Understanding Building Plans

reading building plans

building plan

A building plan is a drawing that outlines things like the site plan, floor plan, and other details of the building to make construction easy. These drawings are essential because they help to make real what the architect envisioned. Many prospective homeowners are not familiar with building plans, a fact that frustrates constructors and architects as they work on your project.

In Townsville, before the contractors begin making new homes, they have to discuss what the plan is with the homeowner. That way, they understand how complex the project is and what is expected of them.

Site plans

No constructor will begin working without presenting a site plan. Site plans are drawings of the whole apartment or building. It displays the boundaries of the properties and how one accesses the site. It will also show the structures that are close by that impact design. The plan can also reveal details like sewer lines, exterior lighting, communication cables, and drainage. The plan helps to decide the orientation, layout and size of the new building.

Note that most local regions have development codes that impose restrictions. Every site plan must lie within these restrictions. It will be used to pursue permission from the body responsible, which is why it needs to be prepared by a professional surveyor, architect or engineer.

Floor plans

floor plan

The floor plan shows a view of the building from the top. It displays the appearance of the spaces inside and can be defined as projections of the structure on a horizontal plane. A floor plan will display doors, windows, walls and similar features. It is typically presented in 2D although nowadays, some projects present with a 3D plan to help the homeowner to conceptualise.

Cross section

In geometry, cross sections are horizontal projections on vertical planes. This plan cuts the building vertically to show details of thickness and dimension. One is also able to see floor height, sill and lintel height, and other structural details. The point at which the plan cuts is represented using a dotted line in 2D plans.


This drawing displays one side and is meant to help one see how the finished look will appear. The external elevation will be 3D or 2D and show details of the outside of the building including any projections, finishes and the height of the floor. They allow one to see how elements like lights and doors relate. Internal elevation, on the other hand, shows the details of rooms like the kitchen. With this plan, one can decide whether the house will give them peace or not. They can see details like the floor patterns, types of lighting and furniture designs.

In the end, while contractors and architects can break down the contents of the site plan, it is essential to learn how to understand them. At the very least, know how to interpret the main components of the design. This knowledge will allow you as the homeowner to raise concerns and questions all through the construction phases.

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