Design Checklist

Purpose: to provide a framework to follow when making design choices for your project. 

Read time: 10 Min

Before You Start

Always specify the items that have the least choices first! For example, cabinets will typically offer you the fewest choices in terms of renovation options, but paint has infinite choices. Start with the items that provide you with the fewest options first. 


Initial Design Spec Questions
  1. Freestanding tubs (oval vs. rectangle)

  2. Types of vanity sinks

    • undermount (rectangle vs. oval)

    • vessel

  3. Types of kitchen sinks

    • farm house

    • under mount (materal, single/double/triple)

  4. Switch and plug types

  5. Siding type

  6. Window type

  7. Exterior door design intent

Tier 1 Plan Set

Note: In many areas, plans will get put on 24"x36" sheets, then reduced if needed.


Architects/Home Designers

  • An existing floor plan

  • An identified demo plan

  • A proposed floor plan

  • The size and location of all new doors and windows. (Identify the egress windows, and which will feature tempered glass.) 

  • A proposed roof plan with overall dimensions, including ventilation

  • Generic electrical information, including fans

  • Generic plumbing information, including the bath/kitchen layout

Structural Engineers

  • A foundation plan

  • Make sure you identify the existing foundation and which there will be any modifications or additions

  • Include vent calculations into each crawl space

  • Framing plans for the floor and roof

  • Include the size, spacing, and direction of all members, including beams, posts, floor joists, ceiling joists, and roof rafters

If you’re going to have an addition made, make sure you add:

  • A plot survey with the marked addition and setbacks clearly shown

  • Exterior elevations

Tier 2 Plan Set



Keep in mind the Working Triangle: the relationship between the stove, range, and sink. 

For sinks, identify the type of sink to be used, and get the stone company to supply and install it.

  • Cabinet design

  • Countertop layout

  • Appliances

  • Vertical design for elevations

  • Tile locations

  • Shelving

Bathroom Layouts

Maintain a 15” minimum from the center of the toilet flange to the wall. (The recommended distance is 18”.)

For cost savings, find a remnant store for bathrooms—you don't typically need a whole slab for the renovation, so buying remnants can save you money.

  • Vanity design

  • Tile layout

Instructional Videos

“Home RenoVision DIY” provides you with seven kitchen renovation tips that can save you thousands on your project. 

“Home Repair Tutor” covers 17 clever bathroom renovation ideas for beginner flippers.