An unfinished basement or attic, disused bedroom, or decades-outdated living room might seem like wasted space to some but to others, these rooms represent a world of possibility. A home remodeling project, from a subtle re-envisioning to a structural overhaul, can breathe life and energy into even the most tired, lackluster spaces, making your home feel as new as the day you moved in. In this guide we'll show you how to use the breadth of the Web to get ideas, plan your rooms, develop a budget, hire the right professionals, and more.
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Choosing a floor plan can be tough—especially if you're not a visual person. A professional architect or remodeler should be able to guide you but here are some sites that can help along the way.
- If you want to keep costs down, ask your contractor about ways to design the layout to minimize your expenses while still providing you with a reasonable degree of change you desire.
- If you can't understand the symbols on a floor plan, don't be afraid to ask your professional.
- If you're having trouble visualizing the layout from a floor plan, ask your architect or remodeler to draw the rooms in perspective.
- An axonometric drawing (one in which you appear to be looking down at the plan in a three-dimensional drawing) may be helpful.
- When searching for floor plans on the Web, you're likely to find an array of plans for new homes. If a professional home building company designed your home, it's possible that the company's Web site could contain floor plan updates or improvements on your home's design.
is the Web site of the National Association of Home Builders. The site has a "For Consumers" section loaded with interesting articles like "Building a Custom Home" and a varied collection of "Floor Plans
" complete with photos of the finished project.
is a business graphics software program that can help you create floor plans. Are you ready to design your new addition or kitchen remodel? Download a free trial to check it out or purchase a license for one or more users to get started.
is the online home of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Home Advisory Service. In the "DIY Design Guide," the institute offers excellent advice on planning a renovation with specific attention to the all-important floor plan. First word of advice? Before getting too attached to a certain floor plan, take a look at the shape of your roof: will the plan work with your existing roofline and ridges? The article does a great job of addressing other floor plan considerations like space, circulation, energy efficiency, views, and overall exterior appearance.
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