Part of the fun in remodeling your Chicago home is the visionary stage. It's when you formulate an image of what you want the new space to look like and how you want it to function. You can collect ideas from practically anywhere - a neighbor's house, magazines, home improvement websites, television shows, movies, catalogs, department store windows.
Collect Ideas - Create a portfolio or file to keep track of your ideas. As you see things you like, make notes or put printouts in the portfolio. Start to visualize your finished product. Think about as many details as possible, from the height of the ceiling to the hardware on the cupboard doors.
Size It Up - Consider the square footage you have to work with. If you're expanding, think about how much more square footage you want to add. Putting in a bigger kitchen? What new amenities can you fit in? What will the layout be? How do you want the flow of the kitchen to work?
Draft the Design - Start to draw on paper how you see the space in your head. Or go ahead and collaborate with your architect/builder to sketch some blueprints. Professionals will be able to tell you if there are any structural limitations or codes that need to be met with the plans. They'll also help fuzzy visions materialize into something tangible.
City Lot Standards - In a location like Chicago, where most residential lots are the same size, it can be convenient and cost-effective to use pre-fab designs. The designs are made to fit typical dimensions and can be superficially modified to incorporate your ideas. The plans abide by city codes and regulations, and are generally cheaper than custom blueprints because the work has already been done.
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