Understanding House Elevations

House elevations are architectural drawings that are used by architects in communicating with clients and contractors. The elevations are usually drawn to scale thus the length and thickness used is the same as that used in the finished home.

In addition to letting you know how the house will look like once complete, house elevations are also used in house selling. Sellers print the elevations in booklets and flyers and use them to attract buyers.

What should be contained in an elevation?

In addition to giving you a glimpse of how your house will look like when complete, the drawing should also come with notes that let you know the best roofing materials and beams that you should use. In some cases the drawing should also let you know the fireplace flue that you should use.

Types of house elevations

There are many types of house elevations used by architects. The most common ones being:

Front: also known as entry elevation, this drawing gives you a straight-on view of the house. the elevation gives you the impression that you are looking the house from the front yard. From this drawing you will be able to see doors, windows, front porch and other items that protrude from your home such as chimney.

Split: from its name, this is a drawing that is drawn as if the house is split into two. When a layman looks at the drawing, he/she might think that it’s a cutaway view. From this drawing you will be able to see the floor thickness, stair case, interior height and wall thickness. If the elevation is well done, you will be able to see the kitchen placement, door opening and fireplaces.

Side: side elevations aid in showing windows and depth of home. You will also be able to see the front and back porches.

Rear: the rear drawing presents the back of the house in a straight angle. This elevation also comes with notes on the materials that the contractor should use in certain areas. The notes also specify the types of doors and windows that should be used.


This is what you need to know about house elevations. As mentioned, the drawings should be exact reflections of the compete house; therefore, you should ensure that you work with an experienced architect. You should also ensure that the contractor you hire is experienced and has the ability of producing the exact house as that in the drawings.