Architectural Drawings, Home Designs and Home Building Plans

Before construction of a building can begin, specialized drawings must be created to illustrate what the design and dimensions of the building will be; allowing the designers, builders, and homeowners to know what the home should appear once it's finished. Some drawings are used to give a solid example of what ideas and concepts will look like when they are put into action. Other types of drawings are used as a practical reference when construction is underway.

Architectural Drawings

Architectural Drawings are in themselves a work of art. It is not uncommon for homeowners, after they have completed construction of their new home, to frame and display the architectural drawings as a decorative feature.

Professional architects use these drawings to comprehensively lay out their conceptualization of what the proposed structure will look like and to give them a tangible way to communicate their ideas to clients and other professionals. Since these drawings are created at the initial conceptualization phase, they are subject to being changed as the construction proceeds. These drawings can go through numerous drafts, leading to a final building that is drastically different from the first drawing.

Architectural drawings fall into four categories:

Survey drawings are created by land surveyors and are designed to show the features of the land on which a proposed building will sit. These drawings need to be accurate because they will form the basis of what architects will use to create their working drawings.

Working Drawings refer to the complete set of drawings used during the construction process. Some of these are location drawings, which give a sense of scale with elevations and detailed floor plans. Assembly drawings demonstrate how elements of a design, such as balustrades or staircase components, fit together in a design. Component drawings focus on an element of the home that can be created outside of the construction home and include doors and windows.

Record drawings are created to document historic buildings or those that are no longer standing and lost to history. The most famous example of these drawings is the Historic American Buildings Survey which was completed during the Great Depression to record all historical buildings across the United States.

Presentation drawings are the ones that may include model trees, vehicles or people as a way to illustrate in 3D what a proposed building will look like. Unlike the other drawings, these are usually not drawn to scale and they are crated for visual impact rather than authentically representing all aspects of a proposed building.

In the past, these drawings were created by hand using pen and ink and specially dyed paper known as blueprints. Today, they are most often created using Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) methods.

Home Designs and Home Building Plans

These terms are often use interchangeably and as a whole they refer to plans that depict a home as it was actually built. While architectural drawings depict the conceptual phase of home building, house plans represent the shape of the work as it will actually be undertaken. These working plans will include details on what materials will be used and the methods of installation that builder will use when constructing the home.

Home designs and home building plans usually fall into one of the following categories:

A Site Plan that shows the lot as a whole and its relationship to surrounding properties. These plans will show details like driveways, elevation changes and any easements on the property.

Multilevel homes will include a Floor Plan for each floor in the home. As construction moves from the foundation to higher levels, these plans focus solely on the floor that is being created. Even a single floor or ranch style home will have a floor plan that shows the layout of each section of the home. Any built-in feature of the home, such as cabinets or bookshelves will be detailed in the floor plan along with symbols for intended electrical features.

Elevations focus on the overall scale of the home, including roof height and pitch. These plans show the external features of the home, including finishing for the external walls and gutters. These plans are what detail the external style of the home, including whether it conforms into a particular architectural style.

A sectional drawing "cuts through" the internal workings of the home and details how they will be built. These drawings will look at elements including wiring and plumbing, and will determine how the inside of the home will dictate the other layers. In some cases, these drawings are used to illustrate build specifications for windows or doors.

Some plans are created to accommodate a specific type of lot, such as sloped, oddly-proportioned or narrow lots. Others are modified for unusual climate requirements, like homes on the Gulf of Mexico that are built on stilts in order to minimize damage done by storms and hurricanes.

Architectural drawings and house plans are used to document the process of home building from conception to completion. They detail the dimensions of the new home, what methods will be used to build it, and what finishes the homeowner wishes to place in the home.