Reading Dimensions on a Floor Plan

By | June 30, 2016

A dimension is the measurement of one point to another. In the case of an architectural floor plan, it is what guides a framer to build the building. So in fact, dimensions are one of the most important elements of a floor plan drawing. Without them there would be no way to determine the geometry of a building, the position of its interior walls, or its door and window locations.

Dimensions or dims for short, usually follow a logical order. This logical order is usually in steps extending out from the body of the plan to define the length or depth beginning with the exterior elements of the home.

The outermost or dimensions would be of the over all length and depth of the building. The next would be used to define any breaks or turns in the exterior walls. The third would be the distance between the exterior walls and the center or side of the interior walls. These would then carry on to the next interior wall until you reached the opposite exterior wall. The final dimension set of this group would then be from wall to opening which would either be a door or window.

Included with the outermost dimension, but not always linked to an interior wall dimension would be those of the decks and porches. The also sometimes have dimension lines placed to the porch posts or columns and to define stairs attached to the porch or deck.

The next logical dimension set then would be those dimensions which could not be defined from the exterior or outermost dimensions. These would be the interior walls and sometimes the dimensions to wall openings if they have to have a specific location in the wall.

The only other sets of dimensions would be those which defined the location of special fixtures like interior columns, cabinets, etc. Labels and notes are also part of this category which includes door and window sizes unless these are in a legend (list) somewhere else on the plan, cabinet sizes, fireplace types, and room names.

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