What Are Home Floor Plans?

Home plans refer to line drawings, usually drawn to scale.

Selecting a Floor Plan

The floor plan of a home should reflect the homeowner's needs and lifestyle.The floor plan of a home should reflect the homeowner's needs and lifestyle.
The plans illustrate the overhead view of rooms' layout on each floor of a home. Usually, an architect or engineer creates the drawing. Do not confuse home floor plans with construction plans or the complete set of blueprints required to construct a home, which must include individual floor plans, cross-section illustrations, electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning plans and other diagrams. Many people buy stock plans from a building plan distributor. Other home buyers commission an architect to create custom home floor plans. Another option entails customizing stock home floor plans.

When deciding what type of home to build, homeowners usually start with the style of the home desired, such as ranch, chalet, Dutch or other style. Some other decisions consist of determining the number of floors, budget, the size of the home and the number of rooms the home will have. In addition, the homebuyer needs to consider things like whether they want a basement of attic, whether they will work out of the home or if an elderly or handicapped person will reside in the dwelling. Another factor to ponder is how the structure fits with the other homes in the neighborhood. Also, consider if you want to have the possibility of expanding the house in the future.

Code Requirements for Floor Plans

Contact your local building code department to find the requirements for meeting the regulations and getting a building permit. Usually home floor plans need the stamp of a licensed architect or engineer. The stamp certifies the plans meet the local building code requirements. Most plans adhere to specifications as established by the building officials and code administrators. In addition, the plans must meet the codes of the state, including zoning, fire and other regulations. Some elements of the plans decided by local authorities may include snow loads, wind loads, seismic strength and energy efficiency.

Home Floor Plan Views

The typical floor plan has a view of interior walls, hallways, bathrooms, windows, doors and appliances. The exterior view of windows and doors has the size shape, style, dimension and colors. In addition, the plan depicts amenities such as fireplaces, whirlpools tubs and the location of major appliances. The exterior illustration includes the elevation or outside walls. It comprises a scale rendition of the front, rear and side views. The house floor plans may also include the height of the structure and exterior building materials and colors. The plan may also list the roofing material, equipment and architecture architectural details of the structure.

Selecting a Floor Plan

Stock home floor plans have the basics requirements of all home plans, but without the hassle and expense of designing a home from scratch. Many homeowners select stock plan when choices within a subdivision do not suit their tastes. Many designers of stock home floor plans also offer plans for duplex and multi-family houses. Sometimes, it is difficult to find the exact house floor plans in stock houses; therefore, customized plans enable homeowners to have a home build to their exact specifications. Homeowners can discuss design elements with the designer, receive direct advice on various aspects of home building and receive feedback on their thoughts.

About the Author

John Landers has a bachelor's degree in business administration. He worked several years as a senior manager in the housing industry before pursuing his passion to become a writer. He has researched and written articles on a wide variety of interesting subjects for an array of clients. He loves penning pieces on subjects related to business, health, law and technology.