Keep in mind that the plans are drawn as though you are looking down at the suite. A key plate in a corner of the drawing shows with a shaded area where the suite is situated in relation to the building’s floor plate.
Even when potential condominium purchasers have the opportunity to walk through model suites, they often choose their layout from floorplans — and that means learning to read symbols and abbreviations in order to envision the finished suite.
Condo builders have their own styles of marketing drawings, but there are conventions that most use. Keep in mind that the plans are drawn as though you are looking down at the suite. A key plate in a corner of the drawing shows with a shaded area where the suite is situated in relation to the building’s floor plate. Sometimes the floorplan will indicate which floors a particular suite is available on. The overall square footage of the suite is noted as well.
Room dimensions are shown with the width first, then the length, and little arrows indicate from which walls those measurements are taken. Thicker wall lines mean there is structure, electrical and/or plumbing contained within. These are walls that cannot be moved.
Some builders situate the front door at the bottom of the page so the floorplan flows upward, but I’ve seen plans by other builders where the door is at the side or top. The door icon indicates the swing of the door. Sliding doors to the balcony or terrace are shown with thin, overlapping rectangular representations. A dotted line in the coat closet indicates where the hanging rod will be.
Sometimes the floor of a room is blank. This usually indicates carpeting. If there are parallel lines, that’s hardwood or laminate flooring in the main living area. Hatching or squares show a tiled floor.
In the kitchen, a square with four round circles represents the stove. There is also a square for the fridge, and a dotted square on the counter shows the dishwasher. The icon for kitchen sinks has tiny circles where the drains are. A dotted line through the middle of the counter indicates where uppers are located. An island with a dotted line around one edge indicates a breakfast bar overhang.
In the laundry area, “W/D” means washer and dryer, and “LIN” stands for linen closet. Square boxes with “X” in them depict fan coil units for distributing heating and cooling. In the bedroom area, “WIC” stands for walk-in closet.
These are just some of the commonly used conventions. If purchasing from plans is new to you, ask your sales representative to explain anything that isn’t clear. Then envision your life in a beautiful new suite.
Linda Mitchell is vice-president of marketing, high-rise for Monarch Corporation. In 2005, Linda was presented with the coveted OHBA SAMMY (Sales and Marketing Member of the Year) award. In 2003, she received the Riley Brethour Award acknowledging outstanding and consistent professional achievement in residential sales and marketing.