Note: The following information is most applicable to plain paper drawings. For computer generated drawings information see our Further Information page.
The Setup -
Now that you know how to interpret an architectural drawing and obviously know know what one looks like, let's begin a simple drawing. First be sure to have the basic tools. You will need:
|Pencil||T - Square (we'll get to this later)|
|Paper - 12" x 18"||Compass|
|Eraser||Two triangles - 30-60-90 and 45-90|
**Don't Panic! - These tools come in a special kit. I bought mine from Staples. The price ranges from $20 - $30. I recommend this because it is the easiest and most efficient way to create professional drawings. However, it is not absolutely essential, at least for beginners.
The T- Square is used for alignment purposes and straight lines. Use the T-Square to align your paper straight in the middle of the desk and tape it down.
Usually I begin by making a quarter of an inch border on the paper. This in involves the T-Square, one triangle, and the architectural scale. The scale is a fancy ruler. Use the side with 12". From the lower left edge of the paper place the T-Square in standard position. Standard position is as follows. The T-Square lies horizontally (so that the "T" is on its side) and the triangle rests above the T-Square. The scale lies in the right angle formed between the T-Square and triangle, therefore it is adjacent to both.
Using this procedure construct a quarter of an inch border around the entire paper. The paper is now set-up.
Traditionally, the drawing begins one inch from the lower left border lines and the outer walls are 0'-6" thick while the inner walls are 0'-4" thick. Construct the outer and inner walls like so: On this drawing, it is all of the lines except dimensions, furniture, the border and title block. The frame of the house is now done.
Windows and Doors
Construct the windows and doors according to their Length and Location as shown. It's that simple for windows and doors.
|Windows are recognized by this general symbol:||Doors have this general symbol|
In some houses there is no door connecting the dining and living rooms, but an "opening." Such openings are called hangovers and look just like openings on an architectural drawing
The dimensions of furniture are loose in the sense that you may add your furniture any which way you want (of course always looking through a bird's-eye view). Look for the Bedroom on this drawing. Note that there is usually a space between walls and furniture.
Sinks, toilets, and bathtubs are not considered "furniture." There are standard templates for these. Look for the bathroom on this drawing.
In a kitchen, floor cabinets are designated by the area of the countertop and "floating cabinets" (those above the sink and counter) are designated by dotted lines. Look at the kitchen in this example.
Stairs are usually less than 1'-0" in depth and eventually submerge or super-merge out of sight because they lead to another floor. We can conclude that in essence we would need another floor plan - for the other floor! Let's continue with one for now.
The only electrical "stuff" usually included is outlets. Anything more clutters the drawing making it difficult to read for architects and future architects like you and I. However, architects are some what responsible for acknowledging the electrical, plumbing, heat, etc. of a building in some way. For this, they use layer floor plans which are exact replicas of the original floor plan but it only includes the plumbing, electrical or heating.
Outlet symbols look like a small circle with two vertical lines protruding downward from the bottom of the circle. They are placed extending from a wall and there are usually no more than two in a room. It looks rather small on an actual floor plan.
Congratulations! Your floor plan is done!
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