I love numbers. Not math necessarily, although that does intrigue me. I find an unusual pleasure in hosting parties on dates such as August 8 in 2008, and this past week on 10/11/12. My car features the plate 6022AV0. For those with a chemistry background, I challenge you to point out its origin. One of my favorite books is The Nothingness That Is: The Natural History of Zero. Fascinating!
I even go so far as to use a prime number whenever I can. Why not? I like the larger numbers like 113, 311 or 3001. Call me strange but I have a web site bookmarked on my phone for those opportunities in which I might use one (http://www.calculus.info/tables/prime/prime.html). No one really knows…or probably cares, but it humors me nonetheless.
I often will set appointments at 4:56 or something to the minute – a not-so-typical minute. People tend to be punctual when you have a lunch appointment at 12:12. No one wants to be a minute late for fear of missing something important. Well, lunch is important and being consistently punctual can set you apart from your competition. While this is not about punctuality or a competitive edge, it is about numbers. A specific number, rather: 13.
Over the years, I have discovered that the number 13 works very well for me during the <very> conceptual home design process. It can be added and divided quickly to arrive at a home size. This can be useful during a meeting with a potential client. In less than a minute, either a list of rooms or a spur-of-the-moment sketch you produce in their presence can be converted into real square feet. While it’s not a refined process, it is a useful tool.
An average home fits this model fairly well. Consider this scenario using the 13’-0” x 13’-0” space as a basis for all the rooms in a house. This number can, for general purposes, also include the width of the walls (see attached diagrams):
And by multiplying by 2…
Recreation/Great Room 13’x26’
And by multiplying by 4…
2-car Garage 26’x26’
And dividing 13 by 2…
Walk-in Closet 6.5’x6.5’
Master Bathroom 6.5’x6.5’
And by subdividing that in half…
Mechanical Closet 3’x6.5’
Powder Room 3’x6.5’
To note, my 6.5’x6.5’ bathroom calculation is the equivalent space of a typical 5’-0”x7’-0” bathroom (with wall thicknesses) at around 42 square feet.
Here is the additional important information to make this tool even more useful. If you happen to be working with a family on a tighter budget, you can simply change this dimension to 12’-0”x12’-0”. Conversely, by bumping it up to 14’-0”, 15’-0” or more, you can accommodate a client’s wishes for a more spacious-than-average home. Finally, don’t forget the circulation space. The standard equation for adding hallways and other circulation areas is to simply add 10% to the total room area.
Take five minutes and review this design tool. Sketch out some squares and bust out a calculator. See what you discover on your own.
What other quick design tools and tricks do you use?