The Whole House Plan

Small urban homes

These are my speciality.  I grew up in countless different ones and have always centered my projects on them. Remodeling one can be a challenge.  Over the decades many changes have been made and construction methods have changed and evolved as well. Discovering what’s been done and why is what I find interesting. I love a space with a history and I love discovering this history with my clients through the on site consultation. Everything from an old roof under a new one or 2 steps down , door, then 2 steps up to get to the washer dryer (see image)

Uncovering what’s there

Planning a remodel or addition to an existing home requires upfront planning to find out what is already there. We need to know how it was built and determine whether it will affect your project and if so, how. This means all projects start with an onsite consultation with previous research to find out the history of your home and what was permitted and what was not.  Then we move on to existing condition drawings to find out what structure already exists and how can we safely add to it.  Many times the permitting department will require upgrading spaces be brought up to existing code.  You will want to know early in your project if that is required.

Then the fun part

Once we get all this important but not so exciting stuff out of the way we begin to talk about how you will use your new space and will this new space change how you use your existing spaces that are staying.  It’s very common to find that new traffic patterns are created when new space is added and now you do things a little differently than you did in your old space.  I had one client turn the dining room they never used into a den which then prompted them to put in a new door to a new covered deck.  This is one of the reasons I look at the whole site.  We also had a project to add a new primary bath and add a bigger walk in closet using existing unused space.  Turns out the unintended consequence was a a new space on the other side of the wall for a bookcases and a reading chair. These are “Happy little accidents

All spaces are connected

Repurposing an indoor space means you use it differently and then maybe that changes how you use an outdoor space and then maybe you find you don’t even need that other space you thought was so important.  Indoor, outdoor and all the in between spaces can be affected when you remodel or add an addition.  This is a good thing! As long as you are aware of this from the beginning and plan accordingly.

Whole house…but maybe not all at once

Many of my clients already know this so they hire me for a whole house plan.  Maybe they don’t have the funds to have it all built today but want to be ready as soon as they do.  Therefore, I collect programming for how they want to use their spaces (now and in the future) then we document it all with drawings! They then have the confidence to move forward with smaller projects knowing they won’t have to go back and undo or redo any changes they have made.  It’s a win-win!

The process for success

Sit in your space, make a list of the changes you want but don’t be specific.  For a quick, basic example, add to your list “a place for coats”.  Not “I want a closet by the front door for coats” because maybe a closet is not the best solution for the challenges you are having and maybe you never even use your front door because you always come in the back! Sometimes people think they need to plan for resale.  But if you want to love your home you need to plan for how you use the space not some unknown future person who maybe doesn’t even own a coat. Plus times change maybe all those standard things that people think they need are now obsolete.

Learn how to change spaces in your home by starting small.
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