Workbook

GETTING STARTED

Redesigning your home or building a new one is an exciting venture, but it can also be stressful and time consuming. To help you get started thinking about what you need and want in your new space, we’ve provided this handy pull-out questionnaire.

GENERAL QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

What do you like about your home as it is?
Ample space, great lighting, outdoor living space?
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What frustrates you about your home?
Little flow between spaces, no storage, outdated finishes?
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Do you live in this home full- or part-time?
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What kind of mood do you want to evoke in your home? Do you want it to be the same throughout or change depending on the room?
Cheery, romantic, relaxing?
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Consider your favorite places outside of your home (this could be a restaurant, spa, café, store, etc.). What is the décor like at your favorite places? What draws you there?
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What colors and textures appeal to you? If you’re not sure, check out your closet to see what shades and materials dominate.
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Are there views around your home that you need to consider? For example, is your home located on a golf course? Do you have spectacular mountain or city views?
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How much sunlight do you want in your house?
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Are your ceilings high or low?
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Do you like to entertain? If so, how often and for how many guests?
Do guests gather in the kitchen or formal dining room, living area, outdoors?
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Are there favorite pieces of furniture or artwork that you want to incorporate into a remodel? These pieces may help establish a motif for your home.
An antique armoire, mid-century modern dining set, wall-sized painting?
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Do you collect and want to display art? What collections do you have that you’d like to exhibit?
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What are your hobbies? Do they require special accommodations or extra storage?
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Where do you like to read? This will help determine lighting needs.
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Describe what you would like visitors to see and feel when they visit your home?
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Is energy conservation important to you?
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Is it important to you to use natural, sustainable, green building materials?
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INHABITANTS

Who lives in this house?
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Do you have children? If yes, what are their ages?
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Does an older relative live with you? If yes, does this individual have certain health requirements to consider?
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Do any of the inhabitants have special needs that require ramps, wider door entries/hallways, an elevator, special doorknobs, provisions in the tub and shower?
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Do you regularly have houseguests? If so, how many?
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Do you have pets? If so, what are their needs?
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OTHER ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER IN A RENOVATION

FLOORING
No matter what look you prefer, flooring has to be durable, comfortable and compatible with your home’s design. Think about what kind of flooring appeals to you most and what would be most appropriate for each room of the home.
Wood, tile, concrete, carpeting?

COUNTER TOPS
When choosing countertops, first consider all the places in the home where they will appear. Where will your favorite materials work best?
Granite, marble, solid surface?

CABINETRY
Cabinets appear in just about every room of a home. They can be completely utilitarian, a work of art with custom carvings or a blend of both.
Contemporary slab doors, paneled, stained, painted?

LIGHTING
The right lighting is the key to setting a mood and adding drama to a room. It is probably best to talk with several lighting designers to get a feel for what’s available and what would work best in your home. Do you prefer recessed lighting over chandeliers and lamps? Do you have special pieces of art or interesting architectural features that you’d like to highlight?

AUDIO/VISUAL
This is one area most people don’t consider; sound contributes to your home’s ambiance. Decide where you’d like speakers and if you’d like any of them automated.

EXTERIOR
Like interiors of a home, the exterior appearance will depend on the house’s architecture. Color selections should be based off of the style of the home (Is the home contemporary? Old World? Colonial?). Also, if you have a homeowner’s association, you will definitely need to check with your HOA for color restrictions.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF FOR EACH ROOM

KITCHEN
Do you cook? How many people typically cook in the kitchen at the same time? Do children cook?
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What kinds of appliances do you want? Do you want to be able to hide the smaller appliances or see them all?
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Will the cabinets be purely utilitarian, works of art with customized carvings or a blend of both?
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What kind of wood (for cabinetry) appeals to you most? Do you prefer dark or light wood cabinets?
Will you mix and match colors and materials or use one style?
Maple, cherry, alder?
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Do you have a center island? If not, do you want a center island, bar or both?
Matching or contrasting the perimeter cabinets?
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Is your kitchen space large enough to accommodate a breakfast nook?
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Will casual family dinners be mostly served in the kitchen?
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DINING ROOM
Do you like to entertain? How often?
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Do you envision entertaining in your dining room as formal or informal? How many people will your dining room need to accommodate?
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LIVING SPACES
How will the family room be used? Do you want a built-in media center? Do you want storage space for toys?
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Do you have (or want) a separate living room? If yes, how do you want to use it? How should this room feel? Formal? Informal?
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MASTER BEDROOM
How do you want the master bedroom to feel?
Serene, romantic, energizing?
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Do you have space for a sitting area?
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BATHROOMS
How much space do you have? What amenities do you want? A separate vanity/makeup area?
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Fixtures in bathrooms (and kitchens) can turn an ordinary sink into a work of art. This is definitely an area to utilize details. Make sure to consider how high or low you’d like your sinks and vanities to be and whether you’d prefer a pedestal, above counter or vessel sink.

BEDROOMS
If you have children, what are their ages and interests? This can help you plan a theme for each child’s room.
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Do you have designated rooms for guests? What kinds of special amenities would you like for your guests?
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Do the guestrooms offer enough privacy?
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LANDSCAPE/YARD
In Colorado, outdoor living is a way of life for a majority of the year. You can bring the indoors out with the creation of “outdoor living rooms”—a popular trend in areas with milder seasons. How much space do you have to work with?
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How much patio space will you need?
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What hardscape looks do you prefer?
Flagstone, brick pavers, stained concrete?
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Do you want an outdoor entertainment area? Firepit? Built-in grill?
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Do you want an outdoor living room space?
Television, stereo, couches?
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Do you want a lot of shade? Will you achieve this with trees or shade structures or both?
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Do you have/want a pool or hot tub?
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GARAGE
This is another area of the home that should not be overlooked. An organized garage can give you plenty of extra storage space. Could your garage use some cabinets for storage?
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Do you want to work in your garage for extended periods of time? If so, consider adding amenities such as air-conditioning/heating, insulation, extra lighting or a built-in workbench.
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HIRING THE RIGHT TEAM

When you’re ready to get started on your new home or remodeling project, you’ll need to choose professionals who will help you through the process. Choosing an architect, interior designer or design/build firm is a big decision. To help you through the interview process, we’ve put together a list of questions that can help you make an informed decision.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FIRM

  • How long have you been in this business? How long in my community?
  • What is your educational background?
  • Do you have a portfolio of work I may see?
  • Do you have a list of references you can share with me?
  • Have you completed a project similar to mine?
  • What is your typical project size and scope?
  • Could I visit one of your projects while it’s in process?
  • How is your firm different from others I might be interviewing?
  • What is your design philosophy?
  • What professional affiliations do you have?
  • Have you won any awards, and for what types of projects?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • How will I know my project is going to stay on budget?
  • If the scope of my project changes, how will that affect the budget? And how will I be informed about changes?
  • May I have a sample contract to review?
  • Do you use subcontractors, and if so, how long have you been working with them?
  • Are you insured and have the proper licensing for my project?

QUESTIONS ABOUT MY PROJECT

  • If I decide to use your firm, when can we start and what do you expect the timeframe to be for project completion?
  • Do you forsee any challenges with the design or construction of my project?
  • Who will be my main point of contact and will that change throughout the project?
  • During the design of the project, how much input will I be able to have?
  • During the design phase, what type of presentation can I expect to help me visualize and understand the design?
  • Will this project require me to move out of the home, or will it be minimally invasive?