The hidden values of a good floor plan
My last blog post looked at how a few internal planning changes could add huge lifestyle value to a property, but did you know that a well thought out floor plan can also add huge amounts of re-sale value too? Here’s why:
Good planning is also one of the biggest factors between ensuring you get your asking price or not being able to sell. At the end of the day, it's always going to be the spaces that appeal to a buyer over and above the finishes which are easily replaceable and of more personal taste. Even the most expensive taps and kitchen cabinets are not going to improve the value of your home if the kitchen itself is cramped and dark, or if the master bedroom has the (not so) attractive view of the side of your garage!
Good planning will highlight your property's assets. It will ensure that aspects of the site worth looking at are seen, and those that aren't are concealed where possible. Spaces will be orientated so that good views can be maximised and enjoyed from the living areas of the house.
Good planning is also good for the environment. And your electricity bill. The new XA regulations that have come into effect in South Africa require new houses to have a certain level of "energy efficiency", but passive design, and to large degree, the plan itself, remains one of the most effective means of reducing energy usage. Through solar radiation (in combination with effective insulation), a correctly orientated house has the ability to keep itself warm or cool accordingly. Ensuring suitable daylight levels throughout the house will reduce the need for artificial lighting. Obviously, there are a large number of other design elements that can add or detract from a building’s ability to self-regulate its energy usage (e.g. Size and placement of glazed openings, shading devices, and choice of materials), but together with good planning we can compound their effectiveness.
Sub-consciously, a plan can have a huge effect on our mental state. Well-thought out, intuitive planning allows for clean, uncluttered living, while nooks and crannies, and windy dark spaces are confining and restrictive. The relationship between spaces is equally important in this regard. By grouping spaces according to their functionality, movement between areas intended for private use (bedrooms, bathrooms) and more communal use (living room, kitchen) can be kept separated for privacy and functionality.
Efficient planning is especially important when it comes to working with small spaces. With a generous dose of lateral thinking, a good designer will be able to help you maximise the functionality of your home without having to compromise on comfort.
Thinking of renovating?
Let Gaby Millner Architecture assist you in getting the most out of your home. Please get in touch with us to arrange for a free consultation.