Developing Your Plan


Remodeling a house -- or even just a room within a house -- disrupts daily home life and requires hard work and money. It's worthwhile to plan the project thoroughly before you begin. A good plan reveals problems before they happen and suggests solutions that might not have occurred to you otherwise.

The first part of developing a remodeling plan is to put together a program. A program is a list of the results you would like to accomplish by remodeling. Be as objective as you can when working on the program. If you start out listing "more closet space," you are likely to be locked into developing a plan for closets. If, however, you list "more storage space," you may discover a better, more workable solution than an additional closet provides.

Once you have your program, draw a floor plan of the existing space and make copies of it using tracing paper overlays. Sketch in ideas that accomplish the goals defined in your program. Draw each idea on a different copy of the floor plan to compare or combine them.

Step 1

Start by drawing a floor plan of the existing space on graph paper. A scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot usually allows plenty of detail without being so big that you need a large piece of paper. Show all the walls, doorways, and windows.

Step 2

Once you have completed your floor plan, make tracing paper overlays to test out possible designs. Avoid erasing -- if you make a mistake or if you don't like the way something looks, just make another overlay.

Step 3

When you are happy with your new floor plan, make a scale elevation of the new design. An elevation is a view of a wall's face. The 1/4-inch-to-1-foot scale works well here.

Step 4

Create an overlay for the elevation drawing. On it, show the framing that you will be doing and include the critical dimensions of the new design. If there are problems or special circumstances, note them in the margins.

Step 5

Consult your framing diagram to make a materials list. Keep in mind the bottom plate of a wall runs the length of the wall -- even if you plan to include doors. You'll cut the part that runs across the doorway after the wall is in place.

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