Opening a new restaurant? Renovating your home? In either case, you would like to direct your attention to the most important part to maximize the opportunity: interior design, whether it is for branding, maximizing spatial use, or to provide a certain living atmosphere. Lucky for you, archiparti can do the job for you.
Once you have made your mind to undertake the upgrade, the first thing you need to do is to measure your space. Site measurement is a crucial tool for the communication between you and your furniture fabricator, interior designer or contractor. By providing a detailed numerical sketch, you get closer to a more customized and fitting design.
Again, archiparti can do the measurement for you if you are using our service, but you can do it on your own as well! Here is a step-by-step guide to DIY site measurement.
Do I Need a Floor Plan?
The floor plan is at the heart of DIY site measurement, because it is a reliable source for a DIY measurer like you. Referring to a floor plan, you can make sure that you have gone through every side of your space and that you have done it accurately. It is good if you have the plan with you from the landlord or from ex-tenant, but there may be cases where you have to find or even create & design your own floor plan. You don’t have to be afraid! Here we introduce two easy ways you can have a decent floor plan in your hands.
1. Search on the Internet
This may sound too conventional, but classics are classics for a reason. Many websites of real estate companies provide floor plans for free. The one we recommend is that of Centaline Property Agency (www1.centadata.com) for it provides extensive information.
Or an even simpler way is to search “[Name of Your Space] + [Floor #] + [Unit #] + [Floor Plan].” For example, if you live in The Belcher’s, you can type “The Belcher’s Tower 6 11th floor plan.” Click the search result links, or simply go to the image tab and save the blueprint.
Type some words, click a couple of times, and voilà, there is your floor plan! Just be careful to double-check that you found the correct one because the Internet often shows too much information.
2.Use programs or applications
If you cannot find the necessary floor plan from a quick search, you may want to create one on your own. MagicPlan is a free, handy application that helps you draw a floor plan by taking few photos from your cell phone.
When you are making your own floor plan, the degree of accuracy depends on the purpose. For fitting in furniture, the error should be less than 5mm, and you need to see if any wall or floor is not straight or flat respectively. On the other hand, for communicating with interior designer or contractor to demolish and rebuild your place, 5mm error is acceptable if the wall is to be kept. If the wall will be knocked down, the error doesn’t matter at all.
One last advice about floor plan: make sure that the floor plan is same with the existing area! It doesn’t have to be a piece of art nor detailed description, but needs to be clear, correct, and complete. Or else, your entire measurement might be misleading and confusing!
3. Get help from the government
If you are residing in Hong Kong, you can refer to the HKSAR Government’s Buildings Department (http://www.bd.gov.hk/english/services/index_bic.html). Building Information Centre provides copying service for any private buildings. Via online, use BRAVO System (https://bravo.bd.gov.hk/login.action). It requires registration.
If you prefer offline process, you can visit 13/F, Pioneer Centre, 750 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon from 9:00am to 5:00pm, from Monday to Friday. You can walk-in, but we recommend making an appointment for a more efficient use of time.
The fee for inspection of an electronic record is $36 per file, and copying the certified plan costs $42 while the uncertified costs $24 per sheet.
2. Measure Heights
If you are ready with your floor plan, you can start measuring! There are a number of tools you can make use of, but we highly recommend using a steel tape measure. Tape measures are produced in various lengths, from 3m to 10m, but if you are going to use it only at home, 5m should be enough. If it is for a larger space like a restaurant or a bar, you might want to get a longer one.
If you have a tape with you, begin with measuring the distance between the floor and the ceiling. An important tip: for an accurate measurement, stick the vertically folded metal hook of the tape to the floor. The hook can be very useful to make sure that you have correctly measured the shortest possible distance (the height) between the floor and the ceiling of your space.
Most of the times, a space has a uniform height, but the heights differ by sections (e.g. different heights for bathroom and bedroom)! In such cases, don’t forget to measure each and every one of them, and keep the record organized.
Also, if a false ceiling is to be kept, measure the height of the falseceiling. If not, measure the height of the real ceiling, and measure setting off and dimensions of all area.
3.Measure Lengths and Widths
As you have finished measuring the vertical stretch of your space, now you need to work on the horizontal part. This is not so different from measuring the height, but requires help from others because you cannot just put one end of the tape on the floor. Ask your friends to hold the other end of the tape for you for a more accurate measurement!
Remember to measure the maximum length and width first to enhance accuracy. If you begin with the longer sides of your space, it is easier for you to approximate the size of your space. Each measurement can be compared to an individual tree, while the general sense of size is like looking at the forest.
4. Measure Openings
We are reaching the end! When you are measuring your site to request an interior design, there is one thing you should never forget about – the openings. Pay attention to where your windows and doors are, because if you don’t, you might find your bed sitting right in front of your room’s door. Meticulous measurement of windows, doors, and other gadgets that should not be hidden, for example, your fuse box, is the key to the interior design that fits your place.
Again, using a tape measure, check the width and length of the windows and openings. Then, measure the setting off from walls and floors. Next is to photo record all the framing pattern and conditions for reference. The last step is to take note of and measure complicated bay windows’ depth and size, as well as any other special features. This way, you can be assured that your designer will put the right size of the sofa at the right spot.
5. Measure Outdoor Area
Grab your gear, it’s time to go outside! The last step to DIY site measurement is checking the exterior of your space. You might ask, why does exterior have to do with interior design? It is not even my property whatsoever!
Yet, we say it is important to know the height and width of the entrances, maximum dimension capacity of the elevator, and the way from the parking lot to your space especially if there are turns and staircases, in order to be sure that your furniture can safely arrive at your space.
Indeed, not only the space is to be designed but also the design process must be designed. Hence, never overlook the significance of outdoor measurement.
By now, you should have grasped an idea about DIY site measurement. The measurement will be handy not only for interior designs but also for moving, selling and renting the space. You can calculate the perimeter and the area of your space by referring to the measurements that you have already done!
So what are you doing here? Measure your space and start improving your space with stunning color & designs ideas.
Dana, archiparti blog contributor
archiparti empowers project owners and independent designers, by streamlining the process in the design and build industry. Benefit from personalized and professional design service, as well as on-site measurement service. To get a professional assistance on your project you can contact us & get free quotes.