Are you interested in how to create house floor plans that are to scale? This is an activity I've done with my fourth grade students, so it's a fairly basic method for how to create house floor plans. However, it will help you get a sense of the layout and placement of the rooms as well as your various furniture arrangements. Whether you are rearranging old furniture, buying new furniture, or working with an architect to plan your dream home, these basic steps will help you learn how to create house floor plans.

Step 1:  Measure your rooms to the nearest foot. The easiest way to measure the size of your rooms is to measure along where the wall meets the floor for each wall.

Step 2:  Measure the lengths and widths of all your furniture. Beds, couches, tables, TV stands, desks, fish tanks, shelving, nightstands, vanities, bathtubs, counters, ranges, and whatever else you want to put in the room that will sit on the floor if it's larger than 1 square foot should have the length and width measured. You won't need to measure the heights. This floor plan is going to be a 2 dimensional bird's eye view of your home. Again, measure to the nearest foot.

Step 3:  Draw your walls to scale. Each box on the graph paper represents 1 foot. A typical 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper will accommodate a space that is 32' by 44'. Therefore you might draw each room on a separate paper and tape them together if your home is larger than this.

Step 4:  Draw each the top of item of furniture on a separate piece of graph paper, (still to scale, where 1 square foot is represented by 1 box). Most of your furniture will either be represented by a rectangle, square, or circle; you don't need add details or have drawing ability. Just trace the lines on your graph paper, and cut them out. The advantage to doing this is you can easily move your couch and other pieces to different walls on your floor plan to visualize how well it fits.

Step 5:  The cutting is the part that might be tedious for adults (but kids love it when they can divide and conquer with the labor). So alternatively, if you would like a shortcut, you could simply draw each piece of furniture where you want it to go. This just makes it harder to make changes.

Step 6:  Use larger 1/4 inch graph paper and the same process above if you wish to design your landscaping for your lot as well. Simply dimensions of your yard, and research the the berth of mature plants that you select, garages, driveways, and so on. The 1/4 boxes still represent 1 foot when you draw your plans. And that's it! You have a scaled model of the floor plan of your home, or prospective home. Good luck!

### Tips & Warnings

• Your scale can be whatever you want it to be. One foot represented by 1/4 inch scale worked well for us because that was the sizes of the boxes on the graph paper. We had 1/2 inch graph paper, but they were too large to fit our classroom onto one sheet of paper.

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