Fun with Graph Paper

The refinishing of the garage is going very quickly. Quick enough that I’ve been feeling under the gun to figure out what in the world we want to put above the garage. It’s one thing to say “the master bedroom.” But what will that bedroom look like? Do we actually want a loft in the space? Will a loft fit? What about windows? Are we going to want a dormer or not? And how big will the bathroom be?

These are all things that need to be ironed out before you can start doing other thing like, you know, framing the space out. Which is what we want to move on to once we’re done with the downstairs. Which will probably be Saturday.

So yeah–things needed figuring out.

The problem was, I was having a lot of problems visualizing what it would look like. It looks like a big empty room at the moment. How big would the bedroom be in terms of other rooms in my house? When I measured it out, I discovered the space is about 26 feet by 27 feet. That’s a really big room. Way too big for a bedroom. And no amount of me standing there trying to visualize things was working.

So I did what any good librarian would do. I ordered 8 books about finishing attic spaces through interlibrary loan. They came, I read, and they all said the same thing–use graph paper to figure out what you want to do. That seemed like a lot of extra work, but I’m a firm believer in taking advice when you don’t know what to do.

I broke out the graph paper and drew a to-scale diagram of the space.

Things are much better now. I know that I can fit a big bathroom, a big second room, a fine-sized loft. and a really big bedroom up there. It was so helpful to look at it on paper, and then compare room dimensions with current dimensions in my house. Now, instead of trying to picture where everything will be, I’m thinking about what we’ll use all that space for. And how much lumber we’ll need to frame it.

It’s sort of an obvious conclusion: when you deal in generalities, it’s hard to figure out the solution to your problems. Once you get things down to specifics–to realities–things become a lot easier to deal with. And that doesn’t just apply to designing houses.

Anyway. I’m off to Bangor for another cataloging standards meeting. So I’m going to leave you with that thought and hop in the car. Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend!

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