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Achieving a home that flows properly, with the right balance of rooms to match your lifestyle, is all down to good preparation. Julian Owen explains how architects approach space planning
This house by Giles Pike Architects ( features an open plan living-dining space on the ground floor, which also allows the views through the floor-to-ceiling glazing to be seen from the various zones

The crunch point of a house design – the first time that all your ideas and hopes come up against hard reality – is when the initial scaled plan is drawn up. This is because, whatever the budget, most of us would like a larger house than we can afford and it is painful when a size limit has to be set. Obviously the larger the planned building the more it will cost, but it is impossible to predict the exact price of each square metre.

To start the planning of a house, the money available for its construction is estimated and divided by a realistic £/m2 rate that allows for the desired level of construction quality. This calculation produces a total floor area that can be divided into separate rooms. At this early stage it is quite difficult to imagine what areas described in square metres will actually look like in reality and whether they will be appropriate. But sharing out the space between rooms efficiently is essential to make the best use of your money.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Build It - February 2017
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February 2017
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About Build It

The February edition of Build It magazine will help you get your self build, renovation or extension project off on the right foot. It’s packed with inspiration and advice, including: • A run-down barn transformed in to a stunning contemporary home (page 22) • A beginners guide to self build (page 62) • 8 hot ideas for stoves & fires (page 69) • Create your ideal kitchen with our in-depth guide (page 74) • Get room sizes right (page 96) … and more!