Thursday, April 12, 2012

Step 8 - Redraw Your Floor Plan

Okay, so you've taken pictures, cleaned things up, made it secure, sketched the existing floor plan, and posted your permit.  It may have taken you a weekend or something longer, but this time has provided a chance to get familiar with the property and you've likely daydreamed about improvements. 

Use your sketch of the existing plan (see Step 6 - Sketch Out the Floor Plan) as a guide.  For me, the degree of alterations I've made has varied.  For some properties I've tried to keep modifications to a minimum and other times I've reworked the entire home.  When I started to redraw The Fire House, I knew the bedrooms (4) and bathrooms (2) weren't going to change so I focused on the main living areas as I began to try out potential changes on paper.  In the end, I relocated the burned out laundry room, added a hall (which created a dining room) and found room for an eating area next to the kitchen.  The redraw of The Bungalow was more involved with significant changes throughout.  It had two living areas and two back doors.  It also had four bedrooms yet only two closets and one bathroom.  I knew I wanted to eliminate a back door as well as one of the living areas.  In addition, I also needed to find a way to add a bath and make sure each bedroom had a closet.        

I really enjoy redrawing my Pig's Ears because this is when the property begins to transform in my thoughts to what it's going to be when I'm done.  As I review the layout of a home I'm going to renovate, I consider it in three ways: the living areas that everyone shares (kitchen, dining, family/great room), the bedrooms, and then finally the smaller rooms (bathrooms, laundry room, linen closets, pantry, utility closets) that are easy to squeeze in amongst everything else.  Although all my house resurrections have been different, they've all elicited a common reaction from visitors upon completion as people have routinely commented that they feel bigger than their actual square footage.  I like to add headers, columns, knee walls, and pass-thru openings to the main living areas.  I think this openness helps to create this illusion of my houses feeling larger than they are in actuality.   

I try to be practical when I redraw the floor plan.  I want to make the house better for me if/when I live there, but I also want it to be marketable when it's time to sell.  Adding closets to each bedroom of the Bungalow is an example, because most (if not all) people will expect this when they're house shopping.  A dishwasher is another example.  I can live without it, yet I'm always sure to find room for one in the kitchen because it helps the house sell.  So, when you're redrawing your layout, think of how you can make it better and what you're going to want, but be mindful of what others will want and consider the route of practicality.

The Cottage - I reworked the front roof and added some columns & headers.  This view is from the second floor Hall looking down into the Foyer.

The Hurricane House - I removed a wall and installed a header.  This view shows the dining room looking into the Living Area and the Front Door.
The Bungalow - I added a header between the Kitchen and the Living Room/Den.
The Fire House - A Cathedral ceiling was installed when I rebuilt the roof.  In addition I added columns when possible. 

Jump to The Fire House - Before, During, and After

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