What are elevations?

  • Home Buying Tips
  • Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I have to admit, without a homebuilding background, when I first came to work at Trico there were a lot of things I found confusing. There was just so much terminology to learn, and I had to learn it quickly! One of the concepts I found especially confusing was elevations. It was a word that was thrown around a lot, and without a point of reference I didn’t have a clue what it meant.

In architectural drawing terms, building & house elevations are two dimensional pictures of the facade of the exterior or interior features that have faces projecting from a flat, solid background. A drawing is created to give an idea of what the finished product will look like and give the construction team the specifications from which to create the building. When designers are conceptualizing a new home design, elevations start off in the form of hand drawings, which are then drafted out using architectural drawing software.

Interior Elevations

Typical interior elevations show locations of doors, windows and other openings, connections to floors and ceilings, as well as other important interior design features, like built-in cabinetry, fireplaces and niches – not to mention dimensions and finishings! Adding furnishings and fixtures to interior drawings can be an effective way to make the space more realistic and to give a better sense for space in the home.

Exterior Elevations

These drawings show a detailed, scaled and dimensional rendering of the roof and the exterior walls of your home. They indicate the facing-side, whether north, south, east or west, and are drawn from the position the facade faces. It also includes the fabrications used in the elevation, such as brick, stone or a combination of materials. In addition to the exterior finish, an elevation also includes the type of roofing for the building and any support beams that must be erected. Windows and their specifications are drawn, as are all doors. Gutter placement and fireplace flues also are included on exterior elevationsWhen viewing exterior elevations, you will notice that many of them represent a certain architectural design style. Most models will include different elevations for the same floor plan, and the buyer will get to choose the elements that appeal to the his or her imagination and taste. These architectural styles will have names like Arts & Crafts, French Country & Rocky Mountain, and are usually part of a set of controls put forth by the developer. In that respect, while homes will share certain exterior elements, it is often possible for a French Country elevation in one community to look remarkably different from a French Country in another.

Ask our sales team about it – they have tons of knowledge, and can show you drawings and renderings to give you an idea of what your new home will look like.

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