Due to the massive growth of real estate industry, there is an increase in the number of online platforms designed for finding homes/furnished properties. Instead of descriptive words, query by example is always a preferred method for retrieval. Floor plans are the basic 2D representation giving an idea about the building structure at a particular level. The authors propose a framework for the retrieval of similar architectural floor plans under the query by example paradigm. They propose a novel algorithm to extract high-level semantic features from an architectural floor plan. Fine-grained retrieval using weighted sum of the features is proposed, where a feature can be given more preference over others, during retrieval. Experiments were performed on publicly available dataset containing 510 floor plans and compared with existing state-of-the-art techniques. Their proposed method outperforms others both in qualitative and quantitative terms. © The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2018.