Aug 21, 2011

Three Keys to Preparing for a Successful New Home or Remodeling Project


You have some sort of picture in your mind of how you want your house to look, to function, to feel.

How do you communicate that to your Architect, and to the people who’ll be building the walls and installing the countertops?

The key to success in a new home or remodeling project is making sure all parties – you, your Architect, and your contractor - all fully understand that picture in your mind.

Here are a few ideas to help you make your vision crystal clear:

1) Collect and Organize

Whenever you come across something that appeals to you for your house, take a photo of it; tear the page out of the magazine; or print it from your computer. Even if the photo or drawing only has a tiny thing you like, get it on paper.


An easy way to find lots of images is to pick up “home design” and “home decorating” magazines at bookstores or home improvement stores. Another great source is the website www.houzz.com, where you can create an “ideabook” from hundreds of thousands of very high-quality photographs (read more about how we use Houzz here).

Get a binder of some sort and organize all your photos and clippings into groups by room - and keep it updated.


2) Look Inside

It’s easy to think that your job – as the homeowner – is to come up with solutions for your project. And while there’s definitely a time for that, it’s far more important that you first focus on defining the problem.

That means carefully and honestly examining your daily life in relation to your house – does it really do what you want/need it to do? The more detail you provide about what does and doesn’t work in your house the better you’ll be able to evaluate proposed solutions.

Ask all your household members for their thoughts, in detail – after all, they’ve got to live in the house, too!

Write everything down, no matter how small or “crazy” it may seem. It’s through this kind of honest introspection that you’ll be able to identify your real needs.

3) Research

A successful design and construction project depends on equal expectations; the more you know about design and construction the better! There are many great books and websites that can help you better understand your house, and the issues you should know about to ensure a successful project.

Start with these books: Get Your House Right by Marianne Cusato, and The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka.

You’ll also find dozens of articles about residential design and construction right here on Sense of Place. And while you’re here, sign up for “Knock Knock”, our occasional newsletter of great home design insights – delivered right to your email inbox.

For personalized, expert help with your home design project, stop by our office in Historic Dublin, Ohio; give us a call at 614-766-7257; or shoot us an email.







Need expert Residential Architectural advice for your new home or remodeling project? Contact Richard Taylor, AIA at RTA Studio.