Step 1

Measure Your Home

Measure Your Home

Make a rough drawing on a good sized piece of paper, drawing the shape of the house, plus the relationship of the house to existing paths and other hardscape, beds, large shrubs and trees. Include what will be retained in the final design.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Measure the House

Take a series of measurements across the facade of the house, noting the position of doors, windows, and bays. Also note the distance from the side of the house to the boundary. Mark all of these measurements clearly on your rough sketch.

Step 2

Measuring with Triangulation

Measuring with Triangulation

Start from the house and measure the boundaries. Measure the diagonal distances as well as the length of each fence to pinpoint corner. This method is called triangulation and it will prevent the plan from looking lop sided or skewed.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Use Triangulation

Measure from one corner of the house to a point on the boundary, or a feature, such as a tree. Repeat from another point on the house to the same point on the boundary or feature. Note these on your sketch. To plot a curved or uneven boundary using triangulation, take measurements at about three-feet (one-meter) intervals. Draw the triangles and note the measurements you make on your rough sketch.

Step 3

Use 90 Degree Angles

Use 90 Degree Angles

Make a rough drawing on a good sized piece of paper, drawing the shape of the house, plus the relationship of the house to existing paths and other hardscape, beds, large shrubs and trees. Use 90 degree angles to section off specific areas.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Take Offsets

Peg a tape measure at 90 degrees to the house at a point you measured in Step 1, and lay it along the length of the garden. Lay a second tape at 90 degrees to the first to measure the position of boundaries and features. When taking offsets, use a giant tri-square to ensure that your tape measure is at exactly 90 degrees to the house, and that the second tape is at right angles to the first. If these angles are slightly out, your plan will not be accurate. Mark each of your measurements onto your rough sketch.