From design to plans
Once you have created or found a design that you feel suits your needs, it will need to be translated into detailed plans. Plans have their own language, a collection of symbols and drawing conventions that allow builders to understand plans from any designer, architect, or engineer.
Every set of home plans contains numerous “sheets” that each convey a specific type of information:
Site plan — Shows the property boundaries and the building location on the property. Services such as sewer, water, and power connections are typically shown, as well as elevation marks to show drainage. Parking, walkways, and other elements may be included.
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Floor plan — Shows a fully dimensioned view of the building as if the roof were lifted off. Includes location and dimensions of all permanent elements, including the placement of all walls, doors, windows, stairs, counters, closets, appliances, and fixtures. For multi-level homes, there will be a separate floor plan for each floor.
Elevations — Shows the exterior of the home from all four sides, with no perspective. Includes overall dimensions, roofing and siding materials, door and window locations, and finished soil grades.
Sections — Shows the building as if it has been sawn-through vertically to reveal the details of the roof, walls, floors, and foundation assemblies. Multiple sections may be included to ensure that all assembly types and conditions are shown.
Details — Shows expanded drawings of any floor plan or section elements that require greater detail to understand. Often used to highlight specific structural connections or thermal/air/vapor control layer placement.
Mechanical drawings — Shows the placement of electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and routing. It is typical for each system to have its own drawing page. In some jurisdictions, HVAC drawings are required to include calculation sheets to show that the systems meet code requirements.