Filling you all in on something I learned about last week… FRAMING.
So, as we do, let’s talk Real Estate, let’s talk FRAMING your property…
ALRIGHT SO , WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT FRAMING THIS WEEK?
Well, for those of you have been with us a while, you may remember me telling you about how I had drawn the designs and floorplans for Project Philadelphia. It was actually really cool, and I thought I had somehow figured it out when my contractor, lender, and the city all “accepted” my plans… BUT I made a mistake that ultimately forced me to turn my whole floorplan around on the fly last week.
QUICK OVERVIEW OF HOW I CAME UP WITH THE PLANS BEFORE WE MOVE ON TO WHAT I LEARNED
I toured the property several times, took “measurements” (these were very loose measurements as the place was totally trashed), and drew up a sketch in PowerPoint (PPT). I then sent this PPT doc to an online architect, had them whip up some actual blueprints based on my PPT designs and numbers and voila, I had my self some real-life blue prints. These blue prints were sent to my contractor, who then took them to the city to pull the building permits and we began tearing the place up. Now fast forward through demo and gutting the entire place, re-building a new exterior wall, replacing the two roofs, and two months later…
IT’S FRAMING TIME
The team has 10 days to complete the entire interior framing of the house. They take my blueprints I sent over two months ago, blow them up (this part looked super legit), and began building only to realize… MY NUMBERS WERE TOTALLY OFF.
WHY WERE THEY OFF?
Because I did not take into account how much room the framing itself would take up of the square footage of the property. Now this property is a VERY NARRROW place so ANY square footage counts. Rule of thumb will tell you that framing will take off ~4.5 inches on each side of the wall. SO, when I thought one of my bedrooms was going to be 9 ft by 7.5 ft, it was ACTUALLY going to be ~8ft by 6.5 ft… and honestly you could tell. Because of these “little” errors I knew my current floorplan was just NOT going to work. It would have been SO uncomfortable for any future tenant and just not right. So, what started out as 2 bed (bedrooms in the rear of the home), 1 bath apartment, turned into a 1 HUGE bed (bedroom is now in the front of the apartment BUT now has a walk in closet-woo!), 1 bath apartment. Now, this will probably hurt my after repair value (ARV) BUT trying to force a small space into a 2 bed, 1 bath would have also hurt my ARV and the potential for any tenants wanting to live there.
SO, HOW DID WE DO THIS ON THE FLY?
The general contractor (GC) and myself stood inside the empty house, looking at the exterior wall framing and tried to develop a plan. We very literally walked around the property with a pencil and began “drawing” rooms on the floor of the property so we could look at potential new layouts, and physically “stand in the rooms” to get a feel of how big everything would be. This was honestly pretty cool. We very literally flipped the entire layout around and I think it will workout for the best (fingers crossed). Once we were okay with the new layout, we drew it on paper, took actual measurements of the new floorplan and I headed home to update them online for documentation purposes.
WHAT WAS NEXT?
Well, remember I had hired a virtual architect to draw up my plans last time, but that took about a week and I needed to fix these plans ASAP. SO, I downloaded an engineering app (Lucidchart) and began re-drawing the blueprints from scratch to fit the new measurements. This took me ~4 hours, and by the next morning the framers were back in framing out the new floorplan.
SO, WHAT DID I LEARN FROM THIS?
(1) Making sure your measurements are totally accurate is A MUST
(2) The wall framing will take away ~4.5 inches on each wall so plan accordingly!
(3) IMPROVISE… I am SURE we will run into many more similar issues as we move forward on this project. While I was semi-stressed when I got the call from the GC that the original layout was not going to work, I simply changed my plans, hopped on a train the next morning and we figured it out! Turns out, it was actually kind of fun (for me, maybe not for the GC – sorry)!
How do YOU come up with your floorplans?! Do you work with an architect or do the layouts yourself?! Have YOU ever run into any similar issues?!
Feel free to comment on the blog post HERE and let us know what YOU think!
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