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Floor Plans – finalizing before blueprints

March 16, 2014

floor-plan-reviewThe floor plan is the most common of all architectural drawings that tells us the most about a house.  This process can take a few meetings to fine tune the drawings and to ensure the specifications are exactly what you want before going to your architect to prepare the final construction drawings (blueprints).

The overall floor plan gives a flattened, two-dimensional bird’s-eye view of the home. Each room is shown including the walls, doors & windows, cabinets, appliances, plumbing fixtures, furniture placement and fireplace. The stairway is another very important architectural element since they take up a significant amount of floor space and have an effect on headroom – so accurately showing the stair in plan and indicating the direction of travel (either up or down) is very important. From width to riser height to tread width and railing issues, no stair should be designed without a thorough understanding of building codes.  At Lexis Homes we provide an extensive checklist of items to review at this stage before the final set of construction drawings are completed. We make sure to go over things like: location of attic access doors, location of teleposts in the basement, future deck location, door and window sizes, venting and placement, door widths and swings, and planning electrical locations.

Understanding traditional 2-D floor plans and elevations can be difficult – this is because you’re looking at just one view of the home.  The best way to understand a floor plan is to put yourself in it and “walk” around the home. As you take this virtual walk, record what you see and feel and how you get from room to room. Another way to understand the plan is to virtually put yourself in the middle of a room and record what you see as you look in at least four directions.  At Lexis Homes our in-house interior designer will also prepare 3-dimensional renderings to help visualize key rooms in multiple perspectives including exterior views and roof lines. We find it’s a fast and efficient way to get our homeowners involved in every part of the design process, and also helps save time and money by allowing them to virtually walk through the home before even approving any specs or designs, and helps reduce the amount of changes during actual construction.   Throughout this process we also make sure that you are within your established budget before moving forward by providing you with price check ups.  Once the final floor plans are approved, its time to develop the very detailed construction plans or “blue prints” that will be required for submitting with the permit application.

 Remember, mistakes made in the early vision phase cost nothing. Mistakes made in the design phase will cost you time. But carry those mistakes through to the building phase, and they could end up costing you more than your budget can even consider.   When working with your Saskatoon home builder, the more you understand the look and feel of your floor plan design, the more comfortable you’ll be at making decisions before construction even begins and will help to minimize unnecessary costs and delays.

 In a future post we will discuss the various stages of the Construction Phase, where all the planning and preparation starts to pay off.

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