How To Design A House Floor Plan: A To Z Guide


Once in a Lifetime work:

They say, ‘everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.’ The quote is all the more applicable, when it comes to owning a home/flat/apartment. Every individual dreaming of a home first builds it in his/her mind.

Most people, particularly in cities, buy a house i.e., a flat or an apartment. So, let’s learn about how to design a house floor plan. While you definitely give enough weightage to its location and cost with reference to your needs, evaluating and understanding the floor plan is a must for any house buyer. Unlike an individual house construction, when you buy a house, you don’t have a choice of creating your own design. The maximum scope you can have is to suggest modifications to the plan of the builders at an initial stage. You need to judge your flat not just by its size or, but you need to evaluate many factors before you decide to clear the payments and move in to the house. A floor plan is an integral part of the building process. It is more like construction of the house in the ‘mind’ and hence one has to be meticulous as well as cautious while making the floor plan.

It doesn’t matter if one plans to buy a house or an apartment or opts to build a house, it is very important to invest in a good house plan so that the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of making a house becomes an experience to cherish.

Why Good Floor Plan is Must?

A good and ideal floor plan is one that makes sure that there is efficient circulation, approach and access within the house. Undoubtedly, it is necessary for enhancing the quality of life of the dweller and also the life of the house. On the other hand, an unscientific floor plan will end up making your flat/apartment look stuffy, unwelcoming, dark and cramped. The major disadvantage of not paying attention to a good plan is that it brings down the worth of the house while reselling.

If you want to know about how to design a house floor plan for free, house floor plan design tips, new home floor plan ideas, tips for developing floor plan layout, how to design a tiny house floor plan, to have a better idea regarding the importance of selecting an ideal floor plan and how to get the right one for your house, make sure you scroll down through this post.

01. When Do You Evaluate Floor Plan?

The need to evaluate the floor plan arises when you plan to construct your house on a piece of land, which you already own or have just bought. In such a case, you will have your requirements ready for your new house and you may have to communicate the same to your architect. Hence an evaluation will start once the architect presents before you the concept design.

In the second instance, you may have to evaluate the floor plan when you decide to buy a ready flat.

As both differ in nature and character, we will discuss the evaluation of the plan for a new house in this blog. For evaluating the floor plan of a house, please read here. Here the evaluation will start, once the builder presents you the plan, via its catalogue or through the website Now Gharpedia will discuss the A to Z of evaluating the floor plan of a flat.

02. Why Is A Floor Plan Essential For A Flat?

Floor Plan of a Flat
  • Every individual dreaming of owning a house has ideas in his/her mind about the future home. With the help of a floor plan, you can easily turn the ideas into visuals, before buying. This gives clarity with regard to the design of the house.
  • Floor plans give you a brief idea about the space of every room with perfect measurements. This helps in the selection of the furniture with perfect design, size, and colour.
  • With a good and well-designed floor plan, it becomes easy and convenient to communicate the house design with the interior designer.

While designing your dream home, it is crucial to hire an architect/interior designer. Here are some of the reasons stating the same:

Let us now start our journey stating a number of vital techniques to evaluate your floor plan.

Essential Floor Plan Evaluation Techniques:

Are you thinking of buying a new flat, but confused with the selection of the right floor plan? Here are some essential techniques that would help you in the floor plan evaluation of your flat/apartment.

What are We Not Doing Here:

Remember, we are just evaluating the floor plan. We are neither discussing the structural design, method and technology of construction nor materials, finishes, cost, time, interiors, colours or even basic design philosophy. We are focusing on all practical aspects.

03. List Out The Activities

Are your kids active with indoor or outdoor games? Or do books attain the utmost importance in your house? The activities carried out in a family matter the most while working on the floor plans. So, gather your family and discuss the list of activities that are carried out in the family. Be it watching the television, meditation and yoga, music, reading, gardening, studying, or any other activity, your floor plan should support all the activities enthusiastically with all limitations.

04. Start With Working On The Zones And Size

Zoning in House Plans

An effective new house floor plan for a good house is divided into mainly four zones- the living area, work area, activity area and the sleeping area.

While doing a floor plan evaluation of your flat, it is advisable to start with a good floor plan visual by grouping the rooms according to particular zones altogether. Here, it is also crucial to read floor plan with dimensions. This grouping should be carried out with visual perspectives. For a clear idea for visual separation, try room dividers, shoji screens, and curtains. Wooden partitions for rooms also give a sophisticated appearance to rooms. Through audio separation, it becomes easy to work on thick walls, stairways, and closets. Working similarly with sleeping areas or private rooms and living rooms would help in separating the activities and noise carried out there.

05. Check Your Needs / Requirements

It is understood at this stage that you have the list ready for all your requirements.  Now, check whether all the rooms (bedrooms, master bedroom, toilets, kitchen, washroom, prayer room etc) that you want are included in the floor plan.

Check For the Following:

  • Living Area : Living Room, ladies’ sitting, Verandah/Entrance Foyer/Family lounge Balconies, Covered Terrace etc.
  • Work Area : Kitchen, Storeroom, Wash area, cloths drying area, Dining room
  • Sleeping Area : Bedrooms, with / without toilet, Children’s Bedroom, Senior citizen’s room, Guest room etc.
  • Activity Area : Home office, Puja room, Music / Yoga / Meditation room / Gymnasium / Sports room, Library, Study room, Home Theatre, Swimming pool etc.
  • Utilities : Bathroom, common basin for guests, Balconies, space for AC units, space for all gadgets.
  • Servant’s Room
  • Staircase

06. Size of Room Vis-a-Vis Total Built up Area

Size of Room vs Total Built up Area

Once you have decided on the number of rooms, it is time to decide on the size of the rooms and the total area. Now, comes the turn of the balancing exercise. You might want all of what you desired in your house, but everything comes at a cost. Tally the total area with the cost factor.

If it does not match, naturally you will have to let go of something.  Also, check the minimum width of all rooms, bathrooms, staircase, kitchen, passages as they will govern basic comfort in the house.

07. Carpet Area v/s Built-Up Area v/s Super Built-Up Area

The builder’s catalogue or architect’s plan generally shows the carpet area of a room. The sum of all room’s carpet area is the carpet area of the house. However, walls also occupy area and hence the area of the house enclosed within the walls i.e., including walls is called its built-up area. But, when you buy a flat, you are not the only flat holder on the floor. You share staircase and common passages etc with other flats on Pro-Rata basis. This is called super built-up area. An efficient house plan is one which has maximum carpet area/ super built-up area ratio/ efficiency. Normally it should be more than 65% and should not be less than 60%.

08. Total Area v/s Finishes v/s Cost

In case there is a huge imbalance between your requirements and the budget, then you may have to make some compromises in terms of the size of the rooms or in the interiors/finishes.

Many people want high-quality marble and flamboyant interiors. Always remember one thing, finishing of the rooms can be done even in the future, but if you decide to compromise on the size of the rooms to fit in the budget, getting the desirable size in the future will be a difficult task.

So it is always wise to have a reasonably large or optimum area and keep the room’s finishing for the future.

09. Statutory Regulations

Always ask your builder whether he has followed all statutory regulations i.e. margins from the boundary of land, maximum allowable footprint on the ground, minimum size / width of all rooms / balconies / bathrooms / passages / staircase etc. Any degree of violation of the rules will only invite trouble in the future. Also ask whether he has followed all guidelines pertaining to natural hazards like earthquake, fire, flood etc.

10. Staircase/ Common Passage/ Lift

Staircase / Lift / Common Passage Area of an apartment

Staircase and common passage become an important aspect of a home when you are buying a flat.

Ensure that the staircase is centrally placed and is easily accessible, and has enough light and ventilation. It should be easy to approach during emergencies like fire and should be wide enough to take more patients, dead bodies etc.

Also, check that it has a minimum width of 1.20 m (1’-1.5”) and to the extent possible 1.5”, i.e. 1.20 m. The rise should be 150 mm (6”) and treads minimum 300mm (12”).

11. Children’s Room – Senior Citizen’s Room

Children Room / Senior Citizen’s Room

Whether you have children/ senior citizens living with you or not, always plan a house that is children/ senior citizen-friendly.

12. Entry to the House : Foyer

Entrance Foyer

If you are buying a luxurious flat, then you would surely not want just about anyone entering your living room. Hence, it is always advisable to have a foyer or an entrance passage to your house. Evaluate this aspect while making your floor plan. You can also use this area for storing shoe rack, umbrella and many other things.

13. Flow of Functions

You should also make sure that you check the flow of the rooms, their locations with respect to each other, the flow of various functions and activities and household routines etc. while evaluating the floor plan of your flat.

14. Consider The Traffic Patterns Or Areas

Traffic Patterns in Floor Plan

Traffic patterns or areas are the paths to the rooms, hall, and kitchen, which remain crowded most of the time. With the help of traffic patterns, making convenient and controlled movements in the house is possible. Some key features to remember while considering the traffic pattern includes logical designing, zero interference with the furniture, separation between activity area and private area, avoiding diagonal movement, designing a central hall for controlling movements, preventing the living area and kitchen from getting merged, and much more.

15. To Suit Your Lifestyle

Life Style - Living Culture

Whenever you assess the flow of functions, always keep your “Lifestyle – Living Culture” at the back of the mind. Just do not blindly copy someone else’s style and always deliberate upon every requirement from your family and your personal perspective. If you do not enjoy bathing in a tub, avoid having one. Do not make space for a tub just because it symbolises luxury or your friend has it in his/her flat.

16. Calculate The Storage Space

Storage Space

Storage space takes care of your day-to-day needs. Hence, if the storage space is planned accordingly, it becomes easy to manage everything efficiently. For an effective storage space calculation and utilization, some things need to be kept in mind while designing. The storage space should acquire at least 4% to 10% of the total living area of the entire house. The storage spaces should be at a convenient height that is suitable for everyone in the house. The design of the storage should be used to the fullest. Hence, the storage spaces need to be flexible, multipurpose, and such that it remains safe from moths, dust, fire, etc.

Increasing storage space in your house is not a challenge for you if you look into this article:

17. Measure The Spaces

Every space plays an important role in the house. For any house, the traffic patterns and the storage spaces acquire too much of space due to door openings, cabinets, furniture, etc. Hence, it is essential to take proper floor plan design with measurements of the spaces even if it is small. Again, the spaces should be attractive as well as less prone to dirt, dust, water and mosquitoes and easy to clean and maintain.

18. Light, Air and Ventilation

Light, air, and ventilation in your flat

While floor plan evaluation, it is equally important to focus on the light, air, and ventilation for a healthy home. To end up with the best floor plan, focus on the building layout, ventilation techniques, shading, insulation facilities, thermal mass, interior and structural ventilation. Effective ventilation provides quality air to the entire house by circulating the air in the space, and reducing the temperature, humidity, smoke, bad odour etc.

Ventilation is a must for homes. To ensure good ventilation in your homes, here we have provided some tips for you: Tips to Ensure the Good Ventilation in Home!

19. Location of Doors / Windows:

Location of Doors or Windows in your flat

It is important to have windows on at least one side of a room. However, having windows on two sides will make sure there is enough cross ventilation for the maximum circulation of fresh air and natural light. For most flats, this will be difficult, but good architects do take care of this.

Also, check the size of the doors / windows.  Doors must have a minimum width of 750 mm and windows of optimum size depending on orientation i.e. direction it is facing and the local climate. Also, check the size of ventilators in the bathroom. They should not be too tiny. They must serve the purpose (min 4’0” * 2’6”) even for a small bathroom.

20. Cross Circulation In A Room

Cross Circulation In A Room

If any room has two doors, then they should be placed in such a way that they don’t divide the room, creating cross circulation. It is always better to avoid cross circulation so as to ensure effective utilisation of space and also easy functional furniture layout.

21. Location of Light Points And Switches

Location of Light points

Check the location of all fixtures like lights, table lamps, fans, air-conditioners, TV etc. See to it that they are at the right places. Rely on the judgement of your interior designer. See that switches are handy, not behind doors and large furniture. If you want “Two-way” switches, ask for it beforehand.  See to it that switchboards are not placed on RCC columns. They are neither too high nor too low. They should be out of reach of kids.

22. Aesthetics – 3D

Aesthetics in Home

Who does not want their house to be the best in their town or atleast in their locality? Though such a competition is not desirable, these instincts are always there.

Hence, along with the floor plan, evaluate 3D design from different directions.  This will give you a better understanding of how the house will eventually look. It is needless to add that good aesthetics always adds to the value of the house.

23. What Are Your Furniture Requirements

Furniture Requirements for your flat

The furniture you are planning to have in your house also needs to be considered while evaluating the floor plan. If some of the furniture is big for your new flat, it should be taken care of while designing the floor plan. You can measure the furniture and check how it can be accommodated in the house. If you are planning to purchase new furniture, you can work on the measurements of the space and furniture to get the right furniture, as per your needs.

24. Furniture/TV Layout

Furniture layout of flat

Always have a furniture layout in place, before you freeze your final floor plan. Place all furniture that you want, its size, space for moving around it, their location with relation to doors / windows, light fixtures, air-conditioners, fans, switches etc. Maintain a minimum distance of 10’ to 15’ (3.00 m to 4.50 m) between your TV and sofa set. Each room has to be dealt with individually depending upon the furniture that it will have.

25. Cupboard on External Walls

Always avoid having cupboards, wardrobes and other storage facilities on external walls, particularly if you are living in high rainfall area. This is because even slightly damp walls will damage your plywood and cupboard in the future.

26. Dry-Wet Areas in Bathroom

Dry-Wet Areas in Bathroom

Check the layout of all bathrooms. Make sure that the doors can be opened with comfort (inside) and the dry area (basin, Water Closet) and the wet areas (shower area) are separated properly.

Also, check the location of doors / windows as it affects privacy.

To design some luxurious bathrooms, have a glance at our article:

27. All Plumbing Lines In One Wall

Though this is not possible every time, see if all water supply and drainage lines are in one wall i.e. all fixtures on one wall. This will be the ideal layout of a bathroom. It is always desirable to have the basin, Water Closet and shower in one line/wall.

28. Bathroom For Guests – Basin Near Dining

For the comfort of guests and also for maintaining privacy always have at least one–half toilet (i.e. water closet + basin only) for guests and a wash basin near the dining area.

29. Illumination

You have already given a lot of care for natural light in all the rooms, but they is a need to assess it from the illumination aspect of all rooms, including all exterior areas during night time. Have switches located in the proper place for external light, water tanks, pumps etc.

30. Privacy

Everything in your house should be planned keeping privacy in mind. Privacy from neighbours, passers-by from adjoining roads or nearby apartments including privacy within the house must be maintained. Assess the location, and size of doors and windows in particular, with reference to neighbouring flats in all possible directions.

31. Security

Check the layout from the security point of view. Will it be possible to lock the house and go for a vacation for 7/15 days? Check from all aspects.

32. Parking

Parking space in your apartment

Parking spaces must be available in such a way that every vehicle, including even a cycle, owned by the family living in the house can be conveniently parked. If not planned properly you will end up parking your vehicles on the road and arguing with neighbour/traffic police regularly. Also, check whether the parking provision is there for all flat holders or not, though you might have bought one with a price.

33. Using Corners Effectively

One of the common mistakes carried out while evaluating the floor plan for a house is avoiding the corners and merely working on the centre or middle space. The corners are also essential while designing the floor plans. Many times, the corners are designed for adding a small storage area, decorative space, activity area, etc, which makes it usable and presents it as an attached part of the room. Sometimes, merely giving the corners a green touch, a sectional sofa, etc. gives the entire floor plan an enhanced look. So, count on the corners for a complete evaluation of the floor plan.  

34. Future Plan

Remember, in a flat no vertical or horizontal expansion is possible. You can neither increase the number of rooms nor its size. So, calculate the number of rooms and room sizes with reference to your need very seriously. If you can’t afford what you need now, keep the current house as a stop-gap without heavy investment and shift to a larger house in future whenever you can afford.

35. On Which Floor

While evaluating the floor plan, evaluate on which floor it is situated and of course the surrounding houses. The higher you go, the privacy, light, air and ventilation will be better with reduced dust and sound pollution. At the same time, you will encounter the difficulties of coming downstairs for your petty needs or for children to play.

Other Essential Things to Keep In Mind While Evaluating Floor Plans

36. Not Too Big Flat

Large Flat

When budget is not a constraint, people generally tend to buy large flats. However, they repent soon as it is not easy to maintain it and to pay the utility bills. Hence, it is always good to settle with a comfortable space.

37. Space For All Appliances/Gadgets

Modern-day technology has made our life comfortable.  Newer and newer Gadgets are entering homes making life easier. Hence it is important to have spaces for these gadgets that we intend to have in our homes.

List all the gadgets/appliances that you intend to have, select the model, see their size in the company’s profile and make place for your TV, home theatre, speakers, refrigerator, mixer, juicer, R/O plant, dishwasher, washing machine, chimney, air-conditioners including outdoor units, exhaust fan, geyser, solar heater, solar generator, inverter, stove, computer / laptop, disk for TV, router for Wi-Fi, smart home appliances, CCTV cameras, call bells, fans, room heater, water treatment plants, bore-well, water storage tanks, booster pump, water pump, light and water meter and so on.

38. Large Trees

Large trees around the apartment

If you are fond of large trees, see that there are trees around the building. Large trees camouflage your house and also maintain the privacy of the flat. Besides this, you can enjoy fresh air, cool breeze and the bliss of fresh fruits growing on them. They protect us from the hot sun in the south and west and also act as a sound insulator, apart from delivering oxygen.

39. Garden – Indoor Garden/Fountains

Indoor Garden

If you are fond of greenery and if your building does not have a nice front garden, then you can look for smarter ways of making space for greens. You can have some pots of flowering plants or even work out a vertical garden in balconies.

If you are interested in indoor gardening, you will need some indoor gardening supplies. Have a look at them:

40. Vaastu

If you believe in ‘Vaastu Shastra’ blindly, then it is imperative to have your Vaastu consultant on-board from Day-1. Do not bring in a Vaastu consultant after the builder has done his job and never ever do the mistake of bringing the Vaastu angle after the construction work has commenced. Incorporating the Vaastu aspects during the planning stages can avoid confusion and revision of designs and can also save a lot of time, money and other resources.

Gharpedia’s Vaastu Research is going on and the Research fellow will soon publish series of blogs on Vaastu.

41. Never Ignore Structural/Engineering Needs

Some individuals compromise on basic structural, civil and plumbing engineering concepts in their pursuit of looks and aesthetics.

Always respect structural engineering, because it only provides safety.  Accept the size of columns, beams and thickness of the wall as they are required. Compromising with structure means compromising with your own life. E.S. Code mandates that the minimum width of columns must be 300 mm (1’0”), which many architects/builders try to avoid. This is dangerous.

42. Calculate An Estimated Cost

Many times, people start with the evaluation of the floor planning and buying without considering the total cost. Every floor plan comes with different pricing depending on the size of the floor plan. Hence, before finalizing the floor plan, make sure you are ready with an approximate amount you can afford and spend. While buying, consider the budgeting and think of loans and other financing options that would help you in meeting your expectations. The budgeting should also be done carefully as a low budget would not give the desired results, while a high one might generate unwanted and unmanageable debts for you. Keep all types of expenses like interior, furniture, gadgets, puja etc. in mind.

43. Select And Consult A Reputed Builder/ Contractor

Many of us are looking to build a house for the first time, and hence, are more likely to make mistakes. To make this challenging job a little opportune it is always advisable to deal with a reputed builder. They are masters in the field with years of experience. When you discuss your plans with a professional builder, they would give the right suggestions as per your requirements, size, and family needs. For selecting a reputed builder, you can either ask for references from your friends and relatives or look for online reviews of the builders. Thus, advice from architects and contractors will save you from making mistakes. You can also search for all construction professionals on Nearby Professionals section of Gharpedia.


When you assess the floor plan while buying always keep cost, area, materials, interior, legal compliances, time of construction at the back of your mind. Ultimately, you should enjoy building a house within your cost and within your time without stress and hassles. There is a famous proverb, which reads: “शादी करके देखो और घर बसाके देखो”(Shadi Karke dekho aur ghar basa ke dekho), which means building a house and solemnising a wedding, are two worthwhile experiences of life and are not easy.

We buy a house once in a lifetime. Hence for the journey to be smooth, the heart of planning lies in achieving the most efficient functional, aesthetic and affordable floor plan. If you assess the floor plan with the tips given above, your experience will be a pleasant and memorable one.

Thus, a floor plan gives a perfect initiative towards buying a flat/apartment that is suitable, flexible, and comfortable for every family member. Further, it is also advisable for all family members to take part in the evaluation. This helps in making practical and valuable changes in the floor plan, which reduces the chances of any blunders or changes after the entire house is ready. After all, it’s a lifelong investment, and you cannot make changes once the construction is over.

Hope, through this article, you are ready with the floor plan evaluation techniques to check if your house buying is moving in the right direction.

Also, if you are buying a house instead of an apartment or flat, do not worry. We do have a step-by-step guide to evaluate floor plans for your house for helping you out in planning of the house. Hope you find it informative and do let us know whether it helped you in planning or not.

Image Courtesy: Image 5

Co-Author Bio

Sai Charan Gundreddi – Sai Charan Gundreddy is an author and a freelance content writing specialist with over 3 years of experience in the field. A writer by day and a reader by night, he is loathe to discuss Hinderer in the third person, but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.

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