While living through dust-filled chaos is never fun, the rewards of construction are amazing.  The transformation from dark, view-challenged spaces to  open, airy, light-filled spaces is so dramatic.  I personally went through this in my own home (and now can really empathize with my clients!)  The strategic placement of a a window or two or three around a corner can reap benefits many fold beyond placing the same number and size of windows in the middle of a wall.  The connection of existing spaces, especially between the most used part of a house – the kitchen – and an adjoining room, whether it is a family room or living room or dining room can transform the house sometimes without adding ANY square feet or adding a small addition.  This can be done in many ways: low wall with half-column, counter with breakfast area, island, etc.  One homeowner said to me that their house cleaner asked to have the rate raised because the house was now “twice as big” though in actuality we added only 150 square feet!