After working with my architect buddy Julian off & on for the last few months, we've developed master plans for remodeling the existing house as well as a landscape plan for the sprawling backyard. The house plan is broken out into phases so we can do a little at a time (as time and $$$ permit).
The architectural plan involves several small additions. Phase 1 fills in the side porch to create a dining room and add some square footage to the master bathroom (btw: the current master bathroom is tiny, funky, potentially moldy, and despite bordering an outside wall, has no windows). Phase 2 is a small change that increases the size of the living room to accommodate Madam Strubgrass's grand piano. Phase 3 adds storage and a carport to the backyard off the alley, and Phase 4 adds bedroom 3 onto the back of the house. Phase 4 (adding a bedroom) might be the first project we complete for a couple of reasons. First of all, where are we going to put the babies (once we find out how to get them, of course) and also - resale value (for the house, not the babies).
We have no concrete dates for starting any remodel construction, but now that the plan is done we can move forward with landscaping (since we now know what areas of the house are going to expand, we can plan on not getting attached to anything we plant there.)
The master landscape plan really has me excited, especially because now we can get started on removing the lumps of dead grass that make up the frontyard. Plus - we can start to give shape to the huge rectangle of weedy grass in the backyard.