Cohousing Tools

Cohousing Tools are worksheetsand design & planning aids created by Design Coalition in the early '90's, in the course of working with newly-formed cohousing core groups in the south-central Wisconsin area. The groups have found them helpful.

In working with groups, our goal is to make the process of development as understandable and "transparent" as possible. We intend to continue to add to the "toolbox" as our projects progress. The Cohousing Tools below are PDF's and available for downloading.

Today there are many resources available to groups attempting to develop a project (The Cohousing Network is a great example). We are curious to hear if these tools are still useful. If you download any of these tools, please send us an email with your feedback. Let us know what's useful and what's not, and what improvements we can make. Also, please give us an idea of how far along you or your group is in the process.

Click here to check out the pictures and articles about The Village Cohousing community.



Cohousing Participant Information First household questionnaire to gauge interest
Critical Path Chart Overview of the process, from idea to move-in
Skills Assessment Questionnaire Helps groups self-evaluate their skills
Organizing a Core Group Some notes on getting started
Ownership Options for Affordable Cohousing Explains choices and implications


Site Costs List of site-related costs to keep in mind
Site Search Check List All the elements that go into evaluating a site
Site Info A form to record info for each site considered
Preliminary Site Evaluation List of tasks for a first-look site evaluation
Site Analysis Describes the tasks necessary for a site analysis

Design 'Programming'

Notes on Predesign & Programming Describes what predesign programming is for
Predesign Programming Techniques List of techniques and their uses
Predesign Program Outline Checklist of spaces and info to be collected
Program Criteria -preliminary Minimum info needed for feasibility budgeting
Household Worksheet Detailed form to record household's space needs
Common House Preliminary Program Sample from one group


Development & Operating Budgets Description / overview of creating these budgets
Model Development Budget Blank sample format
Notes on Development Budget Explanatory notes oon creating this budget
Model Operating Budget Blank sample format
Notes on Operating Budget Explanatory notes on creating this budget
Sad, But True Examples of how costs could escalate