How to assess your space before you start a renovation

With any renovation, taking your time is key. Do your due diligence for every step, from looking at what your space is like right now to selecting the finishing touches. In fact, how you start off can really impact your final result – so here is why getting a good overview of your home before you start any planning is so important.

Before taking on any project of any size, it’s always recommended you assess your space first. But what does that mean, exactly?

“It’s about considering the impact a new kitchen or living area will have on the rest of the house,” says Natalie McHugh at NK Living.

For instance, will it make a front or middle room redundant? Will you have to renovate them, too, so they are not spare spaces?

She continues: “Where does the sun rise, is it a warm or cold-feeling room, and how will you get natural light in once a new space is created?” All very important questions you need to ask yourself before cementing any plans.

How to assess your space

It also means looking at how the internal layout of your home works for your day-to-day to help you decide what it is lacking, how it can be improved, and whether a proposed scheme is actually achievable.

“Take a look at neighbours’ transformed properties to give you an idea of how your space could look and what is possible,” suggests Michael Schienke of Vorbild Architecture.

A sketch of a man sitting at his desk in front of a laptop, working
Photography: / SDI Productions

Don’t only assess your space yourself – discuss your ideas with family and friends, take on board advice and keep an open mind. A few clever changes to an awkward layout can really open up a room. For example, creating a laundry layout in an unused box bedroom could give you the extra floor area for a range cooker in a kitchen extension.

“A good way to visualise your ideas is to mark out new and existing rooms with the exact product dimensions of furniture,” explains Natalie.

Next, a floor plan will help you assess your space and clarify the dimensions of a proposed design. There’s a range of free 2D and 3D floor planner apps you can work with on your phone.

Keep up to date with the most recent regulations, so you have a basic framework to base your plans if you’re thinking of an extension or loft conversion. Go through a checklist of practical jobs that need doing in your home. Will you need to move the boiler? And do you want underfloor heating? You will need to include this in a proposed scheme.

Why should I do it?

“Kitchens are expensive, so it’s worth taking the time to assess your space and get the layout, location and size right,” explains Howard Miller at H Miller Bros.

“Ranking your annoyances in your existing space can help you understand what your top priorities are and what are just nice-to-haves.” 

The same advice goes for a loft conversion – although these can be tricky to visualise because of all the slopes and height restrictions.

“On most traditional houses, a full-width rear dormer means you gain a space the size of the room below, plus about 1/3 of the depth of the adjacent front bedrooms’ size to account for the sloping ceiling,” adds Michael.

Then, think about the interior style you are aiming for and what pieces of furniture and key design features you would like. If you have always dreamed of a luxurious corner sofa in your new extension, this is the time to choose your brand and get the measurements to make sure it fits and avoid disappointment later on.

By taking the time to assess your space, you will hopefully be avoiding expensive last minute changes, with a layout and style that works perfectly for you and your home.

Featured image: / Marc_Osborne

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