Tips for reading a builder's floorplan

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Even though we’re a builder, we get it: buying a new condo can be nerve-racking, especially for those unfamiliar with the process or buying for the first time. When you’re buying in pre-sales, before or during the construction period, sometimes all you get to see of your new home before purchasing is the builder’s floor plan (buying pre-sale has a huge set of advantages that come with it - see more in this post).

While the project’s sales team has a wealth of knowledge and is there to help you every step of the way, it’s a great idea to keep these tips in mind when reviewing condominium floor plans.

  1. Understand the difference between a marketing plan and a “schedule”. The marketing floor plan used in brochures or on sales office posters to represent a unit type can have several variations, even if they’re called by the same floor plan name. Truth is, each unit in a building can’t always be exactly the same due to structural elements, fire-proofing requirements and other building technicalities – meaning that bulkheads, walls and windows can vary from suite to suite. These are usually denoted with a number following the floorplan type, such as Fir I, Fir II, etc. Once you’ve narrowed down to a marketing floorplan and unit location that you like, make sure to check the contract “Schedule,” a floorplan legally required for each specific unit, which will show you any differences there may be from the marketing floorplan you started with. This is your time to ask questions!
  2. Don’t let the furniture placement confuse you. To help buyers envision the space, furniture line drawings are included on most marketing floorplans. That said, sometimes it can help to white-out the furniture and sketch in your own furniture placement based on how you’d plan on arranging the space. Don’t feel the need to place things such as the dining set and living room furniture in the exact place they are sketched in the plan.
  3. Know the location. Each floorplan also includes a floor plate – a miniature version of the building plan showing the floorplan’s exact location within the building, including its exposure. Be sure to know which direction the windows of the unit face, since sun lovers will prefer a decidedly different exposure than those who prefer the soft cast of indirect light. It will also let you know the location relative to building elements such as the elevators, amenities, and entrances.

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