As blogged on Hunker.com, any building is an extremely complex arrangement of structural members, mechanical systems, and finishes. In order for builders to turn an architect’s idea into an actual building, a complete set of several different kinds of construction plans is necessary. Local building authorities also require appropriate plans before they’ll issue a building permit, so a complete set of plans is a legal requirement as well as a practical one.
A floor plan is essentially an overhead view of a building or addition with the roof and upper floors removed, as if the viewer is looking down on the building from above. A floor plan shows the location of exterior and interior walls; it also typically shows the location of major features of the building, such as staircases, doors, windows, plumbing fixtures and major appliances. Floor plans usually also include room names and dimensions, and they may also include additional information such as square footage and ceiling heights. A foundation plan is similar to a floor plan, but a foundation plan shows details of the foundation’s structure, including foundation walls and slabs, footings, and support posts.
Like a floor plan, a framing plan is an overhead view of a structure, but a framing plan shows details of the building’s structural members, including roof rafters, trusses, ceiling and floor joists, and support beams and headers. Framing plans are used to help builders understand and lay out the complex structures of roofs and floors.
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