Basic Remodeling Checklist

Work with your designer to save time and money

by Robin Rigby-Fisher, Pegasus Designs

Working with a professional to make your home improvement project a success can be a challenge for both home owner and designer. The key is constant communication flowing in both directions. From the initial contact call to the final sign off, your designer will strive to serve your best interests.

Getting off on the right foot at the beginning of the project entails considerable thought and planning. Robin Rigby-Fisher of Pegasus Design gives her clients "homework" to help plan and save valuable time and money prior to the initial consultation.

Her planning checklist may help you work more effectively with your designer.

Dedicated Rooms—How do you want this room to function?

  1. How long are you planning to live in this house?
  2. Will this be your retirement home?
  3. Do you have any physical limitations (reaching, bending, lack of strength issues)?
  4. Do you have hobbies that you want space/storage for?
    • Sewing or crafts
    • Working out
    • Meditation
    • Game Tables – cards, pool, foosball, pingpong etc.
    • Media Center Computer
    • Photography (dark room)
    • Pottery
    • Woodworking
    • Reading
    • Playroom
  5. Think about the type of materials/supplies that are required for any necessary activity that you want to use this space for. For example:
    • Sewing/quilting – fabric storage (do you want to be able to see your selection?)
    • Play room – toy storage
    • Media room – DVD/CD storage, how many speakers?
    • Work out room – weights, treadmill, etc., yoga/meditation
    • Computer – supply storage, monitor size. Is this a space for kids to play computer games or homework? How much space to you need for spreading out paper?
    • Crafts – supply storage, work space, etc. Does your craft require special ventilation?
    • Wine storage? Serving Bar?
    • Guest sleeping
    • Library
  6. Describe how you want this room to feel: Contemporary, Craftsman, Moroccan, New York loft, Country, etc.
  7. What amenities to you want in the room? What is the one feature or furnishing you must have to make this yours? Is it a fireplace, wet bar, overstuffed sofa, a terrific sound system, a large work-space, a private meditation area? Remember, this is your space; it can be whatever you want.

Sleeping and Waking Rooms

  1. Is this bedroom for one, or will it be shared? If shared, do you have different schedules?
  2. Will this room have a space for exercise? Mini kitchen? TV/Media equipment?
  3. Do you read in bed?
  4. Do you need blackout shades for your windows?
  5. Dressing—do you want a separate dressing area? Walk in closet?
    • Hooks for hanging clothes?
    • Mirror?
  6. Bathing Area: Do you require separate sinks? Enclosed toilet area? Bidet?
    • Heated towel bars?
    • Large counters
    • Think about your mirror needs – full length, magnifying for makeup/shaving. Men: do you shave in the shower?
    • Bathing tubs: Do you bathe or shower? For those who bathe, do you need a tub for 1 or 2? Jetted or soaking? Do you read in the tub?
    • Showers: For 1 or 2? Separate shower heads? Body sprays? Steam Shower? Do you need a bench in the shower? Enclosures: clear or frosted (textured)?
    • Makeup: Do you stand or sit while applying your makeup?

Things to do

Remove pictures from magazines to show details and write notes as to what you like and don’t like. At this point you are looking just at the elements of the room, not the overall feel of the room. For example, if you prefer a traditional look for your new room, don’t overlook the contemporary or country rooms for the specific details. Then collect a few pictures that represent the overall feel that you desire for your new room.

A Word About Budget

Most designers know this is a sensitive subject. Regardless of your personal budget, it is very important that you share the amount that you are willing to invest in your home. Knowing your range allows your designer to find solutions and products that will get the most for your dollars.

According to Robin, "It's important to understand that most of the looks and elements that you desire will be available in most price ranges. Think of building as being like buying a car: It doesn’t matter which price range of cars you are looking for, you can still buy leather seats, CD players, sunroofs, etc. The only difference will be the craftsmanship that is put into each specific element. The same is true for remodeling."


Find a designer who can help you with your project at ContractorNexus .

 Web Demesne
Support Demesne through our Bookstore