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Set Remodeling Goals, the Right Way!

12 min read Use remodeling goals to keep yourself on target as you plan the perfect mid-century home update!

Keeping a home update on track from start to finish is no easy task.  It’s so personal, expensive, long term and generally overwhelming that you’re sure feel stressed about it from time to time.  But you can push back on those feelings if you are anchored by strong remodeling goals.


Let’s talk about how to set your mid-century remodel on the right course, right from the start with a simple remodeling goals planning exercise.  

In Today’s Episode You’ll Hear:

  • This is it!  Your big chance to join the next cohort of Ready to Remodel!  Jump in now to get hands on help to streamline your remodel, access to a wonderful community of fellow home owners, oodles of bonus help like the indecision-busting Design-o-matic flow chart, super useful contractor management spreadsheets, and remodel budgeting advice, plus weekly support in live remodel coaching calls from yours truly, Della Hansmann, architect and mid-century enthusiast.  WILL I SEE YOU IN THE CLASS!?!
  • How to set your remodeling goals the right way.  Simple and easy … listen up!
  • And since the season is ending with this episode, take a spin through our back catalog with the mid mod remodel advice you need: broken down season by season!
get your remodeling goals in order with the Ready to Remodel program!

Listen Now On 

Apple | Google |  Spotify | Stitcher

Resources to set great Remodeling Goals

Read the Full Episode Transcript

Planning a remodel is a long haul process. It is full of intense satisfaction and intense frustration, and sometimes it can be hard to keep going or even get started. Here’s a way you can kickstart your process and set yourself up for success. Use this episodes’ exercise to find the ‘why’ of your remodel and use that knowledge to keep yourself going.

Hey there, welcome back to Mid Mod Remodel. This is the show about updating MCM homes, helping you match a mid-century home to your modern life. I’m your host Della Hansmann architect and mid-century ranch enthusiast. You’re listening to season eight, episode seven.

Now, if you’re an alert listener to this podcast, you might recognize that we usually come out with our new episodes on Thursday and it is currently Monday. Yes, I’m posting this wrapping up to the season episode a little early, and that’s because right now, Ready to Remodel is open for enrollment and enrollment is closing on Wednesday. If you are planning to remodel your mid-century home this year, I want you to join us inside of Ready to Remodel, because I know that using the master plan method is going to help you plan a remodel with a minimum of overwhelm and stress. And that is perfect for your life, your family and your home.

In fact, you’re getting a taste of what I talk to you about inside of ready to remodel right now, because what I’m talking about in this podcast episode today is about to be added as an intro lesson. At the beginning of the dream module inside of the program.

You can find out what you need to know about signing up for Ready to Remodel right now, and also watch the replay of the planning, a mid-century remodel to match your life and budget masterclass, which went down on Saturday at midmod-midwest.com/replay.

Don’t sleep on this offer because we won’t be reopening enrollment for Ready to Remodel to a new cohort until summer. That will be too late to plan a lot of the remodeling work that you can get done this year. So if this is your year to start your home updates, join us now. Grab that link and the outline for what we’re about to discuss and the show notes at midmod-midwest.com/807.

Okay. Let’s get down to it. Alright, today’s podcast episode is actually a lesson that I’m adding to the program this time around because I want to make it easier for people to plan and stick to their plan as they go through along home remodel, possibly a month long process of taking it all on at one time. And possibly it might be a many years long process of doing one part of the house and then another and another. In that case, you definitely want to have access to some inner strength, some motivation, some pull you through the tough times reasons for why you want to take on your remodel. So let’s get into it.

One of the first things that I ask people to take on when they start to plan a remodel is not to think about what they want to change in their house or what they want their remodel to look like, but to think about what they want their house to feel like when they’re done. This dreaming about your ideal home moment in the process is incredibly powerful and it helps people to really see the bigger picture and detach themselves from a particular finish or solution or a necessary step.

Before that even happens, though, I think there is a benefit to talking about why you want to remodel in the first place. You need to set your remodeling goals. We’ll talk about the actual exercise I want to suggest to you in a minute, but basically it has two incredible benefits.

First, it will help you determine what is the right remodel for you. And you can use it to keep yourself on track all the way along as you struggle with a particular weighing one object over another one part of the house coming first, or getting, or of your budget than another. You can come back to your original ‘why’ exercise, and you might have an easy answer to that question when you look at it from that point of view.

And second, it will help you stay motivated to get started, to keep going and to finish strong on your remodel plans. Now, sometimes getting started is the hardest part. So let me ask you this. How long have you been thinking about the changes you want to make to your home?

Now it might be, you’ve been thinking about them since you moved in. How long ago was that? What’s been holding you back? There are so many challenges, so many friction points before you get started on a remodel time, money, decisions to make, agreement with your spouse, figuring out where you could live while you mission part of your house, the doubts of your family, friends, or neighbors, the list goes on and on. In order to push back on all those impediments to your remodeling progress, you need a big, powerful, motivational tool.

You need to know your why. So how can you establish that? Let’s go through a simple remodeling goals exercise to help you establish what the why of your remodel might be. This is actually going to be so straightforward that I think you might be able to do it while you listen to this episode. So grab a pen and a notebook, or open up a Google document and get started right now.

I’m gonna credit this exercise to the place that I heard it first, which was from Amy Porterfield on her online marketing made easy podcast. Just like you are listening to this podcast to get concepts and ideas and inspiration for planning your home remodel. I have all the ideas in the world about mid-century homes, and I need inspiration and advice about running a small business. So one of the people I turned to is Amy Porterfield. She recently established this fantastic focus exercise for how to set your goals and how to set the motivation behind your goals.

Here is the remodeling goals three step process in a nutshell. Step one is a brain dump exercise. I want you to write down all of the various reasons you might be thinking about planning your remodel. I’m not talking about what you want to do when you update your home. I’m talking about what you will feel, how your life will change, what you will get out of it when your home remodel is complete.

This might include that you have space to do your favorite activity. It might mean that you suddenly have separation between your work life and your home life. This is a challenge that I wonder about in my own life. It might mean that you’ve got a place now to hang out with your kids, where before you had too much of a formal living room or a den, that was far away down in the dark basement.

Now you’ve got a place where the family can gather that’s central to your home life. It might mean that you achieve the sense of satisfaction and having adulted your way into home ownership success. It might mean that when your remodels done, one of the key things you wanted to do was bring in new windows. You are going to suddenly live your life in the sunlight. Every day will be brighter and therefore happier. You might just feel like this has been on your list for too long. And when you are done, you will know that you’ve completed a project. Anywhere on that remodeling goals list.

You’re looking for the ideas, the things that are meaningful to you, and you don’t have to be thinking too hard about this. I want you to spitball. It might be something you sit down and do with your partner. So if you’re listening to this episode alone, make a note of this. This is an easy 1, 2, 3. You actually don’t even need to write it down. You can remember this and say it to them over dinner this evening. Why do you want to remodel and make this list pretty long. Take five minutes and spitball all of the reasons you can think of, or keep a post-it note handy all day long and just write down idea as they come to you.

So far, so good? Alright, once you’ve got your list, take a breath, then look at the remodeling goals list again. All of the reasons you just wrote down are good reasons, but not all of them are equally important to you.

So what you want you to do is reevaluate that list. Anything that rings hollow, anything that’s not actually gonna get you out of bed in the morning remodeling. Anything that’s not going to help you pick up the phone and call a contractor, strike it back off the list. Boil your reasons down to the real essential ‘why’. Why you want to kick off this remodel? Give this idea some heft, because this is what’s going to power you through all of the fun and challenges that come ahead.

And then step three is so easy. Put those reasons that really matter to you someplace they’ll be visible. Stick them to your mirror on a post-it, write them on the wall in your office, stick them on the refrigerator with a magnet. Remind yourself early and often that you want to get this remodel going. You want to keep this remodel going, and here’s why. The answer are gonna be up to you.

So that’s really going to be a powerful incentive to you. Something that motivates you, something that gets you excited, something you can share with other people, although perhaps some of your whys might not be something you want to share. They might be personal. That’s fine too.

Your real reasons are going to be the most powerful incentives for you to make this remodel happen. But this exercise for you is actually gonna have two benefits. One of them is motivational, and it’s gonna be how you get going and see yourself through the tough times in a remodel. But actually you can take this exercise with you into the work that you do as you start to go through the master plan method, as you craft your ideal home profile, you’re gonna think about your why of your remodel, your remodeling goals, and then think about what your dream home looks like based on that.

This may sound like a no brainer, but setting remodeling goals is so often overlooked. And what I want you to do is to make sure that the remodel you take on and execute is the remodel you’ve been dreaming of. That it does the things you dreamed it could do. And actually, this is so easy to lose sight of in the chaos of decision making and budget and value engineering. You can return to these whys again and again, use them as part of your decision making rubric. Anytime you have to make a choice between one thing and another, between prioritizing one thing over another, choosing a finish, choosing to spend more or less, choosing to get one part of the process done early or later, use your why to determine it.

Here’s an example of how things spin out of control. You might find that you chose to plan your remodel because the most important thing your house doesn’t do for you right now, and what you want more than anything is a place for everyone to gather. You want your family and your friends to come to your house and to have the most welcoming social space so that you can be the host or hostess with the most. So that’s your ‘why’.

And then as you start to go down the path of the remodel, that little tweak you wanted to make in the owner’s suite to loom larger and larger. The contractor is throwing cool, expensive ideas at you and you’re realizing that fixing the plumbing in that space is going to be expensive. It starts to feel like that is a really fun project and needs to happen with a sense of urgency. And it starts to consume all of your attention and your time and suddenly you realize when you look back at your ‘why’ that is not going to bring your friends to your house.

So there’s two ways to answer that question from there. Perhaps what you realize is that you were also in need of a sanctuary space and you need to adjust your why. That’s fine. We’re not setting things in stone here. You can change your reasoning for what’s motivating you to get going with this project. But I suspect that when you look back at your initial, ‘why’ for the remodel, it may actually help you say, “Oh, this owner suite improvement is going to be fantastic, but it’s also going to happen two years from now when we’ve budgeted again, because the most important thing to us, the reason we took on this remodel in the first place was to create a social center for our friends and family”.

That kind of decision making may seem simple in the cold light of this podcast, but is incredibly challenging in the heat of the moment. So having something you can return to again and again, and make those decisions easier is such a valuable thing.

Alight, so have you started to think about your, ‘why’? If you didn’t grab a pencil, did you start to have ideas pop into your head? I want you to capture them now, make up that list. And if you don’t mind it, I would love you to share with me your ‘why’. Why you want to plan a remodel for your mid-century home. Send me a DM on Instagram or reply to the email announcing this podcast. I’d love to hear from you.

This is the year that you’re planning to update your home. You’ve set your remodeling goals. I hope that you’re going to join us inside of Ready to Remodel in order to get that guidance and just simplify and streamline your entire process. Ready to Remodel is open right now for enrollment and it’s closing on Wednesday night. So if you’re listening live, this is your big chance to get step by step access to take you through a home update with a minimum of overwhelm and stress.

A remodel that’s just right for your life, your family and your home. Learn what you need to know to lead your remodel with confidence. Even if you’ve never planned a home update before focus your style, create your style guide for a remodel that looks gorgeous and comes together smoothly and get creative to discover out of the box solutions to make your home shine and tweak the layout so that it really works for your life. And in the end, create a master plan to keep your remodel on track and on budget from start to finish.

You can complete the lessons inside of Ready to Remodel at your own pace and there audio and worksheet format so that you can fit them into your life. Beyond that you’ll be part of a community of other mid-century homeowners working on their own home updates.

You’ll check in with me regularly during live office hours where you can get all your remodeling questions answered additional content inside the program includes my contractor management spreadsheets. The Design-o-matic flow chart for choosing products with ease. My design guides for mid-century spaces, which will help you kickstart the draft phase. Get basically a wealth of knowledge about hundreds of mid-century homes distilled down into an easy to use guide for each space in your home. It’s like an architect in your pocket. Watch the mid-century kitchen clinic and take yourself step by step through the process focused on one of the most important spaces in a mid-century house update.

Basically, I’ve got everything I think you might need in there to plan a remodel that’s going to work for you. I want to help you achieve remodeling success. Get all the information about the program and watch a replay of the planning, a mid-century remodel to fit your life and budget masterclass at midmod-midwest.com/replay, or just hit up the show notes page.

This wraps up season eight of the Mid Mod Remodel podcast and we’re gonna go on hiatus again for a little while because, well, I’m just one woman and I’m gonna be focusing on my students inside of Ready to Remodel.

But don’t feel abandoned. If you’re waiting with baited breath for the next season to drop, have you checked out everything we’ve already had to say inside of the Mid Mod Remodel podcast? Go back to the very beginning. If you start at season one, I’ll talk you through everything I think you need to know about mid-century homes and how to consider updating them.

In season two, we get the ready to remodel resources, the resource guide, the get started coffee table workbook. I talk about my mission to salvage mid-century homes from HGTV purgatory and give you advice on why you probably want to declutter before you really start your remodel.

Season three was the stay home season. I was addressing how to retrofit remodeling plans for the beginning of COVID and my goodness I did not realize we would still be dealing with that now, but here we are.

Season four has some fun specialty content. How to update a time capsule house versus reviving a flip. How to sneak some sustainability in to your remodel, how to plan for a more accessible update and what to do with your mid-century yard. Plus creating a style guide for your home. This is pretty essential stuff here, guys.

And then season five is the kitchen season. I talk about problem solving layout changes code, as it affects the kitchen, finishes and fittings for a well styled mid-century kitchen update and how a master plan applies to a kitchen.

In season six, I go back over the entire master plan method, dream discover, distill, draft, and develop. If you want to know about the framework, you can learn about it there.

If you’re looking for rapid fire, pep talk and advice on a variety of topics, check season seven, where I have 25 episodes all under about five minutes, giving you my thoughts on the frequently asked questions of planning a mid-century remodel.

That gets you back up to speed.

If you’ve got things you would like to hear discussed on the Mid Mod Remodel podcast, send me an email. You can grab me at della@midmod-midwest.com. I’m always looking for new things to talk about that you want to hear for future seasons of the Mid Mod Remodel podcast. So long for now folks. We’ll talk soon, maybe inside of Ready to Remodel, or if not, I’ll see you for the next season of the Mid Modern Remodel podcast. Catch you then.