Diary of a Remodeling Project: Beginning the Design Work

October 3rd, 2007 by Mary Schmelzer

We began the design work for our own home the way we begin remodels and additions for our clients: on-site measuring and 3-D computer modeling of the existing structure. Once we had the information entered, we could easily sketch over the printouts and try out different elements: roof pitches and sizes, window sizes and placements, and what an addition would look like in 3D. There is no better substitute than 3D for being able to picture the possibilities.

After many of our own iterations, we decided on a plan that would give us the additional spaces and features we want:

All bedrooms on the second floor
Master suite
Mudroom
Remodeled second floor bath
New windows and siding
3-season porch converted to 4-season living space
Better daylighting
More efficient heating and cooling
Opportunity to use solar powered water heat

As it is for everyone, the wish list is always bigger than the budget. It’s always a good idea to prioritize (perhaps each person in the family) to get a good understanding of which elements are the “deal breakers” (not worth doing the project if not included). Since everyone in the family is affected, it’s good to have input and support. After the “deal breakers” are included, work down the list to see how many other items can be fit in.

The design work then becomes a puzzle to creatively fit in as many wishes as possible.

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