Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Measure twice, cut once.

My grandfather, Bill Seward, always told me to measure twice and cut once.  I have discovered when you apply this principle to developing plans it's more like measure fifty times, pace things things out at least thirty-two times, draw it on the ground with chalk and try to envisage what furniture would fit where twenty times and then have about seventeen anxiety attacks that perhaps the economy is stuffed and you shouldn't be renovating at all.

So that's what James and I have been doing recently and is the reason you may have noticed my blog has been quite of late.  However, we think with a few tweaks the latest iteration of our plans will give us what we need. Plus the economy needs building industry needs stimulating so we might as well be the trendsetters.

You may recall in my last instalment I had to tell our building designer that whilst his plans were great they weren't going to work for us. About a fortnight ago we received new plans, straight away we were much happier - the whole thing seemed to provide us with the space and the requirements we wanted and was along the lines of what we always thought would happen to this house - basically a box on the back.

Click on the picture to see the plans clearly.
Peter Latemore said to have a good think about it all and get back to him.  You might be interested to know the approach James and I took to considering the layout and functionality of each room. It may seem over the top but remember I am anal and James is a business analyst...you put these things together and you get this...a spreadsheet which lists each room and the things we needed to think about for each room eg light, security, storage, entry/exit, heating/cooling etc.  You can see the spreadsheet here and the list of things that that we came up with here.

Once we felt that we had measured, paced, discussed and debated enough we made a time to meet with Peter and ran through what we thought needed to change.  The main things are that the pantry will swap places with the laundry, the drying area will move to the side of the house and the screen that divides the deck into two areas will be removed.  One of the windows in the kitchen will be removed to make space for a hutch for the kettle etc.  There are few other things - I guess we will get another plan soon that I can show you.

So now we are approaching the stage of the working drawings being produced and council approval.  We also need to start confirming the cost  - that will be the topic of my next post and I guess what has been worrying us most of all - BUDGET!!


  1. Hi Clarissa, so nice to meet someone else as obsessive about house plans as I am! My husband and I are both details people too and have been ruminating over plans for about 3 months.
    I really like your current design, would love to know which way is north for your house. My only worry is that you don't have much bench space either side of your stove. Could you get rid of one of your doors into pantry/laundry and just access one through the other? That would give you more bench space along that wall. Also if you made bed 2 60 cm smaller and moved bed 3's wall 60 cm towards bed 2 then all your kitchen cabinets would be flush with that wall and your hallway would lead into the kitchen opening and your cabinetry would not stick out- this would also give you heaps more bench space as you could run the cabinets all the way up to the hall wall. Does this make sense? Hope you don't think I'm rude but I LOVE fiddling around with plans even when they are not mine! I am happy to draw a sketch and email you if you have no idea what I am on about. Equally happy if you stickybeak onto my plans with any suggestions. We are getting provisional quotes right now and still have time to make changes before working drawings are done. We have a california bungalow and we are trying to re jig what we have without spending a fortune I think similar to you. Have heard it is a good time to build as there is not alot of work around at the moment and the tradies are looking for it. Also we really liked the ideas our designer came up with but she does not use cad so we have no 3d images and are keen to change to someone else.Would you recommend Peter? Are his fees reasonable? We paid $2000 for concept drawings with no cad which we thought was disappointing. We do have a super tricky roofline that required heaps of revisions so we think the fee was fair. Anyway, can't wait to follow your progress. We have almost sorted the kitchen, laundry is next. melx (bungalowbliss.blogspot.com.au) plans are second last post.

    1. HI BungalowGirl

      You are not rude! I love other peoples ideas and comments so thank you! Yes I am aware that the kitchen is a little hard. Since this plan we have changed swapped the position of the laundry & pantry this enables us to slightly smaller door on the pantry which will help on the bench space. But then on the other hand I have decided I have to have a wall oven (bad back) so I loose a bit more space. We can't move the wall of bed 2 as it's an original wall that apparently would be very hard ($$$) to move. So I am focusing on the fact that the breakfast bar is huge! I will certainly have a look at your plans and throw in my two cents worth! We have been very happy with Peter, I understand his fees are slightly above the standard building designer however well worth it. Our quote was for all concepts through to working drawings and management of engineers.surveoys etc I have been told the detail of his drawings etc make the job so much easier for builders/council etc. Just going over to check out your plans now....

  2. Plans looks fab! I read your comment on Spots and Stripes. If you tell me the street you're in, I can ask Mum if her father built the houses and what she may know about them? Feel free to email me direct off my blog if you don't want to broadcast your street name.