How to plan your building

For most people what they consider as building plan is actually not. The most important part of a home is the interior because the ease and comfort you enjoy depends on adequate planning .
For a simple bungalow , you represent a plan on paper when you place yourself, looking at a floor plan as if you’re directly up looking down the edges of walls of the building you tends to create.
After deciding on the type of building you want, the first thing to come to mind is the adequate land space you need to accommodate the plan in reality. You have to consider the setbacks from fence, going by town planning regulations is mostly 6m or 20ft from the property line infront to the start of building and 3m or 10ft each by both sides. Also 3m or 10ft is required at the rear as setback before the building line behind. Knowing the minimum setbacks you can now check the area and compare with you really need and if you still find more space that will be left unfilled, then is good for you to have a nice landscaping plan to complement the building this will make your building actually look nicer.
How to determine room sizes
Room sizes actually depends on people that will occupy the rooms and the nature of traffic expected, the furniture is very important and knowing the nature of man and how he behaves will help in giving him the space adequate for him. The average sizes of man contributes to the sizes of furniture and in turn the room spaces. 600mm or 0.6m or 2 feet width is usually seen as a space an average man can fit in that’s why most modules in building are in 600mm or 2 feet, check the sizes of ceiling modules and the division of 600mm is of course 300mm which also serve as minimum circulation allowance after the normal 600mm. Therefore the standard door is put at 900mm to accommodate man and his furniture width. So for a common bedroom what you consider first are the furniture you planned to have inside based on the number of people to use them, then the doors and windows. Consider the bed, the size of wardrobe and other shelves this will help in determining sizes of the room.
You must have heard 6feet bed as very common statement, the wardrobe width space is around 600mm or 2 feet to 900mm as it may applies. For a minimum size of a room add door space 900mm or 3ft plus bedspace 1.8m or 6ft plus circulation space 300mm or 1ft which equals 10ft or 3m now to add the human space of 600mm or 2ft which makes it 3.6m or 12 ft which is the standard/acceptable minimum room size. Living room will require more furniture and expect convergence of more people compare to bedroom so function it should be the biggest space in the house (television,settees e.t.c) There is no set minimum but from experience I will say minimum should be from 4.2m or 14ft by 3.9m or 13ft. Dining requires less space because it requires less furniture and traffic , for this I will put the minimum as 2.4m derived from two seats in opposites of 0.6m each which adds up to 1.2m and table width of 0.9m plus 0.3m as circulation which makes 2.4m . For the longer side of the dining with five seats arrangements which is 5 by 0.6=3m.
Staircase width minimum acceptable is 0.9m or 3ft which is the size of a door, and kitchen designs has changed a lot lately , modern designs now require bigger space with breakfast table, worktops etc
Considering the arrangements in building plan you are expected to step into the waiting room from entrance porch which can sit two people before moving to the living room or for some cases a corridor that leads to other parts of the house, this type is good if you expect exceptional visitors in your living room any other persons familiar with the house can simply take the corridor and walls straight to the other rooms as shown in pictures below.

From the living room you can connect the dining directly, and from the dining next should be kitchen that has a door leading to the dining and one door leading outside of the building, this door will serve as an inlet for foodstuffs that are to be brought inside and going side by side the store and the laundry.

These facilities should have access through the kitchen door to a bay outside where foodstuffs etc can be brought in without passing through the living room.
For a residential project, is important you have three compartments calle Public,Semi Private and Private areas. Someone should be able to move from the private areas which consist mainly of bedrooms to the kitchen without you first showing up at the dining or living room to the full glare of your guests at the living room so the coordination should be this way-
LIVING ROOM,WAITING ROOM-Public
GUEST ROOM,DINING-Semi Private
BEDROOMS,STUDY-Private
KITCHEN-(In between private and semi private)
Windows also follows various sizes from 600mm for windows to 900mm,1200mm,1800mm windows as the case may apply for a tropical region like ours with erratic power supply is advisable to have two windows at different walls in a room to aid proper aeration, this will also affects arrangement of furniture and size of your rooms.

An architect with decades of experience

46 Comments

  1. more knowledge from God will always come to ur way, u are a good lecturer we need somebody like u as a minister in enginnerin firm

  2. You are great. I love your work. Please can you help me with a plan of 2 bedroom storey building flat? Four up and four down. Each must have 2 bedrooms, living room, dining, kitchen and 4 stair cases (one for each flat. Master bedroom must be 12 by 16, other room must be either 10 by 12 or 12 by 12. Please mail me.

  3. Thanks Emma. But it appears this applies only to buildings on a full plot. Could you advise on half or a quarter plot. Thanks again

    1. Well for short spaces you have to reduce the size of the rooms no doubt and you must eliminate some luxury rooms like waiting room,laundry etc
      However is not ideal to have a residential building in such plots it won’t be approved by Town planning authorities so why not go further down the outskirt buy a cheap land and build your house in 5-10 years time you’ll be surprised at how same place would have turned to a city.

  4. architecture is the home of creativity am proud to be an architect. for more details call az&partners on 08134999637 or 08020705871

  5. i do not have much money , but i just manage t o by a small land , one plot which is 50 by 100 , how much do i need to put up two bedroom flat there, thanks sam, port harcourt.

  6. Good job. Well done.
    Can you also help on “How to calculate the numbers of bags of cement and sand that will needed in the setting of certain numbers of blocks”. Thank you. Bless u!

  7. Emma, you are a gift to this generation. pple like you should be appointed as an adviser to govt. god will enlarge you and take you to the topmost top in life.
    Thank you Emma.

  8. Ure really giving gud knowledge to a lot of pple.hmmm ur reward I blive surely will be enormous.bravo nd keep it up

  9. You are a general in our field,keep up the good work……as a potential engineer wish to earn your heavenly gift and blessings. God bless you.

  10. sir i was build a 4 story modren house with lundry and store, pls can you give advice and stimate, the soil is solid

  11. Thanks its an educational piece, keep it up, please. Hows. Do I calculate the number of blocks in a flat of 3 bedrooms

  12. IM A MASION WHO KNOWS HOW TO READ AND CALCULATE THE PLAN VERY WELL,EVEN I CAN SETOUT A BUILDING PLAN IN SITE I NEED SOMEBODY THAT I WILL WORK WITH IN TERM OF BUILDING AND GET PAID AT THE END OF THE DAY OR WEEKS IT DEPENDS ON THE AGREEMENT. IF ANY ARE INTERESTED SHUOLD CALL ME 08064715624 OR EMAIL ON THE ABOVE EMAIL -echefukelechi70@gmail.com

  13. Emma, u are indeed God sent(to me). I just discovered dis site yesterday, and I can’t let go until I explore it all. God bless u richly

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