Design & Planning

How to Measure a Room

You need to know how to measure a room in order to create a 2D room layout or floorplan. This post goes into WHY and HOW to quickly & easily measure a room!

Do you know how to create a 2D room layout?  Well, first off, do you know WHY you would need (or want) to make a 2D room layout?  What about how to measure a room?  Today I’m answering all those questions AND I’m even sharing a video going into more details on how to measure a room!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE making room layouts.  Heck, I’ve been doing them since I was little, so it’s not a problem for me to go around a room quickly and get all the measurements down.

But I’ve also realized that measuring a room and reading a floorplan doesn’t come naturally to some people.  So I’ve written this guide to help if you’re in that boat AND I’ve created a video going over everything too.

Why do you need/want a 2D room layout?

You might ask yourself why the heck you might need a room layout or floorplan in the first place.  Well, if you’ve ever bought furniture or a rug, only to realize that it’s way out of size for your room… then creating a floorplan is a good first step to avoid that mistake!

You would also need a floorplan if you’re planning on doing any renovations or remodelling projects.  Not only will you need to communicate to your contractors (or your spouse/helpers) where everything will go, you might also need to submit the drawings to get building plans.

Basically, you want to have a good 2D plan in place before you start ordering new furniture, moving existing furniture or trying to fit things in that just won’t fit :)

What do you need to make a simple layout?

  • Piece of paper or something to write on
  • Pencil/pen (something to write with)
  • Measuring tape

How do you measure a room?

  1. The first thing I always do is look around the room and draw out the shape on my piece of paper.  Most rooms are square/rectangular shaped, so it’s pretty quick to get started.  Do not worry about having perfectly straight lines or making sure that everything lines up.  Today is just about creating a simple floorplan, and next week I’ll go over how to create a to-scale drawing.
  2. Now, you’ll want to draw any obstacles/features that might get in the way of furniture placement.  This includes doorways, windows, maybe floor registers, columns, whatever!  Again, just sketch them on your paper and don’t worry about being perfect.
  3. From here, you’re going to get your measuring tape out and start measuring the walls along the floor.  Each time you measure a new wall, write down the measurements on your paper where they belong.  Don’t forget to include the width of doors, windows, or anything else you may need.

Video: How to Measure a Room

The video below goes into the same details as the steps above, but may include a bit more tips or insight if you’re still confused:

Including Furniture Measurements

I also have a quick tip at the end of the video about furniture measurements.  Up until now, we haven’t been concerned with measuring the height of the room (although you may need this for certain renovations like kitchens or even wall treatments).  Whenever I measure furniture, I usually draw the shape of the item outside of my normal room shape, then include the measurements there.

This will make more sense next week when I go into more details on creating a to-scale floorplan, so make sure to stop back in :)

I hope you have a bit more insight into how to measure a room!  You might have noticed that sometimes I use the feet measurements (say 8′ 6″) and sometimes I’ll write the inches (say 102″) – do whatever is easiest for you!

Do you have any questions about measuring a room so far?  Remember, this is just the first step to create a usable floorplan!  Come back next week to see how to transform this simple sketch into a to-scale drawing (and even how you can arrange furniture without having to actually move furniture).

Nicole Q-Schmitz name signoff

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