In any home improvement project, the most important steps are those taken before the actual work begins. The time to make your mistakes is while the work is still on paper! Projects can get out of hand both from a cost and workflow standpoint because changes or additions, caused by poor planning, are required during the renovation.
The first step in planning a reno is to identify all the problems in the house. What are the areas of the house that simply don't work? Have each family member go through a day in his or her mind, trying to spot all the unsatisfactory situations and all the things they currently tolerate but would rather not. Problems usually fall into four areas:
- a lack of space
- a poor layout with awkward traffic patterns
- house systems in poor repair
- unsatisfactory aesthetics.
Very often one problem is so blatant that others are not even considered until the project is completed. At that point, the second most serious problem becomes the major source of complaint. A well-planned renovation can solve many problems simultaneously. It is best to list the problems in order of priority. You may not be able to afford to fix all the problems in the first project, so this will help you decide where to trim, if necessary.
When renovations are considered, one solution usually comes immediately to mind. You may think, "We need another bedroom for the new baby." However, there are usually several possible solutions to any problem and the most obvious may not be the best. Remember, too, that there is usually more than one problem to be solved and that you are looking for the best answer to the greatest number of problems. For example, if a family is growing and another bedroom is needed, perhaps the answer is a new master bedroom addition for the parents, with the baby taking over the existing room. If the original master bedroom is small, this solution will solve two problems simultaneously. It might even solve three problems if a second bathroom is added as part of the master bedroom suite. The important thing is to keep an open mind, until all of the possibilities have been considered.
-Sourced from Sears Manage My Home
Next week: Part II: Taking Advantage of What You Already Have