Create an Open Plan Home from Your Old-fashioned House

Create an Open Plan Home

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Create an Open Plan Home from Your Old-fashioned House

 

You are considering making your old-fashioned house open plan. However, you’re unsure if it is possible. The good news is that you can do it. This blog post will tell you how. 

 

Create  an  Open Plan Home

Consult a Professional Before Knocking Down a Wall

 

Before you start knocking down walls, get some professional advice. It might not seem like a big deal, but it is to an architect or designer. They are the ones who know what will work best in your home. As well, they can guide you about making the space more open. To make sure that these professionals have enough information. As well, to help them give better answers, please gather together: 

  • Drawings of how the house was before you made any changes 
  • Drawings of where all furniture was
  • What areas will you leave with no natural light? 

Rough sketches may also do! You should always include measurements on any drawing so everything can stay proportional. This is important when planning out how much space will be available per room. There should be at least one drawing per room. 

It is essential to make sure that the professional advisor has enough information before they start giving advice. For example, they should look at your drawings and see what rooms are affected by changes in layout. 

 

Pre-Design the Different “Home Zones” (Kitchen, Bedroom, Living Room, etc.)

 

The kitchen is a personal zone, so it should be private with its entrance. Kitchen furniture will not need to match other pieces of furniture in the house. They are made for functionality and use more than beauty. 

On the other hand, the bedroom or living room can have matching (or complementary) furnishings that add visual interest. Create your desired atmosphere such as relaxing country living. Designers recommend at least one window in every room. As well, if possible, you will want natural light during waking hours. You can also add your personal touch by getting custom windows that will match your design. It will help you maintain the theme and style of the house. 

 

Create an Open Plan Home
Create an Open Plan Home

 

Have Enough Money for Additional Costs

 

If you live in a terraced house, on your property, then it has likely been divided up into lots. It means that if you want to make changes like opening part of your ground floor to create an open plan living area, there may be extra costs associated with buying and demolishing neighbouring properties for new projects to take shape. You will need enough money for all these additional expenses before starting any work. Having insufficient funds could lead to delays or even being unable to carry out the project at all!  

Choosing to make your old-fashioned house open plan can be a lot of work. It’s not something you want to do if the costs are going to outweigh any benefits. To find out whether this is for you, calculate how much it would cost with each change. Next, compare the prices of knocking down walls or swapping furniture around and budget appropriately. Then add in design consultation fees from an interior designer before making a final decision on whether or not this project is viable for you financially.

 

Adhere to the Party Wall Act

 

If you plan to knock down a wall or alter your roof, make sure that the Party Wall act is adhered to. It ensures both parties can discuss any changes and agree on their effects before proceeding with construction work. If you do not comply with this law, it could lead to court procedures which will be costly if things go wrong.

The Party wall Act dictates what you can do to a shared boundary, such as moving a wall. If the property is yours, it generally won’t be an issue unless there are laws against it in that area.

If you’re sharing walls with a neighbour:

  • Work out who will have responsibility for changing fittings like sockets and switches before knocking down walls 
  • Make sure that neighbours agree to the construction method and materials
  • Negotiate how you will share, or not share, any parking spaces

 

Conclusion

 

A common misconception is that having an open house plan will make it feel more spacious. However, it isn’t always the case because sometimes people do not want to take up their living room with dining, for example, and instead use those rooms as personal zones, which means they need doors. 

Areas such as kitchens or bathrooms can have walls and openings into other areas of the home, so they are still fluid while providing privacy. Before knocking down a wall, homeowners should consider many things, including if there’s enough money for additional costs like construction work and finding out about Party Wall Act requirements first.

 

For More Home Advice:

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Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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30 thoughts on “Create an Open Plan Home from Your Old-fashioned House”

  1. Before making any renovation plan, we should always have a backup plan. In some places where labour is not expensive, renovating houses would be an easy job. But with places like Australia where the cost of labour is too pricey, sometimes it is best to buy new built-in parts to upgrade your home.

  2. Oh yeah….those tiny little additional costs that are incurred usually skip the minds of many and yet, they’re so essential. We need some money set aside specifically for that. Thanks for the reminder, Dr. Elise!

  3. My parents are thinking of doing a renovation in our house. Glad I came over this post. This is indeed a great help and thanks to you for the information. Definitely planning should be clear!

  4. Open plans are all the rage now and I love how they look! I’m trying to convince my aunt to change her stuffy apartment into an open plan, it would bring in so much light and space.

  5. I’m not really good with designing or renovating a house or even a furniture. I’ll just take your advice to leave it on professionals. Thanks.

  6. my take, spend good money on things you touch every day! like door hardware, doors, faucets, appliances, kitchen cabinets. The tactile experience sends a daily reminder to you and your guests about the solidity and quality of your home.

  7. Oh this is an interesting idea and i think very applicable to my house too. We got a very old fashion house too as we inherited thr house from our grand parents.. While we made several attempts before, what really worries us is we might encounter underlying problems because the house is too old and it may not be practical to destroy it. I guess contacting a professional is an ideal and smart option

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.