Tips to understand plans for your new fitout

If you have trouble reading construction plans and visualising how your new space is going to look – you’re not alone! Many people are in the same boat. If you asked us to take care of your patients or run your shop we would be in the dark too! It just comes down to what you are used to.

Here are our simple tips on how to read plans:

Site Plan

A Site Plan shows the location of your building on your land.

It does not show any internal features of your building, it shows your building as a whole, as well as the areas
external to your building on your site.

A Site Plan is used to understand the context of your site – How close your building is to your lot boundary,
and to the buildings on your neighbours’ land. It also shows the location of driveways, footpaths, utility
services, easements and fences. It may show contours to depict the slope of your land too.

Architects talking about construction plans

Floor Plan

A floor plan is a birds eye view of your space. Picture standing on your roof and looking down at the whole
internal space beneath you. Here are some key points to note about marks on Floor Plans:

  • Parellel lines – These depict walls. Parellel lines are scaled to a width on the plan that is reflective of the width that the walls are required to be.
  • Dimensions – Dimensions are usually drawn between the walls to specify room sizes and wall lengths.
  • Fixtures – Fixtures such as sinks, toilets etc are shown within rooms, usually using symbols.
  • Side notes – Often notes about finishes, construction and methods are written on Floor Plans are written down the side of plans.
    These provide additional descriptions for the builder.


An elevation provides a more realistic visual representation of how your space will look. Instead of looking
down at a space as you would for Site Plans or Floor Plans, you are now standing on the ground and looking
straight ahead at a space.

Picture standing in your new room and taking a photograph of the opposite side of the room – taking in the
whole wall and all fixtures and finishes on and in front of the wall. This is essentially what an elevation shows.

Elevations are drawn to scale and specify all fixtures and finishes. Usually elevations are created for all north,
south, east and west directions.


A section cuts through a space.

Picture standing in your room, and sticking a piece of string on a wall. Then holding the other end of the string, walk across your room, and stick the other end of the string on the opposite wall. A section or sectional drawing takes that line, and draws everything the will exist along that line.

A section shows parts of the construction – how the roof, ceiling, walls might look if they were sliced through.
Sections explain certain conditions in more detail than elevations.

Often a section will be called AA or BB. Picture both ends of your string having an ‘A’ symbol on it. This is an
AA section.

If you still are confused feel free to contact our team, shop fitters in gold coast.


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