You are ready to create a family room. What’s the first step? Well, assuming you have the family already under control, it is time to start budgeting.

Budgeting doesn’t necessarily mean money. It means space, lifestyle, and lots of other things too. Is there enough space in the house to create or extend that family room where it is? If it doesn’t seem so, don’t get too worried yet, there are ways around some of that. Creative contractors can find ways to fit a lot of living space into otherwise skimpy looking quarters. Have you seen what they’re doing with tiny houses these days?

Ok, well tiny houses are pretty extreme, and we assume you want more space, not less, that’s why you’re here. So some ways contractors make more room is by working inward and getting rid of empty space that isn’t being used properly. Closets, hallways and other rooms can be redesigned to share some of the space they are misusing to give your family room that little bit extra it needs.

If working inward isn’t an option, outer walls can be extended by a few feet to sometimes seemingly double the size of a room. The room you want to extend is on a second story? No problem, this can be done on a second story as well.

Now it is time for the look and feel of that room. Do you want contemporary art museum, country cabin, the great outdoors, or a cinematic experience? These are only a few of the unlimited options that spring to mind, but that choice is up to you (or maybe your family depending on how diplomatic you’re feeling).

Furniture. Do you want a big comfy sofa for the family to share? Or maybe you prefer theater seating, or a combination of individual seats, beanbags and oversized pillows? Do you need desks for projects and homework? How about a nice bar for refreshments?

Walls. What kind of walls do you envision? A natural wood grain for that relaxing country lifestyle? Shelves for books and other media built into the walls for maximum storage and functional design? How about an accent wall with a different paint scheme than the rest of the room or house, or maybe some stonework to make the area special?

Design. Wall art, decorative keepsakes, or lots of windows to enjoy the natural art surrounding your home?

Entertainment. Big screen tv with surround sound? Small, conservative record player in the corner with dim lighting for a relaxing escape from the information overload of daily life? Even with that approach it might still be nice to have a central system to control speakers hidden in the walls or ceiling. Just sayin’.

Fireplace. Will you have a fireplace? It is a traditional staple in any family room, and even a necessity in some areas. There’s something magical about curling up next to a fire with hot cocoa during the holidays that will create memories that last a lifetime. Isn’t that what your family room is all about?

Whether your family room is meant to be a place for spending time with your kids to build lasting memories, or a place to bring your parents to thank them for the memories they’ve given you, you want to make sure you choose the most reliable, capable contractor you can to get the service you want. A strong portfolio and happy client base are paramount. You are getting ready to begin the journey of a lifetime, and are going to be spending a good portion of that lifetime in your new family room. Make sure it is what you envision, and make sure it is done right the first time by a competent, trust-worthy crew. You’ll be glad you did.