A floor plan is a line drawing of a building's interior layout, outlining each area and basic features such as doorways, closets, rooms, windows, and lighting fixtures. Floor plans are drawn to scale and can be very simple or highly detailed. They give the exact measurements for walls, distance or thickness between walls, widths of windows and doorways, and they show placement of plumbing fixtures, utilities and appliances.
Detailed floor plans can include placement of electrical outlets, shelving, cabinets, ceiling fans, fireplaces, sinks, tubs, toilets and showers, stairs, garage doors, and exact measurements for the carpenters' use.
The purpose of a floor plan is to give the buyer a "picture" of the forthcoming addition, and to give the builder his guidelines. Sometimes, a buyer will still be creating after the builder has begun, but often new ideas can be incorporated. Looking at the plan makes it easier to see how extras can be accomplished.
Why Have a Floor Plan
Imagine you are looking down on a house with the roof taken off. You can see all the rooms at a glance. A floor plan gives you this advantage on paper, and you can even plan to make changes in it!
Floor plans help homeowners and their builders meet construction guidelines that will take the hassle out of passing inspection. They also give you an idea of the extent of your project—how big is it? How much will it cost? How much will it disrupt your life? All home additions are disruptive, but having a vision (on paper) can ease the pain.
In their unique way, floor plans are magic. They give you an opportunity to live in a new space with your eyes and your imagination. There are no limits to what you can foresee, as your new game room or mother-in-suite comes to life.
Important Plans Call for Insight
When you need a home addition or special project like a mother in law suite, you understand upfront that it is also an investment and should only gain in value over time, so it's vital that you have a plan that will meet your needs both in-house and in your pocket.
Home additions should blend with the existing structure and not appear to be afterthoughts. This is probably the most critical aspect of building on, because it can put property values on the line. Also, any roof design that accompanies your home upgrade should blend with the existing roof. Expansion of utilities for your new rooms should be thoughtfully executed. HVAC systems will need to accommodate the new space—so much to think about!
For example, if you had mother in law suite floor plan, it can guide you and your builder through all of these elements, not only giving you an excellent mental image of your project, but providing an opportunity to calculate expenses. Imagining an extra-large walk-in shower will lead your thinking straight to "how much is that?" Do you want carpet or hardwood, or something else? How much are those?
Visualizing upcoming improvements with floor plans gives homeowners the opportunity to maximize their investments. Important features such as tile floors, window styles (casement, bays, bows, Palladian—even greenhouse), and bath fixture placement are easy to imagine with a good floor plan.
What if there were French doors here leading to our mother-in-law suite? What if we could add a sauna? Where would it go? Can we plan for an over-sized closet? Yes, you can.
Floor plans will let you see exactly where you might place your new addition and how its placement will integrate with your whole house. You can readily see how distance and space might effect everyone in your home, and the new area can be designed to fit your needs.
A floor plan is a dream as big as your ingenuity and imagination. It's the ultimate in instant gratification!