Defining goals and setting priorities

Beyond necessary repairs, your home renovation should provide you with improved function, comfort and convenience. To achieve this, you need to set some general goals for your project and determine what your priorities are.

In setting goals, consider the day-to-day experience of living in your home and focus on how you want this to be improved by your renovation. For instance, if your existing kitchen is a problem, describe how your dream kitchen would work. Here's an example:

"I'll be able to cook dinner without having to stop and clean up all the time. There's plenty of working space right near the stove and there's also a big area for setting out dishes and serving plates. Everything I need is close at hand, but not on the counter top - there are lots of drawers and cupboards for everything. And there is enough space so that someone else can sit at the kitchen table, and we can carry on a conversation without bumping into each other."

By describing your renovation goals this way, you focus on what you want to achieve in relation to your lifestyle. There are three important aspects you should pay particular attention to:

  • Use of Space. How you use a room determines the amount of space required and the extent to which the space needs to be open or closed to surrounding areas of your home. What activities will take place in the room? What existing or future furnishings must fit into it? Will noise from this room be disruptive to others?
  • Light and Brightness. What are the lighting requirements of the activities planned for each room? Do existing windows provide adequate sunlight and a feeling of spaciousness? Will you use this room more during the day or in the evening? If artificial light is needed, would general lighting or task lighting be more suitable?
  • Movement of People. What are the traffic patterns through each area of your home? Does a room provide access to other frequently used parts of your home like the kitchen or bathroom and does this conflict with the activities you plan for this room?
    With clear goals in place, you can then determine what your priorities are.

Use Worksheet "B" to write down your renovation goals. With clear goals in place, you can now determine what your priorities are. This next part of renovation planning can be the most fun and exciting.