In 2018, I was approached by a couple that had bought a big house for a great price when the market was at a low point a few years before. The house was very large, but the design was poorly thought out, and was not fun to live in. The wife thought they needed to build their own house – one where they would have complete control over the design. The husband loved the location and did not want to move. They approached me about the possibility of redesigning a majority of the house in order to make it an enjoyable place to continue raising their young children. After making an initial visit to the house, I found that the house was well built from a structural perspective, but that it had the following design issues:
- There was a lot of wasted space, for instance, large closets that could not be used, and other spaces that were under-utilized because of their placement and/or accessibility, or lack thereof.
- There was a redundancy of spaces, which meant that some spaces felt that they were useless. This contributed to the house feeling “too big”.
- They were avid athletes and were growing out of their current gym.
- The kitchen needed to be totally redone with modern cabinetry and countertops, and redesigned with a layout much more amiable towards food preparation and socialization.
- There was no direction, or clear interrelationship between the kitchen, dining room, and living room. This made the space feel confusing, making it almost impossible to feel peaceful.
During my second visit to the house, I took measurements and evaluated the structure in order to understand where there were beams and load-bearing walls. My construction experience always comes in very handy because understanding how a structure was built enables me to get very creative with the new design.
It was finally time to work on the design, and the process looked something like this:
- Based on the measurements and structural analysis, I worked on the first iteration of the new design
- Next, I met with the clients remotely by way of a video conference, where we were able to all look at the floor plans together
- Based on their feedback, which also happened via email, I made necessary adjustments to the design and sent them the final plans for construction
- After they approved the plans, they carried out the construction of the remodel
After the construction was completed I met with the clients and got feedback on how they liked their house after being redesigned. I found that they were both happy. The wife no longer felt like they needed to move, for she now had her dream house. The husband was happy because he no longer needed to worry about moving. Because of this great experience, we have since done more projects together.