By Meg Escott
Learning how to read section drawings is a useful skill so that you can understand your house plans as a whole package (the floor plan, elevations and sections).
This page forms part of the how to read house plans series.
Let me help you understand...
A section drawing or sectional drawing is a 2D drawing of your home as if it has been sliced in two vertically. It gives a view from inside your home - like a sideways on x-ray or an internal elevation.
Sections show details about your home that might not be visible in the floor plan view.
Sectional drawings can be useful for the whole home, or to show more detail in a particular room (eg bathroom or kitchen).
A section drawing for your whole home will show:
Let's take a look at our sample house as an example.
The floor plan will shows the location of the vertical cut that creates the section and the direction of the section view.
Imagine cutting through your home, and taking away the portion that faces away from the direction of the section view.
Peer into that space. Some of the surfaces will have been cut through when the section was created, then you can see into the rooms that have been cut through until your eye meets a wall or an object. The section only shows what the eye can see, once you see a wall or an object, the section won't show anything that lies beyond the wall (see grey box on the floor plan above).
Thick lines represent surfaces that have been cut through. The following surfaces have been cut through:
Thin lines represent edges that you can see, but that haven't been cut.
A section drawing of a room will show:
Often a section of a room is equivalent to an elevation of one of the walls. For example, a run of units in a kitchen.
In the drawing below we can clearly see the location of the oven, dishwasher, sink and refrigerator and the dimensions of the cabinetry.
You can see that the faucet comes out of the countertop rather than out of the wall.
So that's all on how to read section drawings. Make sure you read the rest of the series on how to read house plans (add link)