10 planning tips to make the most of your project


  1. Rather than starting to search for pre-drawn plans or trying to figure out locations where an addition could physically fit, you really should begin by carefully evaluating your specific needs & goals.
  2. Think of and evaluate comforting ‘spaces’ you have seen that have left a favorable impression. What is it that makes those ‘spaces’ feel good to you?
  3. Seriously consider whether you really need Dining and/or Living ‘Rooms’ - most people only use them once or twice a year, thus becoming what I like to call ‘furniture museums’ most of the time.
  4. Make a ‘wish list’ of your needs, goals & desires. Differentiate between 'have-to-have' & ‘nice-to-have’. Prioritize each item as to its relative importance. Use these lists to evaluate various possibilities / designs.
  5. If cost is a factor, establish as early as you can both an ‘ideal budget’ as well as a ‘maximum budget’.
  6. The ‘authorities’ have building bylaws that more than likely will dictate what & where you are able to build.
  7. Try to plan your project to meet your future needs, as you age - not just your current ones.
  8. Collecting magazine clippings of images or ‘styles’ that appeal to you may be a good way of conveying to someone else what you like. Carefully evaluate what is appealing; is it the entire space, the materials, just the furniture, certain colors, the ‘feel’, something else?
  9. Think beyond immediate changes that need to be done, and consider your long-term wish list. Even if you are not wanting / unable to do everything at once, make sure you have a ‘master-plan’, so you are always working toward a common goal.
  10. Realize that one of the secrets to a successful addition will have to do with the fact that it doesn’t look like an addition.