Who needs a Master Plan … I bet YOU do!

13 min read Do you need a master plan to get the most out of your MCM remodel? I think that the answer is YES in just about every case. Here’s why…

I work with three distinct types of mid century homeowners who each need a master plan to make the most of their home update … for different reasons.

Which one are you?

  • Are you a brand new mid century homeowner still unpacking your boxes? 
  • Maybe you have had your house a couple years now with a number of DIY projects under your belt?
  • Or have you lived in your ranch for decades making do with what it is and learning to live with its  challenges?

Short answer: It doesn’t matter which one you are, the master plan model is still what you need to make the most of your home.  

If you want to create a Perfect Remodel for your mid century home but you’re not sure where to start.  

I get it!  

Want to know the good news?  The Master Plan method will work for you no matter which one you are.  

Listen in to see why it is the right answer for each of the classic MCM homeowner types!


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RESOURCES to try if you need a master plan!

Ready to start Master Planning now?

If you’re ready to dive in and get started on master planning, THIS is the week to take action because enrollment for the ready to remodel program is open right now … but only until 5pm on Friday – that’s tomorrow if you’re listening to this fresh off the press on Thursday morning.  

You need a Master Plan.  Get started in the Ready to Remodel program by Friday October 15th

Join us on the inside of Ready to Remodel to get step by step guidance to making mid-century master plan for your remodel dreams.  You get: 

  • video (and audio lessons) 
  • workbooks to take you through each phase
  • a community of like minded remodelers on the same journey
  • seven week of group coaching from me

Plus tons of bonus materials including:

  • coaching on where to find the TIME to plan
  • the Design-O-Matic flow chart to simplify picking your finishes and fixtures
  • the contractor selection system I use  
  • my mid-century design guides  – basically a download of everything I’ve learned in my work as an architect – in a series of videos and workbooks.  

You can join this fall cohort of Mid -Century Remodelers until 5pm Friday. 

Here’s the link one more time!   www.midmod-midwest.com/replay/


The question of the day is who needs a master plan. And if you’ve been paying attention, I think, you know, my answer is pretty much everyone. Are you unpacking your boxes, a brand new mid century homeowner? Are you an experienced mid-century homeowner with a couple of years and countless DIY projects under your belt? Or have you lived in your mid century home for decades making do with what it is and learning to live with its challenges in any of those cases? A master plan is just what the architect ordered for you.

Hey, there, welcome back to the modern model. This is the show about updating MCM homes, helping you match a mid-century home to your modern life. I’m your host Della Hansmann architect, and mid-century ranch enthusiast. You’re listening to season six, episode eight today. I’m going to be sharing the audio track of another Facebook live because I think it is the perfect message to round out this season of the mid modern model podcast.

We’ve been talking master plans for the past two months. And I just want to make sure that, you know, you’re capable of planning one for your home update. If you’re totally on board with that message hooray, in that case, I want to make sure you get access to the recording of today’s live masterclass planning, an MCM remodel to fit your life and budget. I went through everything. You need to know how to avoid the pitfalls that lead people into expensive remodels that end up stripping out the mid-century character from homes like ours. Plus, I laid out the steps of the master plan method more clearly than I ever have before you can watch that replay at www.midmod-midwest.com/replay. If you’re ready to dive in and get started on master planning, this is the week to take action because enrollment for the ready to remodel program is open right now, but only until 5:00 PM on Friday that’s tomorrow.

If you’re listening to this fresh off the press on Thursday morning, join us inside of ready to remodel to get step by step guidance to making your mid-century master plan for the remodel of your dreams. You’ll get clear video and audio lessons, workbooks, and seven weeks of group coaching from me. Plus tons of bonus materials, including the contractor selection system I use. And my mid-century design guides, basically a download of everything I’ve learned in my work as an architect, we’re renovating mid-century homes over the last five years in a series of videos and workbooks. You can join this fall cohort of mid-century remodelers until 5:00 PM. Friday. Use that same link mid-March dash midwest.com/replay, or it’ll be in the show notes, which you can find at midmod-midwest.com/608. Check it out ASAP because enrollment closes Friday.

So without further ado, here’s a little pep talk to the tune of how a master plan is the perfect way forward for just about anyone at any stage of homeownership.

Hello, today, I want to talk to you about who can benefit from using a master plan to forecast and then lead their remodel. And the answer is just about everyone to one of these classic mid-century homeowner types.

Are you the brand new home buyer going through the master plan process is absolutely perfect for a first time home buyer, because you’re just getting home ownership under your belt. If this is you, you’re probably still feeling strung out and stressed out from the hunting and purchasing process, negotiating getting offers, accepted, et cetera, all of the paperwork you’re out of breath and maybe a little bit out of your mind.

I remember what that feels like. So now you’ve got this new house and you’re dreaming about making it your home. You’ve probably been dreaming about a home for years, as you lived in rentals that you couldn’t change as much as you wanted to, but the time is now, where do you start?

If you’re overwhelmed, trying to do all the things at once, or you don’t even know how to start, you might feel like you don’t know enough about your house yet to jumpstart the project. And the risk is that you could start talking to a very competent expert and they ended up pushing you into making choices for the house. But aren’t what you hoped.

Basically, it’s really easy at this point to lose control of what you wanted in the first place. And that’s why the master plan process is perfect for new home buyers, because it lets you get a chance to really align yourself with what it is that you wanted to get out of your home. And it allows you to really familiarize yourself with the house, to get expert in the house that you have, learn its ins and outs and quirks so that you can constantly take care of maintenance and start to make changes that will tune it to your life as you go forward, ensure for a brand new homeowner.

Frankly, if you aren’t planning to take on any renovation work right away, I would still recommend that you go through a master plan process just to get yourself really situated in your new space, making it your own.

A master plan is ideal for people who want to take their projects. One step at a time. And even though you might be feeling like you don’t have a lot to spend on updates right now, having a big picture vision of what you want to accomplish in the future a year from now, five years from now will help you choose what you can do now to make satisfying progress and still do things that won’t end up having to be undone or redone in years. Future.

On the other hand, you might have been in your house for several years. Now, does this sound more like you, one of your someone who’s been in their home for two years and you’re pretty much a DIY champ at this point, what is a master plan going to do for you?

Well, here I run into this all the time and frankly, this is the category in which I identify myself. In fact, when you have some basic handy skills and you’d like to do projects, the first thing you do when you get a new house is start to tweak it.

And the first couple of projects flow really easily. They’re obvious. It’s easy to see where the paint is peeling or a fence needs to be taken down or deal with that maintenance problem that turned up in your home inspection. But after you do your first pass of maintenance, fixes, and little tweaks, you can run out of steam and start to feel pretty overwhelmed or really common thing that happens here. Once the obvious projects are done, then you hit a couple of bigger ones and you start to wonder, do you have the chops to take on that kind of work?

Is this the point that you need to hand things off to a contractor? And what will that feel like? You know, you’re in the right place for a master plan. When you start to get hung up on the possibilities and you start to not figure out what you want to do next, that means it’s time to take a step back, look at the project as a whole. What are your goals for the house and make a master plan before carrying on?

Because the risk, once you get a couple of years in on DIY buying a house is that you can just keep messing around and tweaking to make more work for yourself and get burned out on the process. What you need is a cohesive plan to take it all to the next level. So yeah, a master plan is for you and with one, you can take what you’ve done and what you’re going to do and bring them together into one big picture plan.

But what have you been in your house a little longer than that? For some, for example, maybe several decades. If you bought your house, your mid century house a couple of decades ago, the odds are that when you chose it, you didn’t think of it as mid-century cool. That needed a tune-up. You thought of it as kind of dated. Maybe it was a bargain because it was so out of fashion, you didn’t really see the sleeper charm that was just waiting to be unveiled.

But now if you’re listening to me, I assume you do know and love that’s mid-century character. And you’re hoping to tune that up. Your life has changed, but your prowess hasn’t, and you may not even have redecorated in decades, but this is also the right time for a master plan. And I’ve had a lot of clients come to me at this stage because this is the place where you’re really going to shake things up.

When you’ve lived in a house for a long time, the risk is that you can get stuck in a rut and you can start to see it as only working the way it always has. A master plan is the perfect tool to break that perspective open and let you think about how you can see through the walls. Think outside the box and really get a new view of your house to set it up to last you for the next phase of your life. I’ve done a number of custom master plan projects for baby boomers.

Empty-nesters who are looking to change the house to fit. They like they want to leave going forward into retirement or into just having more time to call their own sidebar, ranches, our perfect age in place houses. You can plan to stay in a house and make it your forever home, whether you’ve just bought it in your twenties or you’re staring down your sixties because the single level living is really ideal for mobility and getting around my next door.

Neighbors just fitted out their house with an accessibility ramp last week and they are well into their nineties. I think one of them is having more trouble getting around, but they’re able to stay in their home independently because it’s all right there. And I know they’ve done some clever remodeling over the years to bring the laundry up out of the basement and get everything just as they like it.

But you don’t even have to think about that. Basically just tuning the house for your life is a perfect job for a master plan. I wanted to get into a couple more variations of my experience of working with homeowners to create great remodeling plans, because I’m talking today about whether you should join the ready to remodel program right now, and make a master plan yourself for your home. But even with my custom design clients, when I provide them with a master plan package, I’m not walking into the room and waving a fairy godmother, want bippity, boppity, boop, here’s your master plan.

Instead, we work together to collaborate, figuring out what are their dreams, what they want their house to be, what it is right now. And then at that point, my team takes it away. Does some collaborative brainstorming to solve design challenges, present options, present options. We like to encourage options with sketches, floor plans, perspectives recommendations, but the end goal for our clients is the same that when they have a master plan in hand, they can walk away and lead their own remodel.

And that’s the same goal I have for everyone in the ready to remodel program that you have the ability to create by going through the five D formula, a master plan, a travel guide for your remodeling journey, that will keep you on track from start to finish and let you achieve the results you want because a house is more than just a shelter for your family.

It’s a home that encourages you to live your best life every day. That seems beautiful to you and is sturdy and strong enough to last through another couple of generations.

I sincerely hope that everybody watching this you right now feel like you have the ability to take this on and make a master plan for your home because you’re listening today. I know that you were head and shoulders ahead of the general crowd of remodelers in general, who are just trying to muscle through the decisions and make choices on the fly, figure it out on the go, or simply leave all their remodeling choices in the hand of someone else in case you’re on the fence about whether or not you’ve got what it takes to make your own master plan.

I know that you can, I want to lay out a couple more scenarios of the right kind of person who might benefit from doing the master plan process.

Here are a couple that have come across my attention recently, who have identified themselves as perfect candidates for a master plan. And I couldn’t be more delighted to help them out. I had my first client sign, a master plan package, a proposal the other month who has not yet acquired their mid century home. They’re in a house hunt process right now, but they wanted to sign up for a master plan right away so that when they got the house, they’d be ready to start in design.

This is allowing them to widen their scope a little bit because now they don’t have to look for their dream house. They can look for the right kind of fixer-upper something with dated or Dowdy finishes that might turn off another buyer, something even with an inconvenient layout challenges, or it’s a bit too small. And they want to put a little addition on it because we know we’re going to be able to go in together on design.

They can think outside the box a bit more and make the most of the housing stock that’s available in this tight market. This is something I’ve talked about before, when you’re mid century house hunting. If you know, you’re going to fix something up, you can actually look for houses that would turn someone else off because you know, you don’t need to love it exactly the way it is right now. You have the ability to make changes and a master plan is perfect for that process.

All right, another scenario that recently popped up on my radar is I just added a great couple to my roster who have already signed with a design build firm. Who’s going to execute their remodel, but that design build firm doesn’t specialize in mid century. So they came to me to create a master plan process slipped in ahead of design build to make sure that the entire feeling, the vibe of the house keeps its mid-century charm.

This is great because I get this question all the time about, um, how can I find a contractor who’s right for a mid-century renovation project? And the answer is it’s a real challenge because there are a lot of great contractors out there, but many of them haven’t had experience working with people who have wanted to keep them in century character. If their house it’s not a dig on them.

It’s just the reality.

I remember having a conversation with Mr. Modernism himself, George smart of us modernist radio.

He said that he often gets asked this question at a higher end scale. People who want to design a custom modernist home, say, where can I find an architect who can design a modernist house? And he kind of giggles and says, a lot of architects can do that for you. But the trick is going to be finding a contractor who can build a modernist house. This is really a challenge because there are different design standards, tolerances that come with that. High-end modernist, we’re talking multi-million dollar home process,

But for you and I we’re talking about fixing up a mid-century ranch. I really believe our options are more open. You can find a contractor, a subcontractor for any specific part of the job who’s capable of doing beautiful custom work and with a mid-century master plan to really communicate your vision to them.

You have the ability to get exactly what you want, even if they’ve never done a mid-century style project before. So to come back to my new client, I’m just really delighted to find out that their design build contractor is totally on board with the process of having a mid-century design piece come first, because they know that it’s going to help them create a better product for the homeowner altogether. So we’re going to be able to collaborate and get this really wonderful result. Everyone is pleased.

I did a reel a while ago. Basically saying that you and your contractor need a master plan. And I really mean that. Do your contractor a favor. If you get your ideas clear and are able to communicate them really specifically, you are able to have a better result and they are too. They’re able to give you the remodel that you were asking for because they know exactly what you want.

The bottom line is if you’re planning to do any remodeling work on your mid century home, you probably could benefit from a master plan. So don’t forget to check out this week. Everything you need to know about the ready to remodel program at www.midmod-Midwest.com/replay. Thanks for watching

There. You have it.

I want you to see how doable it is for you to plan a great remodel for your home friends. We can have nice things and great mid-century oriented remodels. You don’t need a design degree or an infinite budget to make that happen. Either. You need a master plan.

If you’re ready to get started right now, I couldn’t be more delighted to hang out with you and guide you on your remodeling journey inside of ready to remodel. This is going to be the last episode of the podcast for awhile. I’ll be taking a quick breather and then diving into detail with the first cohort of the ready to remodel program. But there will be another season soon until then you can catch me on Instagram at @midmodmidwest or in the Mid Mod Remodel Facebook group. Remember if you want to watch today’s masterclass on demand or join us inside of the ready to remodel program, do it by Friday at midmod-midwest.com/replay. I hope I see you there.