How to Draw a Floor Plan to Scale
Drawing a floor plan to scale is a critical part of the design process and can be greatly helpful for visualizing things like furniture layout. To draw a floor plan to scale, follow these instructions.
Steps
- 1Measure the length of the longest wall. If you’re making a floor plan of an actual physical space (as opposed to something you’re designing or imagining), measure it with a tape measure.
- 2Scale this measurement down so that it will fit onto a sheet of graph paper. First, count the number of squares on the longest side of the graph paper (ex. 39 squares); this is the side that will accommodate the longest part of the plan. Then, scale down the length of the wall by reducing it down to a smaller number. Dividing it evenly is preferable, as it’s much easier to remember that one square equals 1 meter as opposed to, say, 1.27 meters, but if the length of the wall isn’t cleanly divisible, you may have to have an imperfect scale.
If you need additional guidance, see examples in both feet and meters below.- If the wall measures an even number of units (ex. 90 feet), try dividing it by 2, 3, 4, etc. and seeing if the resulting number is smaller than the number of squares. (90 feet divided by 2 is 45 – too large to fit across 39 squares. 90 feet divided by 3, on the other hand, is 30, which will fit nicely across 39 squares with room to spare.)
- If the wall measures an odd number of units (ex. 81) try dividing by 3, 5, etc. and seeing if the resulting number is smaller than the number of squares. (81 feet divided by 3 is 27, which will fit across 39 squares with room to spare.)
- If the wall measures a number of units that is smaller than the number of squares (ex. 27 meters), you can scale it to 1 unit per square. (1 meter = 1 square, making that wall 27 squares long).
- If the number of units is very small and would result in a tiny drawing (ex. 15 meters across 15 squares, leaving most of the page blank), try doubling or otherwise increasing the number of squares used to depict each unit. (1 meter over 2 squares would make that wall 30 squares long).
- If you aren’t happy with the size your simplified scale produces or the number simply won’t divide evenly (ex. 89 feet), try dividing the larger number by the smaller one. However, unless you want the wall to take up the entire length of the graph paper, don’t include the full number of squares in your calculation; leave at least one square on either side so that your floor plan doesn’t get messy (i.e. subtract 2 squares). (89 feet divided by 37 squares is 2.4 feet – or nearly 2’5” – per square, making that length of wall 37 squares long and leaving one empty square on either side of the drawing.)
- 3Measure the length of the other walls and convert these measurements to your scale. If, for example, you determined that each square equals 3 feet, a wall measuring 40 feet would be 13 ^{1}/_{3} squares long (because 40 divided by 3 = 13 ^{1}/_{3}); if you determined that each square equals 1 meter, a wall measuring 18 meters would be 18 squares long.
- 4Measure the length of each door and window opening (without frames) and convert these measurements to your scale.
- 5Incorporate all walls, windows, and doors on your floor plan. Draw each window as double lines and each doors as a line (i.e. the fully-opened door) with an arc (i.e. the actual swing path of the door; useful when trying to place furniture).
- 6Measure the length and widths of all built-in fixtures (such as counters), convert the scale, and add them to your plan.
- 7If desired, you can add movable furniture to the floor plan.
- Measure the length and width of each piece of furniture for this room and convert the scale.
- Draw the furniture on another sheet of graph paper.
- Cut out the individual pieces of furniture with scissors.
- Glue or tape the cut outs onto a piece of cardboard for weight.
- Move the cut-out furniture around your floor plan to decide on a suitable arrangement.
Warnings
- If your graph paper is rectangular, you may find that even though you’ve scaled down the longest wall so that it can fit on the longest side of the paper, the shorter wall may not fit across the shorter side. If your graph paper is rectangular but the shape of the space you’ll be drawing is fairly square, be sure to scale it down a bit extra so that both the length and the width fit on the paper.
Things You'll Need
- Graphing paper
- Tape measure
- Pencil
- Calculator (optional)
- Scissors (optional)
- Cardboard (optional)
- Glue stick or scotch tape (optional)
Article Info
Categories: Build Design & Remodel Own Home