More help w/ Minnesota 'Cape Cod' floorplan/elevation?

minneapolisiteMay 19, 2012

(Is everyone sick of me yet?!)

We just met with the builder this morning to go over numbers. It sounds like we can have almost all of our wish list items...if we trim down the floorplan a little bit. Fine by me--we're focusing on quality over quantity. :)

I typed several questions directly on the floorplan images, but I thought of a few more concerns. Sorry my thoughts are a little jumbled right now! :)

Regarding the deck:

This is a raised deck. Do you see any red flags with the way I drew it? Will the extra footings necessary be super expensive? Is it cost prohibitive to add a fireplace/firepit on the deck?

Regarding the elevation

Does this look okay to you? Any suggestions on making it more "Cape Code" and less "cookie cutter?"

Pergola inspiration photo:

Pergola ceiling fan inspiration photo:

Pergola retractable canvas awning photo:

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Hi! I love the pergola, but if you look at your inspiration photos...they have a table and chairs under the pergola. I'm guessing that's what you want too...but your walkway is through the middle of the pergola. Not much room for furniture, since there's one walkway, out the door and over to the edge of the deck, looking down...and another one over to the stairs to go down to the yard.

Is there anyway you can put the stairs on the left side (opposite the kitchen door) and put the pergola on the right side of the deck? Also, with kids especially, I'd spend a few extra dollars and make those back bending stairs, down to the yard. This way you have safer stairs, less chance of falling down them and it slows kids down, on their way to go play.

As for the front porch...I like the idea of furniture, but I don't see how you'll reach the side part of you L-shaped seating, without walking off the porch. And, I don't think Cape Cod homes usually have front porches.

Instead, I would add two feet across the front of the house and get rid of the porch. This would give you a bigger pantry, room for your powder room, without intruding on your mudroom closet, a 5'6" bench in the hall...and I'd move the left side of the den/piano room out even with the rest of the house. With a Cape Cod, you don't need that little indent and it will be easier to build without your room could be a little wider, especially if it's 2' deeper (front to back).

Maybe something like this? From Cottage house plans

Sorry, my white out is just about gone...but this is supposed to show the two feet added to the front, only a porch off the entry, and the pergola moved over with a sunny seating area on the left, table and chair (and fan) under the pergola...and stairs with a bench on the landing...then turn and down to the yard.

Not an expert on linen closets, but I think the chair will be in the way. Besides, wouldn't you rather have your chair, by the tub? Is there anyway you can rework the bathroom, so that the chairs will fit by the tub and not in front of your linen closet. This is a little on the fancy side, but I used it as my inspiration picture (a little toned down) for Summerfield :) From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 12:08AM
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Thank you! I liked your changes a lot and submitted them to the builder. :) I also applied some suggestions from other threads. Hopefully my ideas are all plausible. My guesstimates say cutting the floorplan down like this will save about $30k without taking away anything we actually want. :)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 3:23PM
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The elevation of your house doesn't resemble a cape cod at all, really: I would call it a neo-Craftsman.

This is a Cape Cod:

If budget is a concern you could also save a fair amount of money by simplifying the complicated roof, particularly over the garage.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 4:33PM
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I agree---the exterior isn't quite the way I want it yet. I feel like all anyone knows how to design/build in Minnesota is Crafstmen. What I really love are gambrel roofs, but my builder looked confused when I suggested we try an elevation with gambrel roofs. Once we lock down the floorplan, my Big Plan is to come back to this forum and ask for specific help tweaking the elevation to incorporate some of the design elements I love. :)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 5:40PM
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But the complexity of the floorplan is going to inform the style of the house, both in elevation and with roof needs. You won't get a Cape without building a pure rectangle. Although sometimes they had added dependencies.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 5:45PM
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For a cape, you lose a lot of space on the second floor to eaves (I have a cape.) So, if you design the second floor to be as larger (or larger) than your first floor, you won't get a cape. (it really works out to 1/2 or less than the first floor space)... Or, you have to build it with something like engineerchic's inspiration elevation (she is redoing her whole second floor. (her post is linked below).

Cape are cute, and great energy wise, and also good in wind and rain (or so I'm told); but they aren't great for maximizing second floor space. So, if you want all your bedrooms up, like you have been drawing, you probably can't end up with a cape facade.

Can you post a picture or 2 or three of inspiration facades?

Here is a link that might be useful: inspiration from engineerchic

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 5:55PM
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This is my all-time-favorite exterior:

I would probably skip the shutters though.

It's just a 2-bedroom guest house off another much larger home. I saw it in a magazine about a year ago and have been drooling over it ever since. I know it's not really a Cape Cod, but I am not sure what to call it? "Shingle?" "Dutch Colonial?" Whatever it is, in a perfect world, our house would look just like this.

Do you think it's possible to emulate this style with my floorplan?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 7:16PM
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This is nothing close to a cape, although I do like both the plan and elevation. Definitely more craftsman...if you really want cape cod you will have to start over I think.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Yeah, I guess I don't want a Cape Cod, now that I know what a Cape Cod is, LOL! Someone told me early in this process that all of the styles I like are "Cape Cod" styles, so I've been erroneously using that word to describe the look I want. I still don't know the right word to describe the look I want, but I do have the inspiration picture above.

And I do really like the floorplan, especially now that we've been tweaking it to make it work for the way we live.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:47AM
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Be aware, if you like this style, you need to plan for some lost floor space upstairs where the roof comes down... So, you need to expand your down stairs a smidge, or contract your upstairs where your roof is. Also, if your builders aren't familiar with this style, and this is what you want, you are going to want to introduce it to them and see what it will cost to build versus "regular" construction. One of the "benefits" of "regular" construction is use of trusses (from the builder's point of view). You can't use trusses in this style. The roof will have to be framed.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Thank you so much kirkhall. I would be so lost without your expertise!

So my inspiration picture does the gambrel roof two different ways...

Do you think the "faux" gambrel would work?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:48AM
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BR 3: if you move the door to the upper left corner and change the swing so it opens against the left wall, you won't walk straight into the bed when entering the room. And the bed will be more 'private' - not right across from a door, and you could put a chest of drawers in the upper right corner. This will also give you space for a shallow linen cabinet in the hall, or make that hall part of the bathroom and have the linen cabinet in the bathroom space. (Or if there is room for the 2 sink vanity where I show the linen cabinet, then you could have a deep linen closet where the sinks are.)

That way your laundry room storage can be for laundry and other cleaning supplies, and a vacuum.

MB: will all your clothes and accessories(underwear, socks, jewelry, etc) go in the WIC? You don't really have any wall space for furniture other than night stands. You will have room for a bench/chest at the end of the bed, and maybe narrow dressers at the lower corners if you don't mind that they stick out past the angled walls. If everything fits in the WIC (or you store in the sitting area) and you have room to hang a tall mirror somewhere that's great, just want to make sure you plan for all the furniture you either have now or think you'll need.

I'd put more sample furniture boxes in the BRs to show dressers and night stands, just to make sure you have the space you'll want and the best placement for doors.

Front porch looks narrow if furniture will be as shown. If people are sitting on both legs of the L, is there room to get past the table without everyone standing / shuffling out of the way?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:16AM
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I think your faux gambrel will be okay for any side facing gambrel. But, I think it will look funny from the front... like a sheep's ear.

I'd ask this question of Renovator. He will be better able to help you with these architectural type questions.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 3:15PM
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chicagoans, I really like your relocated bedroom door, thanks!

Our goal is to get all of our clothes in the master closet. We currently have MOST of our clothes in a maser closet that is about 1/8 this size. I've actually thought that the master closet is TOO large for us, but I know for resale a lot of people look for a generous master closet.

I think the front porch is big enough for the style of furniture I would actually put out there. I think the dimensions of the stuff I put on the floorplan was larger than what I would actually want. In my current house I like to sit on the front porch with a book or with one friend/neighbor, but I'm thinking we would take larger parties to the backyard. :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:21PM
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Minnapolisite- I really like your plan! I saw your other post...and unless you can build this layout on a very sound foundation...I'd keep looking. Since you're planning to have a basement, you'll need windows that work with the downstairs rooms and outdoor exits that make sense, with your layout.

There are also some new technologies (well, new to me LOL) that look interesting, too. I don't know if they'd work in our colder climates, but Jay over on the Smaller Homes forum (he goes by Flgargoyle) has some pictures of his build that you might want to see. I'll see if I can find the link for you...

Here it is, just scroll to the bottom :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Jay's post

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 8:34PM
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Thank you! I was just thinking I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your house when it's ready to rock. I think we have the same sense of style. :)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 9:09PM
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Thanks! I think we do have similar styles...and you make me want to have more porches! Maybe I can extend the covered front porch (off the mudroom) to the left and connect it to the garage. It looks great in your picture and it would be very practical with our weather :)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 9:29PM
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I love big front porches! They shelter people who are visiting during the nasty winter months, and in the summer I like to sit on the front porch and socialize with (and/or snoop on...) the neighbors. :)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Oh, front porches are so nice...especially when you have neighbors to stop by and chat or 'snoop on' LOL. I think a front porch would be great, but since we're remodeling we have to work with the existing home...however, a side porch is a definite possiblity! :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 12:38AM
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If you are on a farm, I bet all of your views are lovely! I grew up on a farm in a charming little earthhome nestled into a tall hill. We had an uninterrupted view to the North Dakota badlands, 55 miles away. That was the good life! :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 7:06AM
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That sounds great! I've always wondered what it would be like to live in an earthhome. My dad wanted to build one for years, but it never worked out.

We lived in South Dakota for a while, with the Black Hills on one side and the Badlands on the other. What a contrast! Whenever I see 'Thunderheart' it reminds me of that area :)

We're on 80 acres in eastern Washington (about five miles from Idaho) and the views are pretty nice. This is one of my favorites, with the horses, the trees on the back hill...and there's a creek behind the horses, you can't really see in this picture. From Lavender's Garden

I saw that you don't have much view or grass, right you must be so excited to be getting a view and a yard, again! I hope you're in your new home, by the time the trees turn, this fall.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 1:00PM
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I went to school in Moscow for a semester (that was my "studying abroad" hahaha) and my husband earned his master's remotely from U of I, so we did a mini vacation in the area. Some of the prettiest land I've ever seen.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 1:42PM
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OH and living in an earthome is COZY and economical. :)

My parents build it in 1983-1984. It's 3BR 2BA, and about 2400 square feet (rough guesstimation). Every single room was used every single day. Their only regret was not having a sound proofed music room, but how could they have predicted they'd have two musically talented + incredibly obnoxious teenagers? :D

Almost the entire south side of the house was floor to ceiling windows. The only other window in the house was a skylight in the kids bathroom (which they recently replaced with a solar tube due to 25 years of moisture issues!)

The bedrooms don't have windows, so you sleep in TOTAL darkness. It's also 15 miles from the nearest of my dad's friends was visiting from Los Angeles. When he woke in the morning to total darkness and total silence he lay there for awhile, and then called out in a meak voice "Dennis?" "Yeah, Rick?" "Oh thank GOD I thought I was DEAD!!!!"

We never were scared of tornadoes, despite the frequent damage neighbors dealt with whenever a big one came through the area.

We rarely needed to turn on the heat and we didn't have air conditioning at all...yet the house was always a comfortable temperature.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 1:49PM
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LOL! I just read the part about your dad's friend to my husband...and we were both giggling! I bet that was a lot of fun, living in such a cool home...and I didn't even think about the benefits with tornadoes in the area.

Do you have any pictures? I don't know if anyone on the forum plans to build an earthhome...but I'd think about it, if we weren't remodeling the farmhouse :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 2:31PM
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I will take pictures when I am home next month. I think my dad designed it himself, and it's actually a really efficient design. Not a lot they would change after living in it for almost 30 years!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 2:54PM
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