Are you struggling to read a property floor plan? Follow this article to learn more about symbols and lines used in a floor plan to find your dream home.

Types of floor plans
What is a property floor plan

People often envision their property with the best interpretation of what they want their dream home to look like.

The process starts from the outside to the interiors, where you need to determine functional and supplementary spaces to make the most out of your property’s dimensions.

While it can be challenging to chart a perfect blueprint, floor plans are an excellent way of finding your dream home or a household shelter.

But how do you read a property’s floor plan?

Understanding a floor plan is one of the first steps in determining which house design will suit you best.

This article will help you understand the different types of floor plans and why they are crucial.

aerial plan

What is a property floor plan?

A floor plan is an aerial diagram that lays the structural design of a residential property.

Although floor plans can vary for different designs, they contain specific information regarding the number of floors, bathrooms, rooms, doors, and other amenities like air-con ledges.

For instance, every estate agent in Singapore uses the imperial system to chart a floor plan, indicating unit sizes in square feet.

This information supported by high-quality photos can make your job convenient, and you will have no issues identifying additional or functional spaces on your property.

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lines on a floor plan

Why are floor plans important?

According to various industry experts, homeowners prefer reading floor plans more than other details as they provide valuable and essential information regarding the property.

For instance, a floor plan helps a prospective buyer visualize relevant details like the number of rooms, windows, bathrooms, and corner units in a property.

Likewise, buyers can even get finer details like unit measurements, electrical points, and void spaces within the property.

Besides helping homeowners visualize their future homes, floor plans are essential for real estate agents.

For instance, floor plans offer more than verbal descriptions and help real estate agents communicate vital information regarding the property with their clients.

Likewise, floor plans help real estate salespersons to sell properties faster, as most homeowners prefer reading a detailed aerial floor plan.

What will this aerial plan show?

Since a floor plan features a bird’s eye view, you will get a detailed aerial description of what a property looks like.

Furthermore, floor plans have explicit depictions and symbols for various structures like structural walls, windows, and doors.

Here are the elements and symbols you will find in a floor plan.


The lines depicted in a floor plan symbolize walls.

However, most homes have three different wall types depicted using bold and thin lines for structural, standard, and gable-end walls.

Here is a comparison table of how these walls look on a floor plan.

Wall Type

Symbol (Represented by)


Structural walls

Bold lines

Structural walls hold your building together and surround and strengthen the entire unit.

Normal Walls

Thin, straight lines

Standard walls separate rooms and act as dividers within your house.

Gable-end Walls

Thin lines with a line in the middle

Gable-end walls or corner units provide shade to your home and protect it from the sun’s heat.


However, if you want to hack your walls, you will have to seek permission from the Singapore Land Authority or get renovation permits from relevant developer boards.


A floor plan can depict doors with a V-shaped or protractor-like symbol, usually representing folding or swing doors.

However, ensure that the floor plan tells you which way the door swings to utilize rooms like the bedroom or visualize how you will use the corridor space better.


Windows are similar to walls and are often represented as three or transparent lines in a floor plan.


A floor plan depicting a ladder symbol usually indicates stairs.

The ladder symbol is common in floor plans for HDB loft units, duplex condos, and executive maisonettes.

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What do all the lines on a floor plan mean?

A floor plan employs a lot of lines for different structures.

For instance, a bold line will indicate a structural wall, while a thin line symbolizes a standard wall.

Likewise, three or transparent lines represent windows, while a ladder symbol usually indicates stairs.

A floor plan may also feature straight lines to depict an extra space within the property.

Types of floor plans

Floor plans have three different types – traditional, custom, and contemporary.

While traditional plans feature more walls within your property, contemporary charts often depict open and spacious homes with extra space.

On the other hand, custom plans are customer-centric and work on how a homeowner visualizes his property according to his needs.

Let’s look at each of these floor plans in detail.

Traditional plans

Traditional floor plans feature typical room spaces with more structural and standard walls.

These walls divide your home into different sections, including the bedroom, kitchen, and other functional spaces.

In short, a traditional floor plan will suit most buyers as it provides more design options, privacy, lower energy bills, and better soundproofing without compromising on space.

Contemporary plans

Contemporary or open floor plans feature modern design aesthetics with wide-open spaces like the ones you can find on Newton road or Pass road.

These floor plans keep you connected with the rest of your home since there are lesser walls to block your accessibility.

In short, choosing a home based on a contemporary floor plan will enhance your accessibility and make your home feel spacious with an open line of sight.

Furthermore, homes based on contemporary plans offer better resale value than other properties and are perfect for families.

Custom plans

Custom floor plans provide complete control in your hands where you can choose the materials, styles, colors, and dimensions of your home.

You can set your preferred layout for walls, doors, and windows and work with your developer or an online service to get the most out of your additional and functional spaces.

However, custom floor plans can become expensive and may include the direct developer price, increasing the overall cost for property transactions.

Bolded lines: Structural walls

As mentioned earlier, bolded lines usually depict structural walls within a home or a household shelter.

These walls or columns surround your home and provide structural strength to your property.

Since you cannot demolish structural walls, you can cover them up by building a false wall or cabinetry around them, blending them seamlessly with your home’s interior design.

Normal lines: Walls

Thinner or normal lines in a floor plan represent regular or partition walls, which homeowners can demolish as per their requirements.

These walls are non-structural units, and homeowners can alter them to create open spaces or replace them with glass partitions.

However, homeowners will have to obtain legal permission from housing boards to demolish these walls to avoid a financial penalty.

Walls with a line in the middle

Floor plans often represent gable-end walls as thin lines with a line in the middle.

These walls separate your home’s interior from the exterior, meaning you cannot demolish them like standard walls.

However, gable-end walls or corner units may appear on the floor plan, depending on the home’s position.

Doors (dotted)

If your floor plan has dotted lines on the doors, it simply means that there are no doors installed on your property.

Besides indicating the absence of a fitted door, a dashed or dotted arc also represents the optimum opening radius for the door, allowing you to visualize how much space you would require when you fit a door.

Most non-renovated HDB flats do not provide fitted doors unless you have the Optional Component Scheme or OCS signed with your development board.

Doors (normal lines)

Floor plans with doors depicted with normal or solid outlines indicate that your new home has doors fitted or provided by the development board.

These lines can indicate a folding or swing door and are often made of high-quality materials like steel.

However, flats or homes with fitted doors are more expensive than those without doors.


Windows are an integral part of any property as they keep your home ventilated and offer a panoramic view of your surroundings.

Here are the different window types in a property floor plan.

Sliding window

Floor plans often depict sliding windows as thin, hollow lines, which can go unnoticed if you don’t examine the outline properly.

These windows allow you to feel spacious, and identifying their positions can significantly impact how you visualize functional spaces.

Casement windows

Casement windows are common window types in floor plans as they feature in most modern-day flats.

These windows appear on a property floor plan as quarter circles, which indicate their position, direction, and opening radius.

Top-hung windows

Top-hung windows are often used in bathrooms for ventilation.

Floor plans depict these windows with a dotted line inside tiny rectangles and are more common in older HDB flats.

Bay windows

Bay windows often appear on floor plans in private properties like the Sarthak Singapore Real Built Pvt or Singapore Green View Premium.

Bay windows provide extra space and are perfect for homeowners who love modular units like the ones provided by Stacked Homes Singapore.

Bathroom Doors

Bathroom doors can feature swing or folding doors and may or may not be a part of your home.

For instance, you may have to install a custom door if you purchase a non-renovated property.

On the other hand, some floor plans will indicate clear lines, which suggest that your home has folded or swing bathroom doors.

Final Thought

Reading a floor plan is crucial before selecting a subject property, clearing your option fee cheque, or identifying your house number.

Floor plans offer a lot of information regarding a property and help you find your dream home with minimal fuss.

However, after finalizing a floor plan, ensure that you consider other essential requirements like the suspension term suitability to make things convenient.

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