How to Read a Floorplan

Floor planThe floorplan is your first – and most detailed – introduction to your new Multi-Area Developments home.

Within its lines, curves and numbers, you’ll be able to gather such important information such as:

  • Room sizes
  • Door locations
  • Stair placement
  • Windows, walls and cabinetry settings

While floorplans are used by builders, architects, realtors and contractors, many new buyers aren’t able to properly decipher what new home features are actually represented on it.

Keeping that in mind, here’s a brief, easy-to-follow introduction on how to read a floor plan, using Summit Park single homes as examples.

What are you looking at, exactly?

A floor plan gives you a top-down, birds-eye view of the structure and layout of your home; in particular the relationship between rooms and spaces (like hallways).

Floor plans aren’t developed in 3D. So you aren’t going to get information about things like wall, door or window height.

Instead, you’ll be looking at things like which ways doors open, where you can put kitchen appliances, the length and width of each room in the house, etc.

Symbols and shapes

Throughout your floor plan, you’ll see certain shapes and symbols which are meant to tell you where things will be once the house is built.

That way, you won’t be surprised by things like a window where it shouldn’t be or a door in the wrong spot.

Some of the more common symbols and shapes are (click on each image to view a larger version):



  • A line with a curve underneath it represents a door and the direction is opens. In this example from Cambridge home design, the door in the bathroom opens inwards.


  • Also, did you notice the grid pattern? That indicates the floor of this bathroom will be tiled.




  • In the image taken from the Sherwood home design, the rectangular grids represent stairs and the rays on top of the grids are the direction of travel (either going up or going down).



Family room


At the top of this Florentine family room is a thick rectangle with lines inside of it.

That tells you where the window will be placed and how many panes the window will have.




Do you see the dotted line in the Malibu kitchen design?

That shows you where upper cabinet space will be located.





Finally, within some individual rooms are shapes or symbols of fixtures which go into that particular space. For example:



This Glen Abbey ensuite design clearly indicates where the shower will be (top left), the bathtub (top right), dual his-and-hers sinks (bottom left) and toilet (bottom right).



Dinette kitchen


When you look at the kitchen for the Benvenuto home design, you’ll see where the dishwasher goes (marked by DW), the sink, the placement of your stove and fridge (next to the opt pantry).




What do all those abbreviations mean?

Scattered throughout the floor plans of our model homes are standard abbreviations which are used throughout the new home building industry.

Some of the more prevalent ones are:

  • WIC: Walk-in closet
  • W/D: Washer and dryer
  • WIP: Walk-in pantry
  • STOR: Storage area
  • DN: Down (as it relates to stairs)
  • LN: Linen closet
  • OPT: Optional features

Got any more questions? We want to hear them

That was just a quick introduction on how to read the floor plans of your new home.

Floor plans are incredibly important, because they set the foundation for where everything goes, how big rooms will be and how you can get from one place to another.

So being able to understand them can go a long way towards helping you get the right home for your family.

If you want to know more about our home designs , we have a few ways for you to contact us:

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