How to plan an MCM remodel to fit your life (and budget)

75 min read Take my remodeling masterclass on the go!

If you listen to the Mid Mod Remodel Podcast regularly, you hear lots about the tips and tools I recommend to help you plan and lead your perfect MCM remodel.

And once or twice a year I boil down the most helpful of those tips and tools into a free masterclass that I offer live. Folks show up on a Saturday for an hour-ish class full of advice and a Q&A where I promise to answer every question. 

In the past that session was only available to the folks who signed up and attended the live event, but this year I’m trying something NEW!

We are making the audio of my February 24th session available for a limited time. 

Now you can listen on the go! (but just for one week.)

So, if you missed the live session and don’t have time to sit and watch a replay… or if you were there, loved it and just want to hear it all again…grab your headphones!

In Today’s Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The three biggest mistakes other homeowners are making on their remodels (that ALWAYS result in a remodel that costs more, takes longer and … doesn’t do end up how they want)
  • My five step process for planning a remodel YOU CAN LEAD WITH CONFIDENCE: one that will turn the house you have into a home you’ll love
  • How to cut the chaos of remodeling in HALF with one simple maneuver (seriously, everyone should do this!)

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Or watch the video!

And you can always…

Read the Full Episode Transcript

Welcome. It is so exciting to have you here at planning a midcentury remodel to fit your life and budget this is meant to well I can’t probably tell you everything I have learned in 20 years in residential architecture. 

And in seven years of specifically hyper focusing on mid century design everything you possibly need to know to plan a perfect remodel for yourself in one hour. But I’m going to try so strap in get ready. We’re going to have a lot of energy you’re here I just want to say hello to a couple of people that are here. We’ve got folks here we’ve got ESA from 1950 house focusing on the kitchen we’ve got Rob in LA and 99 ranch lost as to how to restore the kitchen. 

We’re going to talk about it we’ve got Marta from Houston remodeling the kitchen, in a 1550s childhood home. I love this. You are not the first person who is taking over and reimagining the home their grandparents their parents lived in that they themselves grew up and I’m so excited to have you here. We got Darby from Portland 1950s 50s houses I love this. We’ve got Paul coming from the UK. 

We actually have someone ready to remodel from Australia. So we are an international crowd here. So excited to have you here today. Danika in Chicago about to close about to close on a 1968 home that needs some revamping in Michigan. Fantastic, Lorna from Seattle. Please keep sounding off. It really helps. 

You may already be feeling some kinship with other people who are saying kitchen or saying childhood home or restoring. This is how we reinforce ourselves get excited about mid century choices and feel like we’re gonna go in the right direction as we go forward. So 

I’m so excited to have you all here today. I’m just gonna in my slide, I want to tell you a lot of if you’ve been to an online class before you’ve probably heard turn your phone’s off, put away your distractions focus on me. 

I want you to focus I don’t want you to be distracted but I also want you to stay engaged in whatever means you need so first I want you to take your phone out. If you don’t mind right now sign into Instagram and send me a message mid Midwest to say you’re watching this right now so that I know you were here that we were friends in this moment and that we can chat about it afterwards if you have further questions and also keep your phone out take screenshots you can screencap your screen you could take pictures of your screen capture this there will be recording but I want you to stay involved in this and I would also love it if you would share what you’re learning with people you know care about midcentury put it in your Facebook group, put it in your Instagram story tell other people because you know we’re on a mission here to save everyone in their mid century ranch. This is where we begin with a cheerleading a pep talk. 

You are in the right place. You are so right to love your mid century home even if other people around you don’t appreciate it as much as you do. Mid Century homes are fantastic. And my mission for the last seven years has been all mid century homes. I want to ideally save every mid century home in America from a bad remodel or remodel that’s not going to last because mediocre remodels don’t last and remodels that don’t last homes that aren’t loved end up as landfill they literally get torn down and thrown into the trash and construction demolition waste that makes up 30% of American landfills. 

So that’s, that’s big. That’s an impact. That’s how I’m trying to save the world. And I would love for you to help me and also like your house better as we do it. The mid century moment was the answer to the last big housing crisis in America. And in that time, the post war housing boom, a couple of different ideas. Were being tried once there was an optimism and enthusiasm testing out new materials, new ways of building new efficiency, but they still had old growth trees they still had craft and they built amazing houses both cute little Cape Cod cottages like you see in Levittown and amazing Cliff may Eichler houses in California and those two concepts kind of raced across the country crossed in the middle and we have neighborhoods of sometimes very modest but new idea houses. 

That’s the house we’re going to talk about today. There were 15 million of these houses built during those two decades after World War Two and they still represent 15% of the US housing stock today. They are the most popular home type in 35 states. And you can see in towns like Madison, Wisconsin, where I live, this is how much of the city was built during two decades. So there’s a lot of midcentury around you’re not alone. 

And the more you can spread the word the more you can help other people know what’s going on in their houses and make good choices for themselves to like I said, Trulia says the ranch style house is the most popular home type in 35 states and it’s you know, number two and the rest of them basically so you’re in the right place. 

And the reason a mid century Ranch is so great or a mid century modern house of all the variations is that they were very sturdily built out of materials we don’t have anymore all those old crossbows were cut down and turned into two by fours. We should respect that. They were also intended to be a first house that could be grown. 

And you can see that in all the little houses along the bottom of the screen started out as little rectangles with no garage. This is houses from my neighborhood, by the way, but a Google Streetview of your neighborhood now we’ll show additions in every direction because they were meant to be room to grow into and if you need to move a little bit outwards of your footprint and grow to that’s okay, that’s what the house was meant to be. And they were also right sized and well laid out to be a house for the ages that you can move into it as your first home and you can live in it for your whole life. 

On my blog. When I moved in seven years ago, there were still three families that had been there since the houses were all built since then they have actually all passed on into new families. The last my next door neighbor’s went into assisted living last year when both of them needed wheelchair access. But until two of them did they were able to stay in their home and their adult kids just came by a couple times a week to take care of the yard work that’s how magical and then century house can be and that’s I want to live in this house until I can’t anymore. 

Maybe you do too. So we’ll talk about that today as well. All right, the dream home of 1953 can be this is a slide from last summer can be the dream of 2023 it is a little tweaked. So everyone loves a ranch is the bottom line and I want you to know that it is possible you yourself can make good choices for your home and we’re going to talk about why. Today we’re going to start by we just did taking stock of where we are in our mid century homes knowing that you’re not alone. 

You’re here with all these other people people are popping into the room right now. We’re at 20 More people are going to watch this recording after the fact. People are excited about mid century homes even if you don’t meet them even if your contractor isn’t even if the people in the product store don’t quite know what you’re talking about. 

You’re not alone in this we’re going to talk about what happens when people do that sort of default remodel when they just call a contractor and say hey, I need a new kitchen. It’s almost always a mistake. It’s almost always more expensive than they want. It’s always almost always more work than they want. It takes longer than they want and it ends up removing mid century quality from houses we want to avoid that. 

So to do that, we’ll use the masterplan method which I’m going to teach you step by step today and hopefully change the way you think about your house and what is possible for it. And if you want more help, more assistance, more support. After that. I’m talking about the ways that we can help you out with that.

Let’s do a little audience participation. I’m so glad you’ve been saying where you’re from. Thank you. Now I want to check in who here is here because someone said they’re closing on a house right now you count as this. But if you’re relatively new to your house, if you haven’t really done anything to it, and you’re in that, how do I get up to speed say, hey, right now in the comments, and this class, what I’m going to talk about today is perfect for you because you are about to skip a whole world of confusion and frustration and wondering what to do when you get up to speed really quickly. 

You can Hopscotch the anxiety the I don’t know what and it’s also the steps I’m going to talk about for planning remodel are perfect steps to just get to know your house feel more competent in it know it’s maintenance works, know what needs to be happening around it and embed yourself in your neighborhood. Honestly, I’m going to give you some tips to make friends with your neighbors today which as an introvert, I need. So if you’re like me, you might like that too. This is also absolutely the right place for you to be if you are someone who’s been in your house a couple of years and knocked off the obvious projects. And now you’re stuck. So if this is you say DIY and you tell us what you have actually knocked off so far, it’s pretty easy to jump into a house and start making changes right away. But when you start to look at the bigger picture of the house, when you get to the first obvious projects you can feel like then you don’t want to do next. So this is you’re in the right spot. It’s the right time for you to step back to look at what you really need to look at what the house really has, and take that long view of what’s going to go on so you continue to use your energy well. And we always have a few people say hey, this is you who have actually been in their house for decades. 

You may have bought your house before you knew the word mid century, you may have bought your house and then made some changes to it that you will probably wouldn’t make today. Hopefully you don’t regret them. But I definitely talk to people all the time who do but you may also have just changed as your house has not. You may have moved from one life stage to another little kids too big kids, big kids to empty nest working to retirement and as you change you need different things from your house. It’s time to make the transitions you’ve kind of been dreaming about for a while and to do them really well. 

So okay, we’ve got we’ve got a bunch of first time homeowners yes new homebuyer here. new homeowner here wonderful we’ve also got a couple of DIY champs. Yes champs, garage and made back those are good remodels, little cosmetic lifts. Yeah, that’s, that’s where we all start. That’s great. A one bathroom bedroom suite perfect. So here we are. This is also the same steps are going to apply no matter what shape your house isn’t. So again, taking a little survey it really helps me to know who I’m talking to. My slides can’t change but I will change the way I’m talking today. If you are in a time capsule house, nothing has happened to it since it was built. 

Or if you’re in a remodel, this is what I think of if like somebody got it in the 80s the 90s the early 2000s or yikes if you just bought your house and somebody came in and flipped it in like the last 10 years they did the the HGTV number on it. What do we got? We’ve got a remodel, we’ve got a remodel remodel, okay. Yeah, this is super common. You by the way also may have some parts of your house that are a time capsule and some that are remodel or flip because most houses aren’t remodeled, top to tail all at once. So beach themed remodel. 

So sorry. If you have a time capsule, it can be in a terrible state. You know, these houses are now 70 plus years old. They have had some natural wear and tear and they haven’t always been properly maintained. So that’s time we need to be making some changes. But also, if your house has been modified in the past, those changes may not be holding up so well. So we’re going to use the same process with just slightly different steps or slightly different focus depending on where your house is. 

This is also going to be true of you whether you’re going to do the work yourself do some of the to all of it or hire a general contractor and just hand them a concept. What’s our status here in our DIY people versus our I’m looking for a plan I can hand to someone. Both are great. If you plan to hire a general contractor, you absolutely need to take action on the steps we’re going to talk about today because you can’t trust them to make your vision happen unless they know what your vision is. If you don’t give them the accurate information about what you want. If you don’t even know what you want. You’re just rolling the dice to see what they want or what they think you want, which the odds are pretty low there. But if you’re gonna do the work yourself, you might feel like well I can just figure things out as I go. One that is a recipe for stress. As a DIY person myself, let me tell you that is not the easy way to do it and to Nothing is more frustrating than doing a project yourself and then a year or two later coming back and realizing I have changed my mind. I dislike what I did or what I did prevents me from doing something else that’s now more important to me so much that I have to undo my own labor. It hurts I don’t know, I think it hurts more to undo your own labor than to pay someone else to undo someone else’s labor. But in either case, this is where we’re going to fix those problems. 

We’re going to prevent those things from happening. Just a little what we’re not this is not a class if you’re just going to call a contractor and let them go. Then just call a contract and let them go. But please don’t actually please don’t I care too much. I don’t want that for you. This is not a class if you think you’re too busy to spend to waste any time on design. You don’t have to spend a lot of time honestly just a little bit. Just a few hours on each of the steps I’m going to talk about today will set you up for a night and day different remodel than you would have if you just move forward without taking that time to plan. 

And if you think you’re just here for a little bit of cosmetic advice, you’ll get some but I want you to think bigger because when we make cosmetic change, we have the opportunity to make a maintenance change to make a layup change to transform the way the house really holds you and the life that it lets you live so we can think so much bigger than that. Also, I guess I should just say, if you’re still here and you don’t like mid century then I’m curious about your life choices. But this is for this is for people who want to make mid century choices for mid century houses. 

So we’re going to talk about if I could just save everyone, the three biggest mistakes that so many people admits in your homes and actually in all types of homes make when they just think I need to remodel they Google what to do they look at HGTV and then they just completely make their own lives harder and their remodels more expensive and worse. we’re again going to talk about how to avoid that step by step. I’m gonna lay it all out take detailed notes, you’ve got the workbook, this is where you’ll fill it in. And I want to tell you the secret to cut remodeling mental chaos and half, maybe better. This is the style guide system we’re gonna get there. 

By the way, if you are looking for more assistance, I want you to particularly stick around till the end because I’m going to be opening ready to remodel and encouraging you to join it just if you want and if you do though, today is the right day to do it because there’s gonna be a couple of really cool bonuses I will be talking about that are only available for people who sign up today. If you want to take a peek at what that’s going to be like you can cheat you can go to midmod-midwest.com/ready Or we’ll talk about that again at the end. This is the one I only have limited spots. 

I’m just going to give away this bonus to the 10 first people who sign up for it. I have only so many hours in the day. So I do pick classes like this and I also love to help people one to one. So if you would like to talk one to one about your house as a part of ready to remodel then this is where we’ll get that to happen. So let’s get back into a little bit more cheerleading before we talk about house. You are the best person to know what is right for your home you are but tell me if this feels true. You might be the least confident person you’re going to talk to as you talk to contractors, as you talk to suppliers as you talk to the building department. All of those people do that for their job. And this is your home your hobby you have other skills and professional aspirations. This is what I think of as the used car problem when you go to buy a used car. 

The used car salesman sells cars all day long. Hopefully they’re a nice person who has your best interests at heart but they also have their own interests at heart. You only buy a car I don’t know how often me every 10 years. So you’re always going to be at a little bit of a disadvantage. The construction industry, they’re not out to get us but their goals are different. They are thinking about what is on trend because that’s the fastest way to make somebody feel happy most of the time. 

They’re always going to be pushing a bigger is better mentality. Because it just works better for their scale. And then from their point of view, do more work and they don’t really care about how it looks at the end and lasts as long as it’s pleasing to you as long as it photographs. Well. They’re not thinking about longevity the way you are. They aren’t thinking about the specifics of your choices the way you are. And for guys, if you’re listening, you’re so welcome here. I’m so happy to have you here. 

But I want to talk to the ladies in the audience right now. Women typically end up managing a lot of home remodels. The majority of the projects I work on the lead contact person is female, but we particularly struggle to feel heard and to feel like leaders in our model I cannot tell you how many times I have been told a single female architect that the contractor I’m talking to will tell my husband this to this happens. It’s frustrating. I want you to feel like you can push back on this. You have your own agenda. 

You have your own expertise, you will become the expert in your house and that’s what we’re gonna go for. The reason so many people dive headfirst into just working with a contractor and not thinking about any design time themselves or working with any design professionals. Even though design is so essential to ensure that a remodel is the right scale, the right size, the right style, a good fit for the house and for you the homeowner is because design is really expensive. I worked in high end residential architecture for the first part of my career. And these numbers are I would I would say this is an underestimate of the internet estimates that right now the average cost to hire an architect to plan your entire remodel for you is $47,000 And that’s the average. 

This is based on the number of hours that it takes an architect to do this work and I used to spend half a year up to a year working sometimes solely or sometimes on several projects at a time. That is unaffordable to most people like you and like me. So I wanted to do something different and that’s how we got to here I bought this house my sweet little 1952 Time Capsule ranch in 2016 Oh my gosh, I used to say five years ago and that is not true anymore. Since then, I have jumped in and made a lot of changes. 

Some of them are here. This isn’t a super current picture but I the first thing I did was paint the house with all of my first homeowner energy and then I enclosed this little breezeway so that we would have space for a mudroom at the back of the house that connects the house to the garage and extra garage space in the front, worked on the basement worked on a bunch of little things I have so many more projects to do. But here’s the thing. When I bought my house I thought all of my time working on other people’s remodels would mean I had internalized this I could easily plan a remodel. So I just jumped right in painted the house that was the first thing I had led paint on the outside of the house I hated the color I remediated that big project a when I was like I’ve got this and the very next thing I did was melt down into an indecision chaos spiral. 

The movie trailer voice Little did she know I was feeling the same feelings that I bet you are feeling right now that all of my clients and students since then have felt what what is your most chaotic feeling about planning remodel? Is it deciding the order? Is it balancing maintenance versus pretty things? Is it working with contractors when you don’t feel competent? 

What are your What are your anxieties here? I felt all of these and I was so shocked at myself for doing so. The answer that I’ve come to now really came out of my entire process of working with and helping with other people. I’m gonna talk about this more specifically, but I want to start first with the very first ranch remodel I planned in the way that we’re going to talk about today. 

Steph and Jessie are friends of my sister’s from college and they were buying their first home I heard through the grapevine she was just chatting catching up on the news and describing what was going on in their home buying process and that they had met a contractor who was telling them they needed to put a second story on this cute little ranch house. And I knew what their budget was. And I knew what their experience level was. And I literally like ran in front of a speeding cart. Stop please, please let me help you. Let me just let’s talk about this for a minute. Let’s just talk about the pros and cons. Basically I completely inserted myself into their lives.

They wanted to transform this rundown ranch into their forever home and they hadn’t taken a moment to process what was really important to them before they started letting a contractor tell them what they should do. Now, what you can see in this sketch is that back here, there’s a side lot that’s a energy line easement. 

And then there’s a huge park behind the house but you can see that there’s bedrooms looking at it and it was actually a walkout basement so you could only look out you couldn’t get out to the backyard at all. These are social extroverts, and their tiny little cut off kitchen and living space faced a busy road. It was absolutely not what they needed and putting a second floor and putting their bedrooms up top wasn’t going to solve the problem for them. 

Instead, we were able to create a layout that was perfect for them we took stock of their dreams and figured out what they were going to need in order to connect to their yard to create the party house for right then them now already for their little kids future for their entire extended families and teen hangout and the perfect spot. We thought about what they were going to need for the house structure for their style. 

With that clarity in mind. We were able to run the fastest design process that I had ever considered at that point and then they were able to dive in and run the fastest home remodel I’ve still to this day ever seen in a post pandemic environment. That timeline isn’t really possible anymore, but it was truly amazing. Before we started, they were kind of teetering on the edge of a breakdown. They were not getting along. They were getting pushed around by their contractor and so many of my clients have this exact same feeling if you have felt this way. Let me know. It’s so relatable. Planning a remodel will break your brain caused fights with your partner let cause you to lose sleep at night it will overwhelm you if you feel like you just need to dive in and do it without thinking about it. And if you feel like you need to make every decision all at the same time. But you do not taking it in the right order is the magic solution. 

Because the way that we fixed Jessie’s problem wasn’t by spending years perfecting crafting a perfect plan and then making it happen. It wasn’t by obsessively laying out each detail. It was a big picture approach. And it wasn’t by pinning every single picture on Pinterest. Even though that seems fun. 

Basically, we just lose the proto Master Plan method before I knew what it was before I had named it to focus their dreams, clarify what the house needed, set up their style guide then choose the best layout of several options and get their home remodel done on time so they could move into it and have their first baby, Big Bang Boom. I knew that from that I could create something more affordable, more workable for more people something that would be design skills, design services for people who lived in houses like mine and had lives that looked like mine and that is the midcentury Master Plan package and that is the midcentury Master Plan method which focuses on what matters most to you. 

The homeowner assesses what’s going on in your house not a generic house. distills your version of style, hopefully including mid century tests multiple options quickly and then ends with an action plan and it works for contractor led remodels. DIY home remodels, budget scale process, it doesn’t matter. This is the steps you these are the steps you need to follow. Now, because of the pandemic, we had a little experience of having to work remotely here in Madison. I didn’t build a business where I thought I was gonna be giving advice to people all over the country. But in 2020 I called my two projects on the boards and said, I guess I can’t come to your house and measure it. 

So I guess we’re it’s off me they were paused. And they both actually said no, we were hoping to DIY well. We’re staying home Can we can we have our plans anyway. So I taught them how to measure and document their own houses and they did and we came up with great plans and those are now kitchen addition, remodels done when the next person from my Instagram messaged me and said you know Do you know anyone in my area who could do this? I don’t know of anyone who’s doing this. I was able to say I don’t either, but I can help you. And we can do this remotely. 

So now we’ve worked in California, Florida, Washington State MDC, Canada, Australia, every Midwestern state, and what I learned from that is that there are three massive mistakes that you need to avoid. When you’re planning a remodel. If you’re no takers, this is where you can if you’ve printed out your workbook, I don’t know if anybody who does that anymore, it’s there. If you want to just jot notes in a notepad or start taking notes now this is where we’re gonna do it. The first mistake that people make when they don’t take time to plan is basically just jumping in without their headlights on. 

This is what I did when I painted my house for the first year and then was like, I don’t know what to go what do I do next? My brain is breaking. Your remodel won’t design itself. You might do this. It’s so relatable to do this. You might do this. If you feel like you’re short on time you just moving in and you want to get things done before you bought a house and you wanna get things done before you move in or there’s some deadline your kids are starting school or a vacation or holiday people are coming. 

You might be in denial about your budget and I want to focus on how it’s all going to work so you just want to do part one right now. You may have been watching a little too much HGTV and have an unrealistic idea of how long and how hard these things take. And this is what I get all the time is I don’t need a plan because my neighbors just did their kitchen and I can get their contractor and I liked what they did. So that’s fine. Plus, it’s more fun to just make another Pinterest board then think about what everything will be in reality. But if you start the first project without thinking about the whole house, you’ll get one of three bad outcomes the fade out. 

This is what happens when you jump in. You started on projects you might be put on an addition and then you realize you are running out of budget. And so you downgrade the quality of everything. When you run out of budget and you don’t have any more to spend. You put all the last things at lower dollar cost values, but the last things that happen are all the finishes so you end up with a house that maybe has a layout that you like, but every part of it is going to fail early doesn’t please you isn’t what you would have chosen. Alternately, if you run through your entire plan budget partway through the project, you can just keep spending. 

This results in a better outcome mostly. But it’s I’m assuming no one here is really hoping to super overshoot their budget. And then there’s also the first things when so you do project number one without him thought about everything in advance. And what happens is you shoot right through your energy and your budget and your time and then the time comes to do the next project that was on your to do list but you’re out you’re out of gas you’re out of dollars, you’re out of time. 

And you just never get to that second project, which might have been what was more important to you. To avoid this. You need a system to make those small and large decisions more manageable. You can avoid events of surprise expensive surprises by knowing what’s going on in your house from the start taking the time to get familiar with what’s going on. And you can plan a remodel that’s really personalized custom tailored to your life. less stressful easier because you have made the decisions in advance with a cool head rather than at the last minute and you’ll end up with a remodel that helps you live a life you want in the house you love. 

Kenzie is an early ready to remodel student and she when she came into the program was feeling like she needed to change everything about the house because she knew she didn’t like some of it the previous owner and made choices she didn’t like. But as she went on one of our early dream exercises and visited each room in her house with an open mind she realized that some of the rooms were fine. 

Were great actually needed only a few tweaks. And then she could really concentrate her energy or time her budget on the places that weren’t working with a few things that transition and sort of bled over into the other spaces and it really focused her and also made her feel more enthusiastic about getting started because it made the project more manageable. 

The second mistake I want you to avoid is sitting back and treating your remodel like a spectator sport. Someone is going to make the decision to do your remodel and it might be you. It might be your contractor or it might be the kid that he sends to Home Depot to pick up doorknobs because we need them today. You don’t want that kid to be the person who chooses the handle you’re going to touch every morning, evening and day and that your guests are going to come through and to you want to choose it. 

If you are treating your remodel like a spectator sport, you have good reasons I understand them. It might be because you’re super busy at work at child raising at your life. You have other hobbies. You want to hand it off to a professional and just get on with your life. It might feel more responsible to let someone else make those choices. They are a professional you are not what do you know that they don’t. So let the contractor tell you what you should do. Or perhaps you do know what you want to do but you’re dealing with someone who’s too pushy. 

Their advice has turned into bullying. This might be a contractor it might be a family member my partner that’s you know, I hope you can work that out. That’s a bigger problem. But when there’s an external force that’s forcing it on you. It’s easy to just say oh, well, I don’t want to fight about it. Sure. You might have forgotten that no one knows more than you what you need and want. Remember that you know what you like you know what’s important to you. That is the most important thing about your remodel. Now, that’s not more important than safety. 

That’s not more important than the building code, but it’s certainly more important than what a contractor says you should do. If you keep sitting back and treating your remodel like a spectator sport, it will be bigger and more expensive than you hoped. You will feel out of control and stressed the entire time even though your goal was to not feel stressed by handing off the responsibilities someone else you’ll feel out of touch with it and it will agitate you until you are done. 

And when you’re done, your home won’t really be what you wanted it to be. And the odds are that you’re going to take right over it mistake number three which is ending up taking the midcentury charm right out of your house.

If you can avoid mistake number two, you will do it by planning a remodel that is just the right size and cost for you for your life for your budget where you are right now. You might plan it in phases where you do a remodel that’s right for your budget right now and plan one so that you won’t prevent yourself from doing a bigger remodel later that will be ready for you in your life stage, your energy level and your budget later. 

You will be confident and in control from start to finish and I can’t promise no stress. I can’t promise that but you will be less stressed and it will be taking you on the path towards a life in house. That you want to lead. Lydia real really was feeling out of control in her process. Now she was feeling this because she’s an artist. She’s a creative she was just going in every direction with her house with everything that was possible every question she could research. She was an analysis paralysis when she joined ready to remodel and in the end thinking about their wife what really mattered most of them as a couple how they wanted to live in their house how they wanted to connect their friends allowed her to simplify and stay on track and sort of toss away the that’s a cool idea but not for us decisions so much better. 

So she really was able to find calmness at the center of her remodel by just always coming back to her why. All right. I said if you let someone else call the shots, you will remove the midcentury from your house. We’re just going to do a couple of don’ts but before this, I understand and if you have made choices for your house in the past that aren’t so midcentury you probably did it because popular culture told you that was what was right for a house. You probably did it because your contractor told you the last five houses and you were like that and everybody was happy. 

Why wouldn’t you be? You probably did it because Home Depot didn’t have anything that looked remotely midcentury on the shelves. You probably did it because your friend told you that they liked something else better or Instagram showed you all these pictures of something that was painted white and ship lab. You’re going against please just go away forever. You get the picture. Here’s just a little quick. Do it. 

Here’s what happens. You know if you make choices that don’t suit your MidCentury home, everyone should make choices they like of course we’ll talk about finding your personal midcentury style. But if you go too far from the DNA of your home’s original style, it’s not going to look like it was always there it’s going to look like was put in right now and 2024 or next year 2025. And in five years or 10 years or 30 years it will be so obvious exactly what your you let a contractor farmhouse your whole house. 

We didn’t want that for everyone who’s had there were a lot of remodels in the comment in the comments there. Do you know maybe to the year at least to the decade what decade was your house remodel them? Because you can tell at a glance right 80s Victorian Oak 90s White melamine early 2000s It’s cherry granite countertops. Last couple of years. Everything’s painted white 20 times yeah. You don’t want this. So here’s a little checklist. If you’re going to do nothing else, no Shaker Doors. 

Those are for 1930s cottages we don’t need them subway child did out cute for a cottage not for us. Brush nickel, anything is going to tip really early. 2000s shiplap Joanna Gaines please go away forever. And please don’t paint anything that has not been painted before if you can possibly avoid not the breaking of the woodwork. 

We’ll talk about what to do. Instead. All right, if this all sounds great, like great mistakes, I don’t want to make them what what do I do instead? It’s not your fault that this feels hard because it’s the remodeling a home is expensive. It’s personal. It’s risky. It feels like you’ve got to balance the this concept of like your home as an investment vehicle but also it’s your home. It’s incredibly overwhelming but it is possible to get traction as possible to feel better about it. 

Maria made me so happy when she actually hurt she had a 1915 Cottage but it had been extensively remodeled in the 60s and added onto so she loves mid century. We just went with that. And for her she couldn’t get started. She had been in the house for 10 years and just making plans and doing drawings and cutting things and not starting and then she was able to do her first room. She felt such joy had such a big win. And she was then able to take the choice that she’d made in that room and apply them to the next room. So the trim profile and stain colors, the window treatments what she’d done with color. The second room was so much easier than the first room and she just rolled on through.

It’s been really fun to watch her sort of transforming her house over the last couple of years and ready to remodel. So let’s get you started now Danica says when I see my gray vinyl floors, and mids but when I see great vinyl floors in mid century it makes me want to cry. That’s best. Yeah. I honestly that doesn’t even stick in my head because it’s such an irrational thing to do. We’ll talk about how to find the right flooring so hype me up I’m running on so much coffee right now. Are you ready? Please tell me you are to learn the secret to a mid century master plan, how to plan a regret proofing model that will not overwhelm you. Yes, Taylor’s ready. I’m excited for you to hear it is this is the short version. This is the sort of the roadmap of everything. We’re going to do. 

There’s three parts the first part is predesign dream discovered distill. If you’ve heard me talk about the five days I like alliteration. The second part is designed draft considering options is what a lot of people don’t do and then developing a plan develop is not done develop is a circular process. These do need to be done in an order. Together these steps will help you plan a smooth, regret proof remodel that fits your budget, even in this economy. But it’s important to do every single one of these steps and roughly in order. Let’s take a look at how each one works. So pre design, this is not the same as constantly scrolling on Pinterest. It’s not the same as taking House tours and imagine how nice it would be if your house was like this other person’s house. 

You might be doing this. Raise your hand if you are starting a Pinterest. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. love it. It’s great. It’s fantastic. It is not step one, planning a good remodel however, you might get Sarah has been doing too much Pinterest. Same. I know this is so relatable. You might also just walk around the block and look at other finished projects. Or worse. 

Go on Instagram and see the beautiful curated vinyl images of other people’s finished projects or an atomic ranch magazine or indwell. And when you compare what you have now at the start up a project with your real world budgeting considerations to somebody else’s, I’m only telling you the good parts or even if I’m telling you it was hard, I’m doing it with like funny anecdotes. 

And also, I’m not telling you how long it took me or my budget or what other resources I have. That dichotomy is not going to lead you into action. So if you’re getting stuck in Pinterest right now, let’s all let’s all appreciate where we are in the world and then resolve to do something a little bit different. Instead for predesigned. You’re going to do three things. You are going to break down the process of envisioning your dreams into these baby steps to get there faster and save yourself stress first you’re going to clearly define your goals and set yourself up for creativity. 

You are going to study up and become the expert in your own home no matter how long or short of time you’ve spent in it no matter how handy or not handy you are you can be the expert of your house for you and you’re going to set up a style guide. This is going to streamline every decision you make for the rest of the remodel. That first one dream grab your workbook now here’s where you fill in the gaps. This is what should the feeling of your home be there’s not a right answer here. You are looking for a house that’s going to bring your whole extended friend group together. You are looking to be the place where people come for football days or movie nights. 

You were looking to the place where your kids all come every single weekend to have their movie nights in the basement and you can feed them and keep your eye on them and know what’s happening or you work in the world and you need to get away from it. Your house is a retreat it as a sanctuary. It is a private space for you. You don’t want to see your neighbor’s house, you want to plan a backyard full of little intimate moments. You want it to be quiet. You don’t want to hear the street from the busy traffic just a little bit away. Or maybe it’s both maybe two people in your house need two different things. 

These are all problems we can solve designed, but we can’t solve them with a design until we know what they are. So this doesn’t have to be rocket science. You already know the answer to this question. And it’s not that other people don’t know the answer to what they want. They just don’t think about it. I don’t honestly I don’t know why but they don’t they don’t think about it. In relation to the choices they’re going to make for their house. They go straight to Pinterest and they go straight to tile selection. But you need to ask yourself, what is the feeling of your kitchen? What is the feeling of your bedroom? What is the feeling of your living space? What is the feeling of your yard? Don’t make it murky. 

Don’t make any sort of too hard, but it is super powerful, particularly if you and your partner. Do we have any? Probably some solo remodelers I make all my own remodeling choices, but other people are making the remodeling choices with a partner. To get on the same page with your partner is one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself. And Judith really found this she and her husband had taken over a family house. aging parents had moved out of it now it was their responsibility. They’re gonna move into it. And they want to make choices to really make it their own. 

But they had not actually talked about what that meant to each of them. And once they did that, once they realized what they shared and that was most important. It was so easy for them to pick their first project and start to go forward towards it. But before that, they felt like they had to do everything and they just didn’t know it was important. So even if you’re working alone, asking yourself these questions, writing down the answers so you don’t forget them will keep you on track. Then there is discovery what you need to know to become an expert in your home also is very personal. Now some of us were raised super handy. Some of us were not some of us have never held a hammer before. You might not know what’s going on in your house. Inside the walls. You might not know anything about the history of midcentury houses when you start out even if you’ve been in your house for years. But I want you to figure out what you need to know in order to feel empowered. Quick question Who here has an inspection report for their home?

Great, I’m saying hands this is good. If you have an inspection report, have you read it it’s not like you know, it’s not the most legible sometimes but if you go through it line by line and sort of figure out what’s going on. Oh is a great point we do but it’s old. Okay. So if you don’t have an inspection, or if you have one that’s a little out of date. I’m going to recommend this. You’re actually in a great position. 

Get an inspection. It costs money but it is worth every penny and schedule it for a time when you’re around so you can follow the inspector around their house and ask them to tell you what it is that they’re seeing. They’ll write it down in the report anyway, that’s how they work but if you get them to talk to you while they’re doing it, you will get so much information so much things you some of the things you did want to know and some of like random little facts you never even thought you wanted to know about your house about the way your type of house works. As a rule I don’t want to generalize but as a rule inspectors are retired contractors, retired building officials retired. 

Retired is the term here you’re gonna get someone with a lifetime of experience, they’re probably going to generalize the crusty old man. They’re going to love to tell you what they know and you’re going to get so much information out of that it can actually be really, really fun. Make sure that you ask in advance if they’re going to mind if you follow them around. If you find someone who doesn’t like to talk, that won’t work, but you could also find out about your house and other ways though, you can find out about it by just chatting with your neighbors getting to know the people on your block who’ve been around longer who know why the previous homeowners made some of those weird choices for their house. You can find out more by researching by looking in old books, magazines come into classes like this whatever you need to do to feel like you don’t know everything about your house. 

But what you don’t know you can find out when you talk to someone who knows more about it. They start to become a resource for you rather than a threat. You want to feel like you know enough about your house to make the choices you want and stand by them. You also want to find out where the pitfalls are going to be if there’s a structural issue or maintenance issue, or something that’s going to come up and be surprising and expensive later. You want to know about that now so that you can have the opportunity to use design as a twofer. Sometimes when you need to replace a furnace, the least sexy of remodeling projects. You have the opportunity to relocate a furnace a little or a lot in a way that you would never spend money to do in another way. 

And that can make all the difference to a basement remodel layout that flows that feels really logical, or one that’s kind of chopped up and it’s just actually pretty hard to figure out a good way to make good space down there. When you have to replace a roof. That’s the time to put on skylights. When you need to do some of these basic things when you need to deal with siding when your siding is completely failing. That’s the opportunity to to go to a No mate and solution not vinyl, but a hardy or an LP SmartSide that you’ll never have to paint again if you choose a color you like so there are always wins to be found and maintenance challenges, but you need to know about them in advance in order to make that happen. All right. This one’s for all the marble distill. I should have recorded for I was talking to my little sister. 

Thursday, literally Thursday. She is a family practice doctor. She was not the handy one of the family she used to let my dad and I come over and do all of our projects for her but she’s now hired out a kitchen remodel that’s underway right now. And she has actually done a bunch of DIY since she became a homeowner getting more familiar learning where like we used to say you know the electrical in the box here and she would say why and so we can see this line of nails here and the paneling that’s the stead the box is mounted to the stag didn’t ever make sense to her until she took the paneling off and looked at the wall herself. Which by the way, once you get beyond the I had an inspector tell me what’s upstage. You can do a little exploratory demolition and find out what’s going on inside the walls of your own home X ray vision. 

But she’s now in the stage where she’s working with a contractor by the way, she’s an alumna of ready to remodel because I made her pay me to ask all of the questions and texts that she always does. You guys can’t text me at four in the morning with your kitchen worries she can but that’s the sister benefit. But she has gone through the same process and when she asked me some questions, sometimes I answered them off the cuff and sometimes I say what are your style guide and you tell me but she was just in the inspection selection meeting with the contractor picking out all the final materials and realizing just they’ve spent so many weeks hammering out the final little tweaks to the layouts and sort of figuring out how the cabinets are going to work. 

She was so burned out on it that she realized if she had to be picking from scratch all of her materials right now. She would quit. But she’s got her style guide so it was really really fun and easy. And I was like why didn’t I I should have put a recorder on her but she was saying that anyway. Many people say this setting up your style guide is not just Pinterest. And it’s not just a list of actual products you like but it is the big picture view. So this is we’re going to tip a two different ways for the time capsule folks out there. You begin your style guide by taking stock of what you’ve got. 

Looking at the brick, the wood floor any existing built ins. Ideally, you’re going to make choices that either match that or play nicely with it if you probably can’t match original birth, but you could do something that complements it. For example, if your house has been almost completely remodeled, flipped stripped and the mid century details aren’t there anymore. There’s a silver lining to that you are going to start from scratch but you’re still going to put together a wish list style guide the materials the brick, the wood, the state colors, the tile that you do like 

Now these aren’t necessarily specific products, although we had a question. I’ll get to this in the q&a. We had a question from someone who said I keep picking individual products and then feeling like I’ve gotten off track. You can pick one or two individual products those become the seed of your style guide but you want to just keep coming back here for the metal types and you’re picking light fixtures. 

The entire internet exists, but if you know you’re going vintage and you know that the metals you’re picking up in your house are gonna be brass or stainless. Then you just rule out 90% of what’s there and you’ve got a focused set of options you can look at one store or several stores, or again, just Google searches for those particular things. So it really cuts down on the chaos and it helps you do these things when you’re calm and you’re not really stressed out and there’s no timeline on it. 

This is the fun part when you do it the right way. The mindset I want you to reframe is for all of predesigned great remodels don’t just happen and you don’t just come up with good design ideas out of air. They come from the pre design information about you about your house about your style that you establish there. So if a remodel work, can you show this is where you’re just putting all your ingredients in pretty little bowls in front of you. And again and then actually come back to Lydia because this was so fun. She She used a seed of a piece of art she really loves you can see it here. This isn’t mid century this is

Oh my gosh, it’s Saturday. My brain has only mackendrick Art Nouveau but these colors really lit her up they have this frame print in their house they were going to use it in their dining room and they were like okay, well that gives us the color palette for a house that just made so much easy. A lot of every color in the rainbow. They’re going to be using aubergine they’re gonna be using that nice Poppy orange red, and they’re going to be using some lovely greens and they found some vintage vintage bowls that she had in her family. So that’s how they’re gonna go. 

Now they’re stained colors need to work with those colors, their metal needs to work with those colors, just everything blowing from one key decision, so much simplicity. That brings us to Step Two design. Now. This is where we again we get led astray into mistakes. There are some really smart looking layout software’s out there that let you sort of put furniture into a room or put art onto different walls or check the size of a rug. But if you’re using any of those online layout software’s they are letting the limits of the app define what you can do, or you might be letting a contractor tell you what should do to change the layout, what you can knock out and what you can’t have. 

Obviously, their opinion is important that you should be coming to them with what you want. Or tell me this isn’t true. Or you’re not planning to remodel by just changing all the surfaces of things and change nothing about the layout. That’s such a missed opportunity. I want you to get the best value for your effort, your dollars, your energy as you can. And so I really want you to tailor the house when you’re making changes that are bigger. You get a chance to change the layout as you change materials. 

So what I want you to do in draft is to think about are you exploring all of your options to think about the way the house works? To change the way it’s meeting your goals that we set and dream. This is where we have the most effective way to make your house into a home for your family. It’s not just to tweak the way it looks. It’s to tweak the way it works to put storage where it needs to be to put access to the outside where it needs to be to make rooms connect in the way they need to connect although we’ll book here about how it looks to of course. 

So let go of your anxiety and your fear. You can make changes to the layout of your house reimagine the way your space works to support the life you want to live there and those frustrations with the house that drove you to want to pay for a remodel in the first place. That’s one way address with layout changes. So what you need to do in draft is to test yourself to compare options and this is where I love to use the rule of three. I use this for all of my masterplan clients. I may come up with a bunch more options that I don’t show them but I boil it down to the three things that work three things that meet their goals and this is a great way to test yourself. If you have too many ideas, boil them down to three if you’re stuck on one. 

Test yourself come up with two alternatives even if you don’t like them, just to prove you like the first one most. This is a really fun project three options small, medium and large to fit a classic mid century kitchen with a sort of a front facing this. None of these are the existing plan but it had a sort of front part kitchen eating area really pinched between the stair Hall and these outside walls had this very silly. T

he garage is right over here at the front doors over here and there was an extra little door into a tiny space where you could fall down the stairs right there. Not a great choice. And the backyard was really the space they wanted to connect to the amazing views. So I generally arranged the plans I do for my clients in 123 scale of buildability and therefore cost. So the least we could do was to shift the kitchen sink area towards a window that looked out the backyard and had a little mudroom entry that came in from the garage at the front of the house. 

Stepping up from there, we had room to shift the staircase back a few steps and put it in an area that had more sort of visual flow through the fun mid century screen wall looking back towards the backyard and then the scheme three which is what they actually went with. We blew out the ceiling of the space elevating it up not to the roofline but closer to the roof lines, get insulate between them and really let the kitchen flow right out through to the backyard so now as they stand work at this island this has just been finished in the last year by the way. 

They stand and work at this island they can see the views of their backyard and they also are bringing skylight light in to bring daylight in in the morning when this part of the house was pretty dark even though it has good views. When you think of your home, as made up of spaces rather than rooms, you can get these things happening where you’re borrowing views where you’re sharing light rather than thinking of what to do in the kitchen. What do we do in the dining room? What do I do in the living room, those spaces might all fit into the sort of social court in your house. You’re still not going to think about everything all at once every time but you are going to think about how it connects together and how one change in one area can win you more things in other areas. So you literally want to go to the drawing board. And this is where sketching, literally drawing is better than a modeling program, at least at first. Now I do sketch with a tablet these days because that’s how I work remotely with my team. But drawing on paper with a pencil, your kids crayons, doesn’t matter. letting yourself get messy and check layout options really helps you go then the more you can visualize the more you can focus those plants as you go forward. And the more you can think about things in 3d, the better. 

But even as an architect, I don’t start a computer program. I start with my hand on a pencil. So when you’re thinking about seeing the big picture, the whole board Queen standard is getting a little older now but if we’re potentially fans have you seen Queen scan but if you haven’t gone watch it this weekend. It’s really fun. So midcentury gorgeous. We want to think about everything that’s happening. So it’s time to think about how we pull it all together how we make our master plans. Alright, I’m almost on schedule here. If you are thinking about how your whole plan comes together by fixating on the budget, the bottom line, we have x $1,000 To spend that’s it. Of course your budget is important and I don’t want to tell you to spend more than you have but you can’t start from dollars you need to start from Dream and work your way to that when you think about planning the 123 of it all and also really help you to weigh pros and cons. Thank you Queen’s gambit. Yes, I knew there were people out here we’d love it with me. I want to rewatch it again, by the way. Sorry, I totally lost my train. Okay, so you don’t want to focus on them the sort of minut details and think about that as planning what you need to do is start from a big fuzzy unfocused picture of want and then bring it closer and closer to reality as you go along. 

That’s why develop has a little triangle in it. Draft is really about opening up possibilities and developers about making them and then one answer. It is always faster to plan first and then dive in. Rather than to just dive in and get started and find out you haven’t answered enough questions. A floor plan is not enough. You need a master plan you need the first work the pre designed to be documented. You need your style guide and you need some sort of 3d Understanding what’s gonna happen in the space. So if you’ve done your homework on steps one and two, this is the fun part. This is the easy part. This is where you get to pull it all together and sort of say, Oh, this one or this one. How’s it gonna go talk to contractors? Figure out where the rubber meets the road? What is the cost reality of it? Are you going to do it all at once or breaking into phases? What happens first try to put some of the important things first. 

This is how you have the smoothest possible remodel. So in develop our goal is a competent and focused process from start to finish no matter how long that takes. And you might tune your budget also by figuring out first where you want to fall in the levels. I think of remodeling as having three general Levels Level one is just stuff you buy paint, maybe like weekend projects, no skill stuff, level two is DIY can be a few weekend projects could be doing it yourself remodeling the whole house. And level three is when you hand it off to someone else and you say I I can’t do this most projects are a combination of these unless they’re just level three. 

So choosing your level ties in with your budget and your timing and it doesn’t have to be the same for every space. You might find that there are some parts of the house again, like like Kenzie, who really realized that there were parts of the house she didn’t need to do anything to or just needed to take out the paint color she hated. And then there were other parts of the house that were gonna need more time and attention and she could really focus her energy there. So believe that you are capable of creating a master plan that will be fitted to your priorities in your life. You are and remodeling with just a floor plan that feels official. It feels like blueprints. That’s what we’re supposed to do. Oh, that’s interesting. Not now. It feels like you can go forward from there. 

But you want a guidebook not just a roadmap for your trip. Because nothing is more expensive than changing your mind in the middle of a remodel frankly, even if you’re changing your mind to do less. If you’re working for a general contractor, any change you make even if if it’s to go from like a more expensive selected material to a less expensive selected material. You will be charged for the change and you may still end up paying almost as much because the work that’s involved that change order will be how that’s done if you’re working with a official general contractor that’s costing them time and energy and they have to charge you for that. 

So make your decisions in front and then go forward. And Monica is one of my favorite examples she planned and plan and plan she really refined she did some of the things First she built in phases. She’s been taking her kitchen through so many steps and it’s now really come together in a gorgeous way. She started with just making endless first modeling SketchUp anybody use SketchUp once you’ve sketched literally SketchUp SketchUp is a free 3d modeling program that’s really fun for computer users, if that’s you, and she made endless models of how could you do it and then she got a piece of like, butcher block furniture and moved it around her kitchen to figure out how she was going to fill on the Elephant Island. She created the perfect size island for her household. She planned a skylight to go over it. It’s been so much fun to watch this all come together. And she’s been tuning it all exactly to meet her dollar budget and her energy budget as she and her husband make this happen mostly themselves and figure out little pieces of work they need to hire out. So powerful. So

if you take one thing away from today, I want it to be that it is completely doable. to plan a great remodel for yourself for your mid century home. You just have to follow these steps and all you really need is what I’ve told you. Now you can just take these notes, you can spend time you can think about each part of these things. Do it in order, and you will have a night and day different from model from what your neighbor will have. If they don’t think about these things. 

You don’t need a design degree or an infinite budget to make it happen either. I have watched people curate Facebook marketplace spine remodels takes longer with a small budget, but they have put together gorgeous Time Capsule houses really lovely modern upgrades with just elbow grease, planning and time. The big question is, can you apply the masterplan methods on remodel on your own and if you don’t feel like you can I have more assistance for your lunch talk to you about this right now briefly before we get to the q&a the ready to remodel program is my answer to people who don’t want to hire mid Midwest to do their master plan for them. 

I created the ready to remodel program so that you can plan the remodel of your dreams lead it with clarity and confidence and make the most of any budget. And inside it we go through each of the steps I’ve just talked about in detail it’s got go at your own pace lessons, workshops, guidebooks, examples. So you can go through all these parts. We have regular support. I’ll talk about these things here. But basically the point is it’s everything you need in order to take remodel through at whatever pace you’re going to. One of my favorite things about that is that every month we have what I call an office hours call. 

People show up they tell us what they’ve been doing we get to share their accomplishments. We also just answer questions questions might be I don’t know how to change the layout of the space. What are some ideas? I don’t know how to pick a light fixture I don’t know what height to hang the pendants in my house. The contractor I’m talking to said this what does that mean? Oh no, we looked in the basement we found dry rot. What do we do? We talked about these things. We talked about strategy. We talked about details and people get really confident about what they’re going to do as they go through the process checking in month by month. 

The master plan method has pre recorded video lessons workbooks guides so you can go through these steps with extra extra detail for dream. It’s not just are you an extrovert or an introvert it’s like let’s visit every room in your house and ask questions to it. Let’s sit down and ask your self and your partner key questions. Let’s go through skip the worry that you might be doing it wrong when you have the support you need in each of these steps, you’re going to feel empowered. So in dream you’re going to set your goals you’re going to dig in quickly and effectively on what matters to you and find the why that’s going to keep your remodel on track. 

And this is also this is the partner fight magic avoidance technique when you can get on the same page early even about disagreements. You can do that with a cool head and you can start to work with a problem rather than being surprised at the last minute and an expensive way about a change in vision that you didn’t even know was gonna come up so start prioritizing at the beginning for a model that costs less and that you love more. And discover as we talked about you become the expert and I’ve got advice for you where you can figure out what are your emotional weak points. Do you want to know more about handy tips? Do you want to know about more about history? 

Do you want to know how to read an inspection report? You can assemble the team you need to become the expert in your house and we’ll walk you through exactly how to do that in the Discover module. And the distill module. We put Pinterest time to work and make those hours you spent scrolling really count so that you can find the ideas you want and then distill them into a vision that you can actually apply to your house. I’ll walk you through how to set up the style guide step by step by step. 

Actually there’s a really good separate two hour workshop about that specific process that you can probably do in two hours or you can spend a couple of weekends saving yourself so much stress and energy. The style guide system is I’m not exaggerating, that the stress cutter. One of the things that I love is when people take on a style guide. They get to really just focus on what they love. Rather than focus on worry about literally everything on the internet existing. How could any of it be the right or wrong answer you could focus in and say now I have like 10 options, which one do I like? 

And that’s an easy choice to make rather than an overwhelming one. When you put those options into practice. I’ll talk to you about the tools technology I use procreate my favorite sketching software SketchUp how to use that if you want to how to think about brainstorming for good layout options. And we’ve got so much advice on specific layout solutions for mid century houses and then in develop where you put it all together. I’ve got templates, workbooks guides to help you make your plan. All of the content is available in video, audio and Workbook format. You can listen to it as a podcast, you can watch it on your phone, you can watch it on your computer, you can watch it cast it to your TV, sit down and do it with your partner or on your own. It’s very flexible. 

The Office Hours call happen monthly. This is our way of being on task forever. When I started ready to remodel we did it as a seven week program and I knew people can plan to remodel in seven weeks probably but I want to do to sort of get everyone in jumpstart I have since learned that you know they want ongoing support you probably think you’re gonna take a little bit longer even if you think you’re not. You might. And so we’ll just be here we have people coming back from the original calls into the monthly calls to tell us how they are to ask new questions. They’re starting on a new room they have new energy. So we meet together online every month to answer those questions. However, every time we do a live workshop like this, we also start a remote squat. So the people that sign up today, we’re going to be doing bi weekly calls for the next five calls. So we’ll be able to supercharge our energy get to know each other a little bit better and really just run through the steps of the program quickly if that is what you want. 

The next round of calls start in March and I would love for you to be part of that. But if you’re ever not available or if you want to just start today and look backwards, all of the calls we’ve ever done are recorded. All of the workshops we’ve ever done are recorded and you can watch them at any point or if you’re not free at the time the call is happening. You could submit your question in advance and get your answer afterwards or you can go back and look at the questions you asked a year or so ago. And see. 

What did I tell you about that? That was really helpful but you don’t quite remember it’s recorded and it’s there. We also have it used to be Facebook a private homeowner community. Now it’s in Thinkific where you can sort of keep access keep tabs on what’s going on with other people share your wins share resources, you find some of the people in the group are really super users and provide so much value so that it’s more even than what I can tell you it’s you guys becoming crowdsourcing information plans for yourself. Okay, I’m just gonna fly through this. I’m gonna get to your question. 

So we’ve got workshops on how to find the time to plan Yeah, I also don’t have time for this. So I have workshops how you can find time where you can carve it up from your existing daily life to slip it in so that it does not break your brain and you don’t have to put it off until another season in your life. An action tracker so if you’re following along, doing everything really quickly with us in romanza, that’s great if you fall behind, that’s okay. You could always come back and see where you are, how far you’ve gone along where you are in the process so you don’t lose traction. 

And I’ve got all these resources of the contractor management system spreadsheets that I use myself that I share with you as templates and teach you how to use basically Oh, an app flowchart of should I pick this or that that you can use if you can indecisive in a store? I got my background began. My background is in sustainable design. So that’s not what this call is about. But I really believe that actually everything we do to remodel and preserve mid century houses is a straight sustainable choice is keeping houses out of the landfill, like I said at the beginning, and so I also have advice based on my decades. Before mid century of How To Make Green choices in your remodel sustainability in terms of energy efficiency, in terms of material choices, sourcing, things like that.

There’s so much that we have done helping literally hundreds of other mid century homeowners putting together style guides for our clients putting together resources. We’ve gathered a lot of that into the mid mod design ideas library so you can see examples of what we’ve done in layouts for other places. This is broken down by space, but we’ve got style guide examples for kitchens for living rooms for owner suites for outdoor spaces. It’s all there. So when you’re looking when you’re feeling stuck, you’d go to Pinterest Of course I encourage you to but you can also just come to our idea library to get focused mid century appropriate advice and up saving strategies good stuff, the design clinics. Somebody I’ve seen a couple of faces here that we’re at the kitchen clinic we just held a few weeks ago. We last summer we did a clinic on additions and owner suites we’ve done clinics on exterior curb appeal updates and also patios, porches and decks all of those are available for free for I created them originally for ready to remodel students. So we have you also have the opportunity to call me and say you’d like to see other design clinics so if there’s an area we haven’t covered, you can ask for it and we will get it to you inside of ready to remodel but these are really nice, focused topics specific areas. Here’s the thing I wanted to talk to you about today. 

All of that’s available and ready to remodel all the time. Today. I’m offering you a chance to get our irregular but really valuable 90 minute live layout challenge Buster workshops. So this is where I take my tablet you take a floor plan you have do you not have a floor plan? Well, you will. By the time we get to the layout Challenge workshop, you as a ready to remodel student will have a floor plan we can use sometimes they’re really gorgeous computer generated sometimes they are kind of chicken scratches, but it doesn’t matter. I’m able to give you really good ideas about how to manipulate layout alternatives for your kitchen and for your basement for your indoor outdoor flow. 

And we’ve had some real fun at these in the past plus, today only the first 10 People who sign up ready to remodel can have an extra free bonus 30 minute one to one call with me. These are really fun opportunities to get to know each other a little better for me to see inside your house and point you in the direction of the first most important things you’re going to want to do answer the questions that you have about your house specifically even more than I can in an office hours call. If you wanted to join us today what is that gonna cost? 

Well, we have two payment options you can pay in full and save for 1867 or you can do or 12 Pay pan so you can literally start today for auto and $67 I don’t even know I used to compare this to like a kitchen appliance. I don’t even know it’d be that expensive in this economy. 

So the value that you get out of having the support the encouragement that accountability to yourself, I’m ready to remodel weighed against 12 payments of $167 but you’re in ready to remodel for your lifetime. That’s I wish everyone could have this for free but I can’t but I can give it to you for this very affordable price. I do want you to be thrilled. So if you join ready to remodel and find it’s not for you, it’s a money back guarantee within the first two weeks we would just love you to to give it a try and join us today. let’s reframe the way you see what’s possible for your home. 

At the layout Challenge workshop this is an example how particular a lot of fun with with Dana and David. They were remodeling their ranch. They came to it and they were really feeling like they didn’t know how to fix the kitchen problem. It felt really small, it felt too tight and they were stuck. They were just looking at the four walls and where the windows were and feeling really blocked in. But the thing that they hadn’t even said out loud in the previous Office Hours calls but they mentioned really casually at the layout workshop was that they were planning to tear off the little back porch which was shading the dining room windows. And when I realized that was happening, we realized that the non structural wall separating their kitchen and dining room was only making their lives worse because David is a social cook he likes to be the person that’s making all the food and chatting with everyone. 

He doesn’t want them in a space but he wants to see all their faces. We were able to take out a wall put it in a big island design, which isn’t the right solution for every kitchen but was the right solution for them. And it never occurred to them because they didn’t think it was possible to fit into their kitchen. That’s the kind of joyful result we get at some of these layout workshops. It’s just really fun. I think everybody else that was on the call also felt the sort of energy boost of this and so you get to have your own problem solved but you also get to see other people’s problems solved and if you’ve noticed in the chat today, we all share a lot of the same situations and a lot of the same challenges. So ready to remodel will help you focus know exactly what you want make easier decisions, minimize disagreements with your partner. 

Get your home remodel done the way you want with accountability to keep going forward and with someone reinforcing you to say yes do it the way you want. Do it the mid century way not the way your contractor told you that the HGTV couple down the road did and walk away with a focus master plan that will lead you with competence and clarity to your remodel. So if you want to sign up today, I’m going to be sticking around to answer questions now but you’ve got time to pop over to midmod-midwest.com/ready. midmod-midwest.com/ready. 

There it is. I’m talking too fast and get signed up will immediately reach out to you and welcome you to the program that will get you joined into the community and you can start poking around inside the program. Right away it is all of the content is available for you and the first call will be on the first Monday of the month which is March I don’t know what is time, the first Monday in March. Okay. Now it’s time to answer questions. If you have questions who haven’t submitted already, Rebecca has been kept March 4. Thank you Rebecca. Rebecca has been capturing questions as they have been occurring. Let me just scroll to the spot where those are. And if you’ve got questions about your house you’d like me to answer right now now’s the time I’m gonna do it. Let’s just see what is on your mind. What is hanging you up? What’s your biggest remodeling anxiety right now or a specific product pick that’s right for your home. I want to talk to you about it. So where we’re going I don’t see the questions in our document. So somebody asked me a question in the chat. This is your big opportunity. 

I’m gonna drink some waterby the way, Queens Gambit. Which do you remember the house before and the house after cuz she has like a 1950s Canadian mid century house and then later she remodels it in the 60s and I can never decide which one is my favorite. They’re both so charming. I would instantly remodel a house into either style. It’s really fun. Okay, Alex said this is silly one. But if we’re ready, because we want to create that master plan and have a roadmap but we won’t be able to do a big remodel until next year. 

Do you recommend signing up? I couldn’t have served you that question anymore. Thank you. So we’ve just spent all this time today talking about how helpful it is to put distance between making decisions getting ready and then actually doing it. 

The earlier you can get started on a master plan process, the better now of course, if you have a limited timescale, there might be people who are here who are really ready to go and they need to get in with a contractor right now like Steph and Jesse you need to fast process the master plan that that hit those steps each once you’re better off, but the more time you have, develop is a cycle. 

The more time you have the calmer it can be the less it needs to be an imposition into your daily life. I highly recommend getting started on planning as soon as possible. So that you really have a chance to to really have a chance to think about what you want to prioritize to weigh possibilities. And if you’ve got your plan set if you are vintage hunters by the way, we didn’t talk too much today about where you fall in the spectrum from I love vintage too. I like a modern approach to mid century but for vintage hunters in particular, you can hit resale, you can hit Restore, you can hit a state sales and find pieces and sort of store them up and get ready to go. 

So Alex, I would encourage you to jump in now because the longer you put it off, the more compressed the process will be and also the longer you’re putting off the eventual taking for steps. I’m also a big believer in planning a master plan. It might be something you’re gonna hire a contractor to do big work on later. But in that process, I’m going to encourage you to think about a couple of things you can do right away level one projects that you can get satisfaction from right now. Even as you plan your budget you save for the energy the freedom, the time to do it bigger later. 

And this is actually something we do with a lot of our custom master plan clients as we plan what they’re going to do a medium or a small size remodel now and their five year plan or their 10 year plan for a remodel later. So they’re not just sitting you’re waiting you’re not just sitting there waiting for your real life to begin for your happy hereafter. You get the process of getting to start something and you have the mental satisfaction of knowing what you’re moving towards. So that’s great. All right, we’ve got a question that actually had come in in advance an email okay. This is a great question Johnny asked via email. This is more about services do I provide consultation or review services to a client on a design when done by another architect? 

The background is that they have an architect working on plans for an addition to the house, a kitchen bath and basement. They liked the architect. He teaches architecture and designs modern residential projects, but his experiences and midcentury is limited. We’re early in the process. What should we do? Okay, this is actually great. That house I showed you with the three options for the kitchen that blew up the ceiling. They ended up working with a design build firm. Technically, that firm had not a licensed architect, but a draftsman who was drawing up plans on their payroll. 

And we work with this actually quite a bit we work with in combination with teams who have design builds, sometimes even with people who have another architect in several ways, sometimes with a full master plan to set the vision and sometimes with consultations to talk about the where’s the midcentury just keep sort of at various touch points, pull it back to the mid century details. Those things can be incredibly powerful. 

And we love to collaborate with other designers who just aren’t as familiar with the history, the ethos, the deep, rich quality of mid century houses and particularly for firms that have a design build component. They often don’t specialize in mid century, we’ve had some of our best relationships between us client and contractor in those places. Because we get to have a lot of collaboration. 

They have the skill, the craft to do anything, but they don’t have experience in knowing what are the midcentury choices so we can show them examples of what to do then they create beautiful results. The that particular house it’s in rural Indiana, they moved from California back to her family’s hometown in Indiana to help care for elderly aging parents, and nobody in their town was doing anything remotely mid century they found this great, well respected, well reviewed company that was doing very sort of like traditional craftsman remodels. And they were able to use their woodshop to make the most beautiful green matched slab front kitchen. I’ve seen in or out of a magazine just absolutely gorgeous. 

And we all had a really fun time doing it. So yes, I love to do consultations. It’s also not a bad approach to think about ready to remodel as a tandem approach to working with a non mid century architect. And you know, to be fair, most architects aren’t I didn’t have a lot of background in mid century it’s not taught in school until I tripped and fell into the rabbit hole and became an obsessive that’s a great question. Thanks for asking. Okay, Lisa has a more practical livability question light is important to us and our kitchen has a southern exposure. How can we ban balance maximizing light with sustainability? Great question. Okay. So light is one of the done right in a high end mid century house light is everywhere. There’s big floor to ceiling windows, there’s skylights, there’s openness, there’s space between rooms in a builder grade mid century ranch house. 

There might be just a regular cottage number of windows and sometimes it really depends what the orientation of the house is. Whether it flows nicely whether the light is coming in at the right time of day. So in my house for example, I’ve got really good Eastern light in the living room side of the house in the morning and really good Western light in my kitchen and office in the end of the day, which often persuades me to just stay working at my desk for much longer because it’s got a nice glowing light in here and the relaxing space is dim and dark, it’s boring. 

The best way I can say is to let in as much daylight as possible. So expanding windows when you’ve got room to even if it means taking off wall cabinets to do it. Putting in skylights or light tubes can be a really low stress, low cost way to bring daylight into spaces. But also you asked about daylight I want to talk about artificial light lights lightly. Again, user survey who here lives in a house that feels like it does not have enough built in lights. Maybe there’s just one ceiling light per room. 

Maybe in the living room. There’s no built in light. That’s not an accident. Well, it was a little bit of a cost saving measure and the mid century again remember they were fixing fixing a housing crisis. They were building fast but part of the reason they didn’t build in a lot of switched lights is because they really expected people to personalize their homes with task lighting with floor lamps with pole tension lamps with wall mounted sconce lamps pointing up at art at the floor. And all those things were meant to help create a mood that was different for different parts of tasks. So you mentioned kitchen. Now your question has been great, which is so helpful, but you mentioned lighting is really important to you. And so I would say think about daylight 

Yes, but also think about in a kitchen particularly in a dining room even more particularly you don’t just want bright light you don’t want just universal light. Your average contractor bless his or her heart is going to come in and say let’s put in candle lights everywhere. They’re gonna say mid century houses don’t have canned lights and they need them. I would argue a mid century house does not need a single can light. It does need good room general lighting. Which could come from ceiling lights or pendants. But more than that, it needs the ability to turn on all the lights in the room and have to be bright or turn on some of the lights in the room. Under counter are undercounter under cabinet pendants over sink over stove all on dimmers so you can really tune the light condition to the mood you’re having in the dining room. You don’t want to be bright while you’re eating you do want to do bright while you’re cleaning. So having both of those abilities is important. I can say more but I have to keep moving. 

Martha says we’ll be pulling for mica we pulling off for my girl on the kitchen walls to install tile what pitfalls might exist behind the formica there for mica is on the walls. Oh, fascinating. Okay, so laminate on the walls was a solution that happens in the mid century sometimes again. I love about the mid century it was not a time about luxury. If you look at the marketing materials, everything they’re talking about is it’s comfortable. It’s livable, it’s easy to clean. That does result in things like Formica on the walls. You If you’re lucky, we’ll just find sturdy hardware and plaster If moisture has gotten behind them and a lot of midcentury kitchens don’t have vent fans. 

You may find some mold hiding behind a solid surface like that, particularly at the edges weren’t well sealed. And probably are you doing I don’t really have time to get into details but if you’re DIY in it, you might just try to take off the surface and sort of patching plaster was there and put tile on top of it. If a contractor is doing this they will probably cut out whatever plaster and drywall medium is behind that surface. Put on new drywall, green board and then tile over it. But either in either case, your your hope your two shouldn’t necessarily be finding anything gross but anytime you open up the walls you have an opportunity to be surprised pleasantly or unpleasantly but I think that yeah, you’re gonna have you’re gonna like this.

But do be prepared to roll with the punches of what you find behind that the risk of a solid seal like that a plastic surface. Even something like wallpaper on a wall is particularly in a room like a bathroom or a kitchen where there’s moisture sometimes is that you can find mold behind there, so just be prepared. Okay, Taylor asks exteriors board and batten the crime. Other siding options that are appropriate is not a crime board is one of the palette of mid century materials you’ll often see even on a relatively simple builder grid ranch they’ll usually be part of the part of the house will be done in horizontal and then maybe there’s an area around the picture window or the front door where there’s some vertical.

For cost reasons, that would often be a panel solution which is like a reverse board and batten in effect, but board and batten is totally appropriate. You’ll see a lot of California Rancho style houses have Borden meten The one thing I would say is that the proportions and the directionality of your siding is important. When we are reciting potentially houses we want to avoid like the plague vinyl because it’s terrible but also vinyl because it comes almost always in that four inch, really narrow strip profile. And that was meant to be like the wood narrow board houses that were done in the Victorian era that was to break up the height of a three story house with little horizontal lines. 

We want the big whiteboards so what I recommend for a siding replacement these days, if you can’t sell the German original mid century wood or if somebody else already took it off and replaced it with vinyl and you’re replacing it again, is to go with a wood replacement product wood wood ideally but that’s very expensive. So I like both LP SmartSide and James Hardy I would still think about horizontal siding but feel free to do both feel free to have part of the house have horizontal and part of it have vertical. If you want to go with a more modern rather than a more mid century look. You could even think about just panels but it’s not a crime. Let’s see. Darby flooring for a concrete slab foundation with no vapor barrier. Okay, so if you don’t have a vapor barrier, you need something breathable. You don’t want to lock that and so vinyl sheet vinyl is out. 

You could think about some of the more natural alternatives you could do if you wanted to do a roll on floor you could go with marmoleum which is the modern linoleum version. I favorite sources green building supply the family run business based in Iowa they ship all over the country. But my first question would be what’s the state of the concrete and exposed concrete floor is not necessarily a bad idea for a mid century house if it’s decent. Other than that you could go tile slate terracotta I would try to do something that has a not too shiny finish because again you don’t you moisture is just going to move in through this floor with the temperature with the season with humidity. Since there’s no vapor barrier, you don’t want to lock it in. You don’t want to trap moisture at any place. So your goal is to do something that has a little bit of natural breathability a stone tile or a terracotta tile would be a great choice for that. 

Alright, Sarah said, I’m surprised to hear you say loud, it’s important. I mean, obviously it’s important but I always want to change layouts and I worry that it’s going to double budgets, move walls, relocate rooms and plumbing so I passed on houses with the right without the right layout. Do you think changing layout completely changes your budget? Sara? Yes, no. Of course there are some layout changes you can make that we very ruinously expensive, but it’s also possible to make some layout changes that are very effective. 

The easiest changes that you might not even I would call this a layout change maybe wouldn’t is to think about making a new opening and an existing wall that’s non bearing with an opening in it. So if there’s a door, you could think about the builder basic version is putting a knock in a header and call it call it a column opening. But you could also just think about punching a few more openings between the studs. For example, if have more view through if you have a window. It could become a door by just being extended down or it could be extended over and get an extra header. You can also think about what are the easy and what are the hard layout changes. So for example, many times we were thinking about changing a kitchen layout. 

We tried to keep the sink in the place where it was use that as a pole star for the project because while it’s possible to relocate it of course, it just simplifies the plumbing runs the work in other parts of the house it affects less things but keep the sink where it is. And maybe the gas line as well but I don’t recommend guest Stokes when I can possibly talk people out of them. I love induction less particulates with energy use cream choices. That’s a side issue. 

But layout change doesn’t have to mean scrape the house from scratch and start over. It might mean taking out a bearing wall here or opening up a new room and closing off the doorway there. It might mean one or two strategic moves, or sometimes it’s bigger. But if you can also think about what can you pair it with if you have a house that has, God forbid asbestos in the drywall, and it all needs to be remediated. 

Now you’re down to the studs in every room in the house now that’s a terrible situation to find yourself in. But once you’re there, you might as well move some walls. It’s not that much more work. So this is where I think asking yourself the classes, the possibilities of layout changes and asking what layout changes suit you. I’m not a big recommender of like everything should be open plan. T

hat depends on you, your personality your house, but what is the right direction to take. Sometimes there are very subtle changes in layout to make and sometimes there are bigger ones but if you’re looking at houses and you’re ruling them in or out purely based on their layout, think about to the extent of your knowledge or bring along a handy friend who can sort of see x revision through the wall a little more. What are the easy changes to make and what are the hard ones because sometimes people will turn down a house that has terrible finishes and one awkward layout or several awkward layout things that actually you could see around and that’s a change you can make. Christopher says we are planning to expand our kitchen with four season room which underneath would be a garage if that makes sense. My biggest concern is making sure the new roof expansions look cohesive with our current low pitch roof. 

The contractor we’re getting a quote from keeps mentioning something about not wanting to get before for 12 below afford 1203 12 pitch which means nothing to me. I showed him a reference photo and he said it was stick built which I also have no idea what it means, but he doesn’t recommend it. I’m just not sure what language to use. Make sure we’re getting the right roofline to match our current roof if that makes sense. Okay, this is this is great. Um, these are the questions we asked him the answer inside of the discovery phase. This kind of terminology can be so off putting if you don’t know it, and once you do it makes so much sense. So quick lesson for everybody because why not because I can’t stop myself a 312 or a 412 roof basically just repeat we’ve talked about the pitch ratio. So for every 12 inches, you’re going over or 12 feet we were saying inches, you go over in run it’s the amount of rise so a 312 goes three inches up and 12 inches over and it looks it looks roughly like this. afford 12 goes up four inches across 12 So it’s a little steeper, most mid century ranch roofs. 

Whether they have a gable end that’s with a little triangle at the end or a hip end where all of the parts of the roof come down to a gutter line all the way around have between a three and a 412 roof. That’s the typical ratio unless they have a flat roof flat should be in quotation marks. A flat is a low sloped roof that is anything less than one in 12 or sometimes going down to a quarter inch over 12 inches. But there always needs to be a teeny bit of slope because if it’s truly flat water sits on top of it snow sits on top of it that’s bad, but it’ll look flat to the human eye. Um You said you have a low sloped roof. Low sloped roof is absolutely doable, buildable possible more expensive often and requires a little bit more planning to make sure it’s going to manage water properly. So without knowing without seeing your house. 

I can’t give you as much of a specific answer here. But that terminology is it’s unfortunate that your contractor is using jargon because it’s it’s literally putting you off but he’s probably recommending those slopes and not wanting to go below them because that is also the minimum slope that most types of modern roofing will warranty. A lot of shingle companies a lot of metal roofing companies won’t warranty their product installed on anything less than a 312 or sometimes a 412 slope. Basically they just want to ensure that water always has a reason to run downhill a lot and upset on top of their product. And so again, um stick frame thick belt he said stick belt okay, that means it’s made the two by fours. 

So a modern house. A McMansion house you see these days we’ll have an attic structure, a roof structure, probably with more like a 512 or a 412 roof and it will be made out of an engineered a system of trusses pre comp pre assembled pieces that come together but stick built means that the rafters were assembled in place by the builder at the time on site. And most mid century houses built at least the ones built before 1960 or so. 

Our stick builds have the restaurants rafters framed on site for all of us who have that. If you have for example a 312 roof with a stick belt, a stick built rafter you have an easier opportunity to blow out your ceiling and expand up into the attic plane than someone who has a trust system that’s almost impossible for them for them that’s tearing off the roof and starting over for us. It’s tearing out the ceiling and rerouting structure inside. So that’s a fun win for us. But your question is how do you make sure you get the right roofline? 

Probably can’t answer that question for you here verbally in this call. But I do want you to feel more confident when your contractor says things to you let that if you can bear it, push back. So stick but what do you mean for 12? What is that they will roll their eyes if they’re not a nice person. If they are a nice person, they will just stop and say Oh my bad I should not have said that to you. That’s a word you don’t know and explain it to you but I’m happy. I’m happy to do that. And ready to remodel is a place where you can come and ask questions like this. The you’re not obligated to do a new roof line exactly like your old roofline. 

There are plenty of ways to tastefully blend in a new approach and a budget friendly contractor buildable approach, but we will want you will want to think about that. Carefully because that does make a big difference the way it’s going to feel overall as you approach the house. Jen asks, Do you suggest doing all this planning before doing some of the non negotiable structural safety things like changing electrical panel or having the fireplaces certified? Fantastic question. Jen. And the answer is yes or no.

There are probably a few things you can do before your big picture planning. There might be a few things you must do if you have an active safety issue. If your inspector says Don’t let a kid into the house like this, you have to deal with that. But the more you can look at the big picture before you start knocking off those maintenance checklist things. The more opportunities you have to plan well and get to first and the more you have the prevention of doing something you later want to undo or even something that doesn’t matter to you in the end. 

So I would not upgrade your electrical panel before you’ve thought about everything you’d want to do because you might end up wanting to move the electrical panel if you’ve already just paid to upgrade it. You won’t want to but it’s more expensive to move it than is to upgrade it in place but not much more so you can have a win. You can have a savings if you’re able to bundle together the maintenance stuff with the design changes. I never it’s always the right time to start a master plan wherever you are. 

Whenever you start asking yourself these questions. You’re in the right spot, but I do wince a little bit when people come to me when they come to me to remodel and when they come to me for a master plan and say we did it. We did all our grown up adulting checklists, we’ve fixed the siding we fixed the roof we fixed the panels we put in a new heater. Now we’re ready to do the fun stuff. 

How do we design it? And I winced a little bit because they’ve just lost the opportunity to make part of the costs of all of those things. Fun so having your fireplace certified that might well be a useful thing to do unless there’s any chance that you’ll be decommissioning the fireplaces. The example I think for myself is I thought the first thing I wanted to do on the inside of the house was put in insulated curtains for all the windows. It was like well of course, this is a very minor waste of money but it was a little bit of a waste of money. I had told myself that the rule I had for this house was that I would not be changing the outs I wouldn’t change the envelope I wouldn’t be removing or changing any windows. And then I decided to enclose my breezeway and took out the dining room windows and the window in the kitchen. 

And so I donated those to restore along with a custom made insulated curtain because yeah, I paid for that twice. Very small change but you know, irritating so you don’t want to avoid you want to avoid those things by planning ahead as much as possible. Paul says we’re going to be installing a lot of interior wood ceilings, doors, wall wood cabinetry, what are the classic midcentury which was just a great question. All this depends a little bit on whether we talked about this if you’re on a time capsule and you’re going to start from what’s in the house, probably, if you’re replacing the mid century term recreating it. You get to pick yourself. There is a range of things that work well for mid century they’re generally the more budget friendly pine, beech birch all work very well and you could stain them into sort of the warmth. 

You wouldn’t actually use amber Shellac today probably unless you’re super preservationist, but to get that warm kind of color looks a lot like you can’t see it in the living video. Like this door behind me. If you are doing a bit more of a modern a bit more of a high end mid century, you’re gonna go for the walnut in the day they would have used Philippine mahogany. It doesn’t exist anymore. We cut it all down and put it into the paneling. 

Some of those darker more tropical hardwoods sometimes pop up, teak walnut, you’ll see those but I think you can actually go really far away with with simple plywood, even if it’s stained, right if it’s finished white if it’s good quality. So this is where you’re not going to source your materials from Home Depot, but you’re going to go to your local lumberyard and talk to them about what’s available, but as long as you are relatively consistent. You’re going the right way things that don’t strike me as particularly midcentury oak in anything but the floor. 

Cherry Yeah, so zeros you’ll set your own style guide but I think you can’t ever go wrong with a pine Beech birch or if you want to go darker with the darker stains the teak the walnut, that sort of thing. Kim says My mom is still living in her home and feels it’s perfect when it may for when it may come to us. She’s 98 Congratulations. She will live past 100 quite sure what can we do now without involving her or leaving her feeling her home isn’t perfect. It’s a wonderful home. 

So you’re hoping to maintain it or to modify it for future use. This is such an interesting question. Um it’s hard to make choices for someone else about their home. But you it also depends on where you fall again on that sort of spectrum of you want to preserve a time capsule house. Now this is the interesting thing about people who have lived in their houses into their late 90s. Sometimes, their idea of time capsule actually they’ve remodeled themselves. 

They’re like I fixed it in the 80s it’s great now. My next door neighbor’s house is like that they remodeled their kitchen in 1990 something and boy did you tell I would put it back away it was when it was built they would have thought that was such a bad move. So you’re gonna have to balance the personalities there but if you’re more of a preservationist or more of an updater you can always talk to her about making maintenance choices and then making those choices from the design DNA of the original house, because that’s going to be the most timeless, the most long lasting. If she’s 98 and lived in the house the whole time. She probably cares about things being good to last. 

Many people from that generation are very frugal so you can talk to her about making long term choices that will last for another couple of generations and that might be a good persuasive element. Danica says Our roof is about 13 years old, the kitchen could really use more natural light. Firstly the ceilings could be vaulted. Look, we’ll talk about that. Again. There’s plenty of space above but also would it be okay to add style skylights about doing an entire roof redo? Yes, the most effective time to put in skylights is when the roof was being redone. But they there are absolutely skylight crews who can install a skylight well without needing to change the whole roof. They’ll do a little bit of damage around around the area and then they’ll patch it back up. 

This is an interesting question. I’m curious if there’s anyone here in the room still who is anxious when they hear the word skylight. People who grew up around skylight skylights that were installed in the 1970s, for example. Don’t have a good track record as modern stylings and obviously you know, if we wait as long as from the 70s, they may experience failure as well. But we’ve that’s an entirely different animal. We do skylights better now we flush them better, we insulate them better, we install them better. 

So I’m a big believer in skylights or if you’re anxious about them. I want skylights when my husband is worried about leaking, yeah, I hear you. If your husband is anxious, Mom or your partner have any sort of view yourself or anxious about them, consider light tubes, they don’t operate. They are just a little bubble that can be sealed around very well in the roof area and they bring in a surprising amount of daylight. Also, many led to products come with an in a built in artificial light too. So you could treat them like a ceiling light at night and like a skylight during the day. It’s really cool. 

Skylights are scary topic but a tiny kitchen window. Yeah, well the thing is that sometimes you can have both sometimes you can think about like is there room to expand on one side or another of existing kitchen you might have to sacrifice a little bit of wall cabinet. But what would it be worth it would be worth a lot to you to have more daylight. So but it’s also true bringing in light from above is incredibly powerful as opposed to light from a window which is going to do best when the light you know, north south east west when it’s coming around from that direction. A skylight is going to do a better job of gathering and daylight even when it’s not in direct sun so I highly recommend them. I do think it’s a good idea. And it would also be well paired with making a change to the ceiling height. Have I run us out of questions. 

Thanks. So I’m just gonna give you one more little pitch for like if you’re on the fence about ready to remodel you’re still here you’re still listening. It is such a great opportunity. To start now the very first question was it Alex you pitch that to me? Thank you. I mean, I swear to God is not a plant. The sooner you start in on this process, the more casual you can do it the more fun you can have with it, the more you can feel like you’re recreational hobby, or the more you can like knock this stuff down while you have a little bubble of free time right now and then let it sit, do a few quick projects. 

And just let your plans bake, percolate, if you will, until you’re ready to come around and take action on them. It’s also a good idea to have your plants locked down so you can get on the attention of a contractor. So you can actually have the work done quite a while from now. The wait times right now are not what they were in the pandemic but they are significant. So now’s a great time to get started. I’m ready to remodel it’s a great organization whether you are absolutely fresh have never owned a home before have never remodeled before have no sense of like what is involved in this process. We will hold your hand we will walk you through it we will take you through the process step by step by step but it’s also really proved useful for people who have remodeled before who have experienced leading contractor projects. 

You know better than anyone how stressful that can be. And you’ve looked back on your past projects and you maybe have some I hope not regrets but some questions about how you could have done it better. And you know that the sooner you plan the more thoroughly you plan, the better it can go. So I encourage you wherever you are in your process to think about coming into our little boat. We’ve had a couple of signups already. Thank you for people are signing up in this view. I’m so glad to see you and we welcome you into the program. Later.

This is a great time to join to get into this big new green Mod Squad energy and jump forward with us now before summer comes on for we’re all doing outside projects. Let’s use the last of winter the last of spring energy and really get our remodel dreams coming together but one more question. Jen says is this a problem that would work best in isolation or like a starting point to decide how to move forward? Is it instead of a formal in person consult or in conjunction with it? 

So if you sign up today, you’ll get a consult as well. But this is a program to guide you through the process of making these choices. And you can take as much advantage of my time as you want honestly I think are ready to remodel students see more of my face than a lot of my custom masterplan clients do because I see them at the start of the project at our kickoff meeting and at the workshop meeting. But I see are ready to remodel students every Monday, every first Monday of the month. When they show up. So it’s really a great chance for us to sort of get to know each other to talk through the project at every stage at the buzzy What am I going to do stage and at that I’m talking to a contractor and what does that what is this roof slope? What does stick frame mean? Ask her the answering those questions as well. So it really does sort of guide you through every step of the process. It’s not the same as hiring us to do the design work for you. That’s our master plan package, which is much more expensive. 

But this is really our way to sort of walk you through the steps of the master plan to get you excited about it and to demystify so many of the steps so many of these weird confusing things that come when you talk to a contractor who said things like stick frame attic and what does that mean? 

Does that mean they’re sticks in your attic? It does not. So yeah, I think it works in combination with you doing work yourself. You hiring people to do work. But also works really nicely just to get you started to get you going in the right direction. This has been really fun. This has been I love the Saturday workshop so much. Thank you for being here for anyone who stick around to the end. Bless you. You’ve got a lot of enthusiasm and obviously so do I. I’m going to drink a little more coffee and then fall over sideways now, but if you have further questions about ready to remodel, shoot me an e m DM on Instagram. We’re friends on Instagram right now, right? 

Student Email, ask your questions and if you want to just go ahead and sign up for ready to remodel. We will be kicking off our next cohort on Monday March what was it fifth? First Monday in March. I’m so excited for it and I’m so excited to hang out with you there. But Meantime, whether or not you join us ever need any services from Minmatar at all. Go out and make good choices for your home. You can do this. You’ve got the know how you’ve got the you know what matters to you. 

And now I hope you feel like you’ve got a little bit more of a process and a place to go for information to figure out what are good choices for your home and don’t be strangers. Happy Saturday and I will see you all later.