One of the key steps to any renovation is making sure you are making the most of the floor plan you have. If not, it could cost you thousands of dollars in capital investment and hundreds in rental value. My husband and I bought a property in country Victoria in 2008 and it hadn’t really been touched since it was built in 1951. The owners cleverly added a large living area to the rear in the 80’s and in turn changed the original living room into a 3rd bedroom.
A great way to increase a home’s value is to add a room or dramatically increase the living space.
I will start be featuring today the most dramatic change to the floor plan which is situated at the rear and includes the kitchen, dining, living room and laundry.
So, when thinking about re-designing a floor plan, what questions do you need to consider?
The first one is who will be using the space and how many? Does it suit a family of two adults and 2 children or a childless couple? Is breakfast better served at the island bench? Do you need to accommodate extra guests for birthdays and holidays? Will a childless couple require a home gym or office space?
What will the family be doing in which area? Does dad like his own reading chair? Does mum do yoga in the living room? Will the children be doing homework on the kitchen table?
Mum tells the kids to do their homework at the island bench. Why? Because then she can cook dinner and help with homework at the same time.
Dad enters via the laundry door when he comes home from work. Why? Because he can throw his dirty clothes, stinky socks and muddy boots where they need to go and then grab some chips and a beer on the way through to the bathroom.
Girlfriend does internet shopping in the kitchen study nook. Why? So that she and her boyfriend can talk about their day whilst he cooks her a roast chicken and they sip fine wine.
This is a lighting question. When does the family watch TV? Mornings or evenings or both? Check for glare. When do they exercise? When is the outdoor alfresco used?
How can you maximise space? Is there any space that is cold, dark and under used? How can you add an extra room? How can you give a dead space new purpose?
By answering all these questions, I eventually had a light bulb moment. Mind you, I had a few other ideas but they never really caught on. This is because, in my floor plan, the laundry walls are load bearing. I went down the track of removing them but I didn’t want to spend the money on a builder and the beams required to do the job.
This is what I came up with.
1. Remove and update old heating sources and unused fireplaces. (extra space = found 3 square meters)
2. Move the kitchen into the old dining space. (extra space = found 10 square metes)
3. Move the dining into the living room (extra space = found 6 square meters)
4. Make the laundry an extension of the kitchen.
5. Create a study where the old laundry was. (extra space = 5 square meters)
That’s right, I change the floor plan from 3 bedrooms to 3 bedrooms PLUS study! A total of 24 square meters is now being used round 24/7! This is by far the best use of this floor plan to date. Plus, the study wall has cut outs which allows light to filter through to the kitchen/dining area and the new laundry door will eventually open up to a new deck for entertaining. The kitchen island currently seats 4 comfortably.
What is this in dollars? To be honest, I need to finish off the outside and finish off a few things inside before getting the house revalued. But here are the current figures.
Bought 2008 at $220k. Re-valued just before renovation 2014 at $305.
I expect the new valuation will be around and at least $350k once finished.
Keep following me for more progress updates! Will we achieve the $350k?