch.
Many Bedrooms have a built-in closet on a wall adjacent to the door. It’s ok to use either the longer wall without the closet, or the shorter wall where closet cuts of some of the length, but this should be a systematic approach in each bedroom.
Bathrooms and Powder Rooms do not necessarily need measurements, they are small rooms and the additional letters and numbers make them look even smaller. A visual estimation is often enough to understand if a bathroom is “big” or “small”. Home buyers rarely plan to bring furniture into the bathrooms. If there’s enough room in the Master Bathroom then there is no harm in adding the measurements there.
Creating high quality floor plans is not difficult, it just takes concentration, experience and a little bit of time. When you’re listing Luxury Real Estate you want to display professional photographs, why not a professional Floor Plan.
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