I was talking with a friend of mine, last Saturday during a break in our improv class, about the house he bought about a year ago in St. Paul. He and his wife are really bummed out, they had wanted to do so many things to this house and are overwhelmed and do not know where to start. He said all the fun was gone and they are actually thinking of selling the house.
Anyone who is overwhelmed by all the changes and projects they are trying to do in their house, might find some relief in creating a master plan.
What does a master plan do?
A master plan allows you to collect all your thoughts on what changes need to be done, and helps you prioritize and budget for them. A master plan, also, keeps you from making mistakes – such as doing one project at a time, to find you have to undo some of the work once another project starts.
Have you ever painted a room, then decided to change a wall or window? Redoing a project a second time is not nearly as much fun is it?
How do you create a master plan?
The first step is to create a wish list of everything you might want to change in your house. Get this all on paper, or a spreadsheet for those of you who are spreadsheet folks. Then prioritize the list by most important to least important. Oh, make sure you and your wife or significant other agree on this scope of work and its importance. If not, there may be conflicting priorities and confusion as you start the master plan.
Once you have this organized list, you can start to put the plan together.
If you have never tried something like this before, getting help from a contractor, architect, or designer might be critical. I have a saying that I firmly believe in “I don’t know what I don’t know.” There have been times in my life when I have tried to do something, that I had never done before – both personally and professionally – and have come to realize the value in getting help from professionals.
Understanding all your options, costs, and how to value engineer in a remodel, takes quite a few years of experience.
If you have gone through at least 7 or 8 remodels over the years, you might feel OK doing this yourself. You will also need to know how to measure and draw your space up. There are some fairly easy to use programs out there. Google SketchUp is one of them. You can try measuring and drawing the space up on your own. Don’t feel bad if you get frustrated. It happens to all of us.
Once you have a master plan in place – then it is just a matter of prioritizing what you want to do first.
For other articles on design please check out these titles: How to Manage a Remodeling Project Like a Pro, Can plumbing be installed on an exterior wall?, Are Your Projects Not Getting Built Because of Budget?