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Everything You Need to Know about Reading an HDB Floor Plan

Everything You Need to Know about Reading an HDB Floor Plan

The thrills of buying a new house are numerous. You have the perfect vision in your head and you can’t wait to start the exploration process. If you’re buying a finished HDB apartment, you’ll have a good idea about its appearance. How about an apartment that’s in the process of getting constructed, however? To know exactly what it would look like, you’ll have to learn how to read an HDB floor plan.

The floor plan is a representation of the entire surface area of the property. It pinpoints the walls, doors, windows, rooms and balconies. Just like other plans and diagrams, it utilises symbols. This is where things can get a big complicated.

Learning how to read a floor plan will prove to be invaluable when buying or planning interior design work in Singapore. Here are the basics to master in order to get the most information out of the diagram.

Floor Layout

Before going into specifics, you’ll have to take a look at the big picture. The floor plan represents the layout of the apartment – the number of rooms, their position, how you go from one room to another, whether you have a balcony, etc.

A well-made HDB apartment floor plan should pinpoint every single area and label it clearly. When looking at the floor plan, you should be capable of picturing yourself walking through the front door and knowing exactly what’s ahead of you.

Usually, floor plans will have labels for each of the rooms – bedroom, living room, kitchen, master bedroom, walk-in closet, balcony. Knowing how the rooms are positioned in relationship to each other is crucial for ensuring the functional appeal and cosiness of the home.

A few other things to pay attention to include the nature of the layout and the size of the rooms. Are there too many oddly shaped rooms or corridors in the plan? If so, furniture shopping and doing repairs can be difficult. You should also pay attention to the sizes of individual rooms. While the plan could fool you into thinking that the apartment is large, tiny and crammed rooms aren’t going to help for the creation of the most comfortable living space.

The Wall Symbols

Floor plans designate the walls and the type of wall you’re seeing. Obviously, different symbols will be used for the purpose:

  • Structural walls: these appear as bold lines on the floor plan. The structural wall is the one that carries the weight of the building. As such, it cannot be demolished for the purpose of opening up the room.
  • Non-structural walls: indicated by a thin line, these are the walls that can be carved or destroyed completely as a part of the residential renovation you’re going to carry out before moving in. Usually, non-structural walls are needed to separate one part of the apartment from another.

Windows, Doors and Other Symbols of Importance

A good floor plan will give you a lot more information, helping you communicate your needs and desires to your interior design should you design to hire one.

A quarter circle is the symbol for a door. The bold line represents the door itself and the arc shows the way in which it opens and moves. Thus, you get information about the placement of the door and how exactly rooms are connected to each other.

The main door is designated as a slightly larger symbol than the interior doors that connect one room to another.

Whenever the door appears as a dotted line on the floor plan, it’s not going to be provided when the owner gets the key to the HDB apartment. They will be responsible for choosing and buying their own doors.

As far as windows go, there are a few distinct possibilities.

Casement windows look like a bolded line on the wall with two quarter-circles for each representing the direction of the window being opened. A thin hollow line by the wall is indicative of a sliding window. Thus, you will get information about both the type of the window and the way in which it opens.

In some cases, the floor plan will provide information about the height and width of the window. This information is very important (just like the direction of the wall on which the window is positioned) because it can help you determine the amount of light that’s going to be entering the flat.

Finally, look for PES on the floor plan. This is a specialised indicator for HDB flats. PES stands for private enclosed space. This is a private outdoor area that belongs to the respective unit, hence you have usage rights. Depending on the layout and the size of the building, the dimensions and the shape of the PES could vary significantly from one floor plan to another.

These are the main essentials to master when reading the floor plan of an HDB apartment. Occasionally, floor plans can be more intricate and provided with additional details or symbols. While such floor plans are very useful in terms of learning exactly what you’ll be getting yourself into, they can be difficult to read.

If you have a trusted interior designer that you’ve worked with in the past, you may want to get their opinion on the HDB apartment floor plan. Professionals in the world of construction and renovations can extract a lot more information from the diagram and provide viable suggestions in terms of buying and renovating.

Home Guide is a Singapore interior design company that has extensive experience in residential interior design, renovations and HDB flat modifications. We can help you complete every single step of buying your HDB flat successfully. From reading the home plan to carrying out the right upgrades, we will be there to lend a helping hand.

Don’t hesitate to learn more about our work by exploring the Home Guide portfolio or contact us today!

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