Thinking of a total spatial reconfiguration? If you’re dreaming of open concept spaces and roomy interiors, the trick lies in understanding your floor plan.
What’s a floor plan?
This handy blueprint might seem like a bunch of confusing lines and undecipherable numbers. In actuality, it’s a blueprint that’s presents your home from a top-down view. Everything is drawn to scale and it includes your walls, doors and windows.
Read between the lines
You will quickly realise that the lines on the floor plan draw out the walls in your home. But you might also notice that there are different types of lines. This will tell you which walls can be hacked away (typically shown as a single line, double lines), and which are structural columns and walls that can’t be removed.
Note the doors and windows
A floor plan will show you where your doors and windows are located, but a detailed floor plan will show what types of doors and windows are there. This is especially useful when you’re trying to maximise the use of space. For example, you can see how much space a hinged door needs when you swing it open.
Map out your furniture
Once you have a better understanding of the space you have to work with, you can go a step further and start mapping out your furniture placement. A floor plan is a handy way of helping you make full use of the space. For example, it might seem like a good idea to build a closet next to the bedroom door, but a close look at the floor plan will tell you that you won’t be able to fully open the door with the cupboard in the way.
Imagine how you move
Looking at an empty floor plan can be deceiving. It seems like there’s so much empty space to work with! But bear in mind, once you put in your furniture and built-ins, there might not be much room left. One of the key things to note is the flow of human traffic. What’s the maximum number of people that will occupy a room at any given time? Is there enough space for everyone to move around comfortably? Will you be able to walk without bumping into furniture? For example, having a kitchen island can be a great idea, but will there be enough space for two or more people to easily navigate around it?
Realise your limitations
As useful as a floor plan is pre-renovation, there are certain things that might not be shown on the blueprint. For one, you won’t know where existing support beams are on the ceiling, and as an extension, you don’t know how high the ceilings are. You also might not be able to tell if there is any elevation such as a step or a drop. Similarly, things such as electrical wiring, lighting systems and plumbing might not be readily evident in a basic floor plan.