Why it is advantageous to understand your architectural plans.

4 November, 2019 | Mikala Chapman

Why it is advantageous to understand your architectural plans.

Why it is advantageous to have a good understanding of your architectural plans?

Building a new home can be one of the most important and costly undertakings you may make in your lifetime. That is why knowing what you are looking at when reading your architectural plans is vital to ensure that you get the exact home you want. 

So, what are the basics you need to know?

Everything you need to understand is contained within your plans, providing you have a full set of architectural documents. From the dimensions, to the construction plans, to the finished product PC & PS items, your plans contain all the details for your build.  A crucial aspect to familiarise yourself with is the legend, this explains the symbols the architect has used.

The legends page is where you begin to understand the architectural plans. Yes, the finished product looks good on paper, but until you understand the intricacies of it, you will not get the full picture as to how the house will fit you and your family’s needs.

Contained in the legend are some of the more recognisable symbols such as:

  • Doors
  • Windows


  • Walls

But some of the other important symbols depict items such as:

  • Air conditioning units
  • Hot water systems
  • Baths and sinks
  • Ovens


  • Built in cupboards

By understanding your architectural plans, you can begin to form a picture of how your new home will look and what needs changing before you are stuck with them for the foreseeable future.

Why you should get to know the basics?

By understanding your plans, you can avoid unwanted surprises during the build, like realising just how close the bathroom is to the kitchen. Making changes whilst still in the planning stage is much cheaper and easier to amend, rather than trying to make them once construction has begun. Some things you may not be able to change, but knowing the issues are going to be there is better than being blindsided.

There is more to understanding how your home will look when it’s completed than just knowing the dimensions of a room, or their proximity to each other. It is about the feel and look as well.

Simple things such as where the sun comes up and goes down in relation to the windows can influence the home’s feel. The heat of the blaring summer sun is not as pleasant as the warm sun of winter. Maybe you won’t be changing the window, but by having this insight you can consider whether you need to add a verandah, or it can have an influence over the types of plants you choose for the outside of that window.

Making slight changes early can make all the difference to how you feel about your greatest investment and set your mind at ease. Or, at the very least, allow you the foresight of what the issues are going to be.

There is no need to let yourself get overwhelmed by building your new home. Do some research and learn to understand your architectural plans. Not only will you find the plans less daunting, but any issues can be dealt with before construction starts and ends up costing you more money.

Never be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure. A good architect and builder will be only too happy to help you get your house perfect for you.

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