It’s hard to imagine how all of your stuff will fit nicely into a bird’s eye view, two-dimensional image, isn’t it? Why don’t you measure all of your furniture and cut out little pieces of paper (to scale, of course!), and move the pieces around until your new condo is perfectly laid out?

Um… no thanks! Though I know someone who did that once…

What’s the deal with floor plans? They seem like they should be a straightforward, no bull representation of the unit you are purchasing, but that is not always the case. Let’s take a look at the different types of plans and I’ll help you make some sense of those square feet!

Pre-construction Builder plans
New condo buildings are still cropping up all over the city. How do you choose what works best for you?

If you are going to be the end user, layout will be more important than if you are buying an investment unit. Not that you don’t care about your tenants’ quality of life

Browsing through floor plans of units that have not yet been built can seem very exciting, but a very important thing to remember is that by the time the space is actually constructed, that floor plan may change. The builders are not misleading you by changing these floor plans, rather they sometimes run into issues where a part of the integral infrastructure of the entire building may need to be moved from its originally intended spot and may then change where your utility closet or water heater can be housed. A kitchen may need to be re-jigged slightly to accommodate proper ventilation if the ductwork needed to be altered, or any number of tweaks that may be necessary along the way.

Another thing to consider is that they always estimate in terms of usable space. Upon final construction, the walls may have been made a few inches thicker, thus encroaching into your space. In the end, it shouldn’t be off by much because they have a very small percentage they have to stick by, otherwise they’re responsible to be correct.

Resale Condo floor plans
In resale condo sales, depending on the age of the building, the listing agent may use the original builder plans to illustrate the raw potential of the space, but as above, this is not always totally accurate. More often than not, a realtor will will use a common laser guided measurer to measure and draw the most up-to-date, accurate depiction of the unit.

Interior and Exterior measurements
You may notice an interesting thing on these types of floor plans, though… Two different numbers for total square footage! Interior and Exterior measurements may show on these floor plans, but in the interest of full disclosure you should know that final number of twelve by twelve inch squares is your main criteria when purchasing, pay close attention!

Here are the definitions of the two different types of measurements, as explained by Planitar, one of the leading floor plan curators in Toronto:

  • Interior Area is a per floor calculation, made by measuring to the inside surface of the exterior walls. Prescribed area exclusions can vary from region to region. Examples of exclusions are spaces open to below, garages, cold cellars, crawl spaces, non-enclosed open spaces, such as decks and balconies.
  • The footprint of all interior walls is typically included in the reported Interior Area.
  • Exterior Area is a per floor calculation, made by measuring to the outside surface of the exterior walls.
  • So, based on this, you can see that the exterior area will definitely be a larger number, but not the most transparent.

All in all, I will always recommend going to see a resale unit in person to see if it FEELS like the right size. Open closets, pay attention to the layout, where the vents are placed. Be super nosey to make sure it will work for you.

Everything is already in place so it will be easy! And for pre-construction, I will always take you to see a model unit and encourage you to ask a million questions!

For more information on either type of condo, please reach out to me! I’m always happy and available to answer your questions.