Consider the footprint of your home and the sizes of your existing rooms within the floor plans you develop. Creating these through a measured survey with exact measurements and angles will help you to make the most of your space.
It’s important to consider where sunlight enters your house during the day to ensure maximum light whenever possible. You should also be aware of practical elements, such as where the utility boxes, boilers and any other inspection elements are placed to ensure easy access. Moreover, are different areas of the house affected by noise levels? Does this need to be taken into consideration in the positioning of your open plan space? Can you foresee any alteration to the floors or ceiling heights? Are there walls that once taken down open up access to even more light?
Try creating several new floor plans by moving or opening up doorways, or removing walls. Making a list of your priorities will also help in defining the layout that you want to achieve. For example, you could make space for an informal seating area by moving a doorway to make space for a corner sofa. If you have an integral garage, you could expand it to create a multi-purpose room, such as a playroom/office/spare bedroom? By trying out several plans, you will be able to evaluate multiple options to create more space overall.
Family rooms are popular with younger families and have become more commonplace in homes. Creating a family living space, which can used as an informal dining area, entertainment and a kitchen means that families can spend more time together in a common space. This may mean removing inner walls between an existing kitchen, dining room and/or lounge to create a larger, more spacious living area. The fewer walls you remove, the lower the cost will be, and adding walls will increase the cost. You will need to consider using existing pipe work and power supplies where possible, which will save money through careful planning. Whilst electrics and plumbing can be changed, this will affect cost, so it’s important to plan your budgets accordingly.
Another popular home improvement is to create spacious master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom and/or a dressing area with walk-in wardrobe. This space is usually created by taking room from a smaller guest room, box room or by readjusting the layout of a larger bathroom. The location of the plumbing will be a determining factor in the final layout, but opening up space to create a master suite can really give your home the wow factor.
Structural or Non-Structural Walls
You will need a professional to provide advice especially if you are considering removing walls. It will be worthwhile determining at the beginning of your planning if the walls are structural or not. Non-structural walls can usually be removed without affecting the support of the house and without need for additional supports. If you need to remove a structural wall, additional support will be required, which is usually in the form of a steel beam. Your architectural designer will advise you on the size and depth required dependant on the span you are covering. If it’s a large space you may need additional pillars, and your architectural designer can give you some idea on the best way to blend these into your design.
Different Floor Levels
Floor levels may be different between rooms, especially between an integral garage and kitchen, for example. Depending on your overall objective, you can elevate your floor level, change ceiling heights or simply add a step.
In a large multi-purpose family room, zoning will help to create different areas for usage. Storage and wall dividers can help provide well-thought through solutions for creating a variety of areas. Lighting can also have a big impact, with low level, upwards projection, and hanging ceiling lights effective in creating multiple ambiences. Design features, such as different flooring types, can help zone areas that may be on different levels.
Whatever your ultimate goal, creating an open plan environment within your home can help you make the most of modern living and provide a more practical living space.
For more information on Arc Design Services please visit www.arcdesignservices.net or call 0161 928 4433.