Please help me find a modest house plan

phoggieApril 4, 2012

Since my DH died on NYE, I will not be using the plan he had drawn for us (he was an architect).... I have sold my house and can not find one that meets my needs, so I am "thinking" of building a house...this time by myself...scarey for a 70 year old woman!

Does anyone have a modest floor plan for house, approx. 1475 - 1550 SF, that has an open concept, double garage, no basement, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths that they would share with me?

I really do appreciate your is not what we had planned to do, but I am trying to make the most of the hand I have been delt.

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Southern Living has some nice small house designs. Look at the Ferris Cottage.

It would help to know something about the climate and the possible site.

Here is a link that might be useful: houses

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 8:25AM
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I live in Kansas and the site is on a lake...high water table..need crawl space and not needs to have the view from the back, looking out at the lake.

Thanks Renovator8~~

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Without knowing your style, here are just a few that popped up with a quick search that seemed to fit your sq ft, modest, open, and views to the back.

This shows a staircase, but doesn't have to use it. Just slightly over at 1563.


Smaller link at 1453 sq ft

Another smaller one at 1467

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Phoggie- I really like this plan! If you don't want the powder room, you can make it a walk-in pantry or expand the master closet and add a coat closet. It's just a tad larger than what you wanted, but it's got a great layout, nice little porch on the back...and the exterior is pretty, too :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to very nice eplans home

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Phoggie, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's death. May I say that I admire you immensely to be considering building a house by yourself. I suspect that if I had lost my husband as you did, I probably would just moved into a condo or apartment somewhere and given up forever the idea of building a home. So kudos to you for having the strength to keep moving forward.

As I recall, the two of you were planning on downsizing from a 4000+ sq foot house to a smaller, handicap-accessible home in the 1800 to 1900 sq ft range to be built on some lake-front property you already owned. Right? If your DH completed a design for you before he died, is there anyway that his design could possibly be revised somewhat to make it a little smaller so that it is the right size for you now?

I'm just thinking that he (and you) probably put a LOT of thought into your tastes and life-styles in designing that house. I'm sure you thought about your children and grandchildren coming to visit; about how often and HOW you tended to entertain otherwise; about your likes/dislikes with regard to cooking, cleaning, gardening, caring for a lawn, and spending your spare time. I'm sure he (and you) gave a lot of thought to the direction of your best views and which rooms you wanted located so you could look out on those views. You've already considered whether you want your bedroom dark in the mornings so that you can sleep late or to have east facing windows so it'll be bright and sunny to help you wake up. The two of you undoubted talked about where porches/decks or other outdoor living areas should be located for optimal use, whether the kitchen sink should be open to view or hidden behind a bar, whether you wanted a bathtub or preferred a nice big shower; etc., etc., etc.

While some things about how you live will necessarily be altered by your widowhood, your underlying TASTES won't have changed. You ARE still the person you have always been, you still have the same children/grandchildren, you still love to read/garden/cook/watchTV/sew or whatever it is that YOU do. So even if his design is now be a bit too big for you, instead of starting from scratch looking at online plans and thinking about modifying them to suit your tastes and your lake property, perhaps your husband's design would be a better place to start.

Perhaps an architect or some Gardenwebbers could help you revise that plan to keep it's overall style and all thought and ten-thousand decisions that went into it, while, at the same time, revising it to make it a tad smaller.

This is just a thought. I can imagine that it might be painful for you to attempt to modify the plan your DH created. On the other hand, I can also imagine that you might find great joy in doing so.

Like I said, just a thought....

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Phoggie, I am fairly new to the forum. Sorry about the loss of your husband.
I just wanted to say that my situation is similar to yours. I am a 68 year old widow also downsizing house and lot.
I plan to build a house on the same lake that I currently live on but 25 miles closer to my son and in the same neighborhood as my nephew.
My house is currently listed with a realtor, so you are way ahead in your process. I have followed your journey with great interest and am wishing you the best of luck in your move.

Here is one plan that I found that I like.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Don Gardner House Plan

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 2:51PM
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Phoggie-I'm so sorry for your loss. So young to be going through this.

I like Bev's idea. Perhaps your husbands plan can be revised to meet your needs. If not, we'll help you find a plan. R8 has linked you to Southern Living. My house is a SL plan and is a nice plan.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 3:36PM
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Oh I knew my friends would come up with some help for me.
These are some great plans....and something to get me started again.

I "thought" I was going to buy the only condo available in town, but the owner sold it out from under me when I mentioned I wanted a "mold inspection" because of standing water in the crawl space area.....She said she would give me first option for 30 days, I told her I'd give her the full amount she wanted, but wanted a contract.....6 messages later, no answer until she left me a message, "You don't need to call my again, I have sold it to someone else!" I had a melt-down!...I thought I would be all set...and now no place to live....and there are NO rentals in that small town unless I would qualify for low-income and I won't after I get my check for this house next month.

My DH and his son were both architects....and had a construction business. Sadly, his son made some very bad choices in their business and it went down the tube...along with all of my DH's money! His son "thinks" he can help me buy the materials etc. but I want to make sure the bills get paid and not in his pocket like all of the rest of DH's money!...and end up with a lien on the new house, like he did with this one!!!

Therefore, I do not want him involved...he just does not take care of business and I want this done "in my lifetime". So I think I will go ahead and move in with my friend for a time...keep looking at some ready-built homes IF any come on the market in that little town, but after I get there, I'll meet with some contractors and come up with a plan and get some "turn-key" bids....but reserve the right to pick my own fixtures etc. on an "allowance"
basis....if I go over, I pay the difference....if I am under, then I'll have a credit. I will pay in "progress" increments. I doubt if I have any connections to DH's family after I am gone, so I'll go it alone making decisions with the help of MY kids (who are trustworthy!).

Also while I am there, it will give me an opportunity to talk to others who might have had experiences (good or bad) with local contractors.

DH's plans were so nice, but I need an office and sewing room now?....I doubt it....I hardly ever sew anymore and I can have a desk/office in one of the bedrooms if need be...or even put a desk area in a closet.

Thanks also for your is tough! My first DH was killed when I was only 33 and had three small children, but this time, I am so alone....they are raised, and have families of their own and so many activities going all the time and I can not expect them to "baby-sit" old mom....but they are there when I need them and give me so much emotional support.

THANKS again....and any and all help is appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:31PM
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You are not old. You just feel old right now. Wish I could give you a big Hug. This may not be appropriate here, but my twins and I have a prayer list for bedtime prayers and I will have their sweet voices say Phoggie tonight.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Phoggie- I wondered what happened with the condo. Now, you can find a home that has the kitchen and layout that you want.

I think you're right, not to involve your DH's son, after all the earlier trouble. I think finding a local builder and looking at homes that are nearly completed is a good idea! You can still make some choices, as to colors and finishes, but not have all the stress of building your own home.

Although it's been a very rough time, I'm glad to see that you have a good friend you can stay with for awhile. Take your time and decide what is right for you...and make sure you do something just for you! Pink bathroom? Cherry-themed kitchen (LOL) might be all wrong, but like I told my mom...this is YOUR house so do what YOU one else has to love it, as long as you do! :)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:52PM
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I, too, remember your "story"! So, so, sorry for your loss! I haven't been on here for so long but I recognized your "name" so started reading....I really like the plans that "lavender lass" offered! And, "bevangel" really had some heart felt advice along with everyone else here, such a good forum! You know what they say about waiting one year after you lose a spouse to make any big decisions? I like that advice only because it gives you time to grieve and to ponder without being rushed to make huge decisions. You may not have the luxury of time "to sit and ponder" but maybe while you stay with your friend it will be a "healing" time for you! Hope so, and God Bless you!!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:59PM
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Since the house will be small and on a lake I don't think you should search for and modify a stock plan from the internet; this house should be all yours and it should help to sustain you. It should not be difficult to design this house to take advantage of the site and suit your needs so post the plot plan, some site photos and photos of houses and other things you love.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:12PM
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Awww, Red touching....and feel free to add me to any prayer list....I need all of them I can get right now. I'd like that hug, but will be thinking of those twins when I go to bed tonight also~~~hugs back to you and them also (((O)))

NiniBetty, blessings and good luck with your new build and sympathy on the loss of your DH. Please keep us informed on how your new build is progressing. Did you do a "contract" or what with your contractor? I need to know the end amount...and will add or delete their allowances...

This is such a huge step at my age....but something will help to guide me and you good friends here on this forum are a huge help. I love some of the plans that were fact, I think any of them would work. I don't want/need much anymore.....but down-sizing from 4090 SF to a small house is a huge chore alone~~DH was supposed to be here to help me with these decisions and the work involved. But he never got upset (at least on the outside), and always said something will work that is what I am trying to keep in mind.

Thanks again....and keep the plans coming.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 7:55PM
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a possibility ...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Summerfield's design is very similar to one I did for my Dad about 6 years ago when he was thinking about building a small lake house after my Mom died. Then, at age 78 Dad ran into a very nice widowed lady that he had known 60 year previously while in high school - and the next thing we all knew - he was planning a wedding instead of building a lake house! So my plan got shelved entirely... but it would have been a very pretty little lakeside cottage!

One nice thing about a plan like Summerfield's is that, while it would live very nicely for a single person, it is also large enough to host some of your kids/grandkids occasionally. Or, if you should chance to remarry, it would not be overly crowded for two people to live in full time.

And, if you put a pocket door at the back of that arched opening leading to the two secondary bedrooms, you could close that portion off entirely when you don't have company and save on heating and cooling costs. (Keep just enough heat on in the winter in that section of the house to keep bathroom pipes from freezing.)

You may not have any need for a huge walk-in pantry so, if you do any sewing or crafts, you might prefer to skip the pantry in favor of an enlarged laundry room that would accommodate a sewing machine or a craft's table.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 2:46PM
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sorry ...

some of the details were lost in transfer ...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 4:57AM
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Summerfield....could you send me the site where this plan can be found? is so large that I can not get it printed on one page. you still have a copy of the plan you did for your dad?


    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:43PM
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there is no site ... it's an original :-)

here is a reduction ...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Summerfield- Beautiful plan! :)

Phoggie- Summerfield created this plan for you. If you want to print it, try saving the picture (right click, save picture as) and then print if from your saved photos/pictures. That should print it all on one page.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:30PM
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