When starting a project, everyone is in a great rush to build. “Why does it take so long to plan?” they ask. “We already know what we want. We don’t need to spend any more time planning. Let’s get started with the building.” Many people involved in a building project seem to view planning as a waste of time and an activity that produces no tangible benefits.
Planning is nevertheless important to avoid waste and error in building. The importance of planning increases with the complexity of the anticipated building project.
Many people would say that building a house is straightforward and that all you need to do is imagine what you want it to be and then produce it. But – as they say – the devil is in the details.
You may not think about relationships and adjacencies until you discover them as outcomes of the building activity. You may not think about orientation to daylight or sources of noise. You may imagine an overwhelming need for storage compartments and neglect a need for wall space for displays. You may not think of a need to remove mud from shoes until after you have built your house and you are tracking mud across the living room carpet. You may not think about the location and necessary height of a chimney until it’s placement and height become problematic in the layout of the house. You may not consider the need to allow space within framing for convenient locations for switches and outlets.
Allowing time for planning does not guarantee that nothing will be forgotten, but it provides an opportunity to consider needs and desires before taking action that may make their satisfaction more difficult or even impossible.