How to Read a Builders’ Floorplan

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Pinnacle On Adelaide

Pinnacle On Adelaide

In todays condominium market we can expect to see approximately 20,000 new condominium units delivered to the market this year. This means that a lot of new buyers will find themselves buying their new home from a floorplan. Making a pre-construction purchase has it’s specific set of challenges as it is, but when you add trying to gauge the dimensions, location, light exposure and view of the suite the task becomes daunting. Let’s look at some main points of interest when reviewing a potential floorplan.


1. Keyplate suite location

Regardless of the developer and project, when reading a floorplan you will always find the keyplate of the building in the bottom left or right corner of the floorplan. The suite under consideration will usually be shaded in grey. Main areas of focus are the location of the suite relative to adjacent suites, the garbage disposal and the elevator shaft. Corner units are always preferred, since these units offer more windows, more light and an added level of privacy.
One can argue that the resale value of a suite located next to the elevator or a garbage disposal will not be affected, but I am confident in the contrary. I am not going to speculate on builders quality and reputation, and some builders do plan their layouts very well for these “compromised suites”. Some use a thick layer of concrete between these areas and the adjacent suites, some place the living and dining areas on the opposite end of the suite. Although these measures are preventative and are appreciated by the occupant, once this suite is listed for sale, any prudent purchaser WILL notice this deficiency. This may deter a potential buyer from putting in an offer and will surely be brought up during the negotiating process.


2.Room Dimensions

This one can be a bit tricky and it helps to have an experienced agent. New construction condominiums are not getting any bigger and if you haven’t been in one in a while, you may be in for a shock when you first step into your new suite for a PDI. To avoid buyer remorse, it is best to view some existing new construction buildings out there with similar square footage and room dimensions. Do not trust builder images. I have seen a 3×4 den somehow fit a desk and a sectional on the drawing…



Interior bedroom vs. typical bedroom is the biggest dilemma. In this scenario I will always choose the conventional bedroom with a window and so should you. Interior bedrooms lack light, and have to make use of a frosted sliding glass door. I can not think of any scenario why having an interior bedroom may be beneficial, therefore whether you are buying a 1b or a 2b, do not settle for one with an interior bedroom. Lofts are an exception because they utilize tall ceilings and an abundance of light to remedy the interior bedroom conundrum by providing ample lighting.


4.Outdoor Area

Outdoor area is a balcony or terrace that is accessible by your suite and is for your exclusive use only. One simple rule to follow here – the bigger the better. Balconies or terraces are all common areas just like the hallways, amenities, elevators, etc. and suite owners do NOT pay maintenance fees on their exterior space. Why not have a 200 sq ft+ terrace to entertain on in the summer?



When considering exposures, South will always be KING. Everyone wants a South facing suite, sometimes regardless of the view. The reason for this is the abundance of light and sun. Sunbathers love the ability to tan on their balconies, and others just enjoy the additional light. It is not uncommon to see developers put premiums for South exposures, and if you are on a budget, the next best is Western exposure. Just don’t forget to invest in window coverings, since with both of these exposures your suite can get HOT.


If you follow these simple guidelines and buy at the RIGHT time, you are bound to be the envy of your condominium and have one of the most desirable suites.