If your budget won’t let you do everything at once, a master plan for future improvements can be invaluable. Having a phased master plan allows you to do what you can in the short term while looking forward to making more improvements later. It also allows you to defer improvements you’re less certain about, or for which you think your objectives may change over time.

Be sure to tell your architect or designer about your future wishes as well as your current plans. Your team can help you formulate a master plan to be implemented over time, planning the current improvements in ways that make future improvements easier.

Here’s an example of how master planning can save you money and headaches. In 2007, the Martins completely remodeled their kitchen. In 2009, they hired an architect to design a family room addition to the house. Once they explored their vision, it turned out that they’d put the stove in the perfect place for a doorway into the family room. They weren’t willing to remodel the kitchen a second time to accommodate that doorway, so their new plans were compromised. If the Martins had created a phased master plan before remodeling their kitchen, the house would have been much more functional and pleasant.

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