The task for this section is for you and your team members to build a 1/4″ scale model of one of your plans that was first sketched out and then designed in floorplanner.


Click here for pictures of past scale models

listed tasksStep A:  Pick your team floor plan

Pick your team members.  Your choice.  Choose wisely?  Who will work together, be focused, do their share?  Pick a table to be at as well. No more than 3 students per team.  No on is allowed to work by themselves.

Your team task is to build a scale model of just ONE of your plans.  Show and discuss with your team members your Floorplanner designs. Choose one of the plans to make a scale model and go on to the next step.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Divide project into tasks (see to the left)
  • Identify resources (these instructions, tools, mat board…)
  • Estimate durations of tasks and schedule a plan for successful completion.

3Step B: Measuring for the base of the model

Watch the movie “2 Cutting the base of the model” .  On floorplanner, get measurements of the overall ‘footprint’ – Length and Width of the plan you’re going to make. Take these dimensions to the teacher to have the ‘base’ cut out for you. When you get the base, make sure you store it in the class storage cabinet.

Step C: The Architect Scale

Task: Learn how to use the Architecture scale. Get an architects scale and watch 1 The architects scale” 

Each team member should watch the movie and complete drawing the lines 1 through 5 into your composition book using 1/4″ scale (just like they do in the movie). This is a graded activity. Check each other’s work and then ALL TEAM members come up together to be graded by the teacher.

  1. 6 ft
  2. 10 ft
  3. 7-1/2 ft
  4. 22 ft
  5. 16-1/2 ft

STOP!  Before you go on, ALL students MUST watch the safety video on using the utility knives and then take the quiz.

And…before you start building your model, look at this Google Slides of completed student models Pay attention to the contrast of the Good and the Bad.

Step D: Outside walls

imgARCH-Suggested window-door dimensions
Suggested dimensions for normal doors and windows
  1. Using pre-cut mat board, cut all outside walls to length. (The blank wall pieces are 8 ft tall in 1/4″ scale and of various lengths. )  Label them so you know which is which. Perhaps, use compass headings as part of the label. For instance, S1 for the wall on the south side.  Show the teacher.
  2. Using your floorplanner design, measure with an architect scale and mark with a t-square all windows and doors. Get the dimensions from your Floorplanner file. Using the tape measure tool is useful.  Even though widths of doors varies greatly, to make it easy, all outside doors may be measured to 36″ or 3 feet. Click here for a movie that shows the steps 
    Also, the height of normal doors is 80″, but to make it easier for measuring and cutting you can use 6-1/2 ft. For uniformity, you can use the same height for the tops of windows.
  3. Windows can be many different sizes. In passive solar designs, the south side of the house is usually filled with large banks of windows, while the other sides limit the use of windows. Outside of passive solar techniques, you can make windows 3 ft wide and 4 ft long.
  4. Using the Safe-T-Cut straightedge, cut out all doors and windows. Cutting doors to include the door or not is optional.
  5. Dry fit walls onto base to see if they fit
  6. Using white glue and masking tape, glue the outside walls to the base. Let dry at least an hour or more, if possible. If you choose to use hot glue – first, be very careful and use with safety. Second, realize that it’s much harder to make a model look good with hot glue as opposed to white glue. (Hint – neatness is part of the grading rubric)

Step E: Inside walls

  • Measure each individual wall both in Floorplanner and on your model. Measurements might ‘slightly’ differ due to how precise you were in cutting/gluing the outside walls.
  • Measure and mark all doors (Even though inside doors are normally less than 3 feet, to make it easy, make them 3 ft wide)
  • Cut doors
  • Glue walls longest first and shortest last. Each piece should be fitted before gluing

Step F: Finishing touches

  • Let model dry at least a few hours
  • Take off all tape that was applied to hold walls up
  • Room labels
  • Preferably on scrap pieces of mat board, neatly print in large letters the names of all major rooms and their dimensions.
  • Make sure all names of group members are on the bottom of the model along with the period


  • 25 pts: Completed on time (All walls, windows, and doors as compared with online design)
  • 50 pts: Personal use of class time: focused and working. Doing a fair share of the work (observable work being performed)
  • 25 pts: Workmanship: marked and cut lines, perpendicular lines, application of glue, neatness, etc.
  • 20 pts: Measuring to scale; Following your floorplanner plan?
  • 5 pts: Labels: neatly printed and visible with width and length dimensions; group names and period on bottom of model.

There will also be a grade for doing cleanup duties (25 pts)