Small house plan, what do you think?

che1seaMay 27, 2008

We are thinking of starting building in the next few years and are looking at floorplans. Right now we are considering the "Edgemoor Cottage" by Ross Chapin and I was wondering what you all thought.

We have a 2 year old son and another baby due in July. We want a small home for a variety of reasons, including that we will be building this ourselves and the budget is small.

Some changes we are already considering are to lengthen the floor plan a bit so that a washer and dryer can fit in the bathroom and to add a bigger pantry area under the stairs. We would also add on a sunspace for passive solar heating. Also some method of having two separate bedrooms upstairs would be nice.

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Very Nice!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 9:39PM
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I think it's a precious house, but might be a bit small with 2 children. Then again I don't have kids, but I know they come with a lot of "stuff." LOL Maybe you should consider a few more square feet and pick a floor plan that has more space. This house seems to have a lot of nooks and cranies (is that spelled correctly) and not enough large living/sleeping space. With 2 kids I would think you'd need at least another large bedroom to have as a playroom. Not now, but in the very near future you'll need it.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 11:21PM
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I think it's cute and by building in bookcases, etc, keeping stuff minimal and furniture smaller scale it would work. I like the changes you are suggesting also. One thing I don't care for is how close the upstairs toilet is to the sink. Not enough room for two people. This was done to keep the toilet stack straight.

Have you been over to GW's Smaller House forum? They might have other ideas also.

Here is a link that might be useful: Smaller Homes

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 6:46AM
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I like it. I do think you can live with 2 children in one bedroom and with very little stuff around you but I'd like to see two bedrooms upstairs too.

We built a small and simple house ourselves (not done yet but living in it) and we're quite happy. We have 2 bedrooms and one child but would be thrilled to add another child and expect the house to work for that.

We chose a simple 30X30 shape. The simplicity was well appreciated while doing the building ourselves.

This website has some neat small cottage style homes too.

We found several that we liked but eventually built our own plan. We also looked at one very similar to what you posted. I liked the stairs in the corner by the entrance but it limited the use of the upstairs space too much for us. When you come up at one corner in a small house it results in on functional space int he centre of the house. If you can come up closer to the middle of the plan you can create two smaller spaces - one on each side.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 7:09AM
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It's hard to tell from the plans because there are no dimensions, but that first-floor bedroom looks awfully small. There doesn't seem to be room for any furniture other than the bed and nightstands. That would be OK if the closet is big enough to be fitted out with drawers and racks to hold all your clothes, but I'm not sure it is.

There's certainly enough room upstairs for two bedrooms and a bath, but rearranging the plan will change the location of the plumbing and make building the house somewhat more more complicated and expensive.

Very cute looking house!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 11:11AM
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We are building a smaller house also (actually quite average for this area but very small compared to most of the homes on this board). Anyway, I just wanted to say that I grew up in a 1200 sq/ft home then when my husband and I bought our first home it was 1600 sq/ft and the difference is huge. I love the size of our current 1600 sq/ft house so much that we are building new and picked a plan around that size again. The difference as far as price might not be that much if you pick a simple plan without a lot of corners, dormers, changes in roof lines etc. However, the difference in how a 1200 vs a 1500-1600 lives is enormous (IMO). Of course... If you have a plan and a lot that you could add on to later, that might be another way to keep cost down right now and save up to do more at a later date (when those babies become teens.. aahh!! lol)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 11:12AM
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With the revisions I am looking at the original floor space ends up being closer to 1600. Also if we decided to add on later I think it would be easy enough to add a bedroom on the east side. The lot is 20 acres so space is not a problem.
We are currently living in a house with a smaller kitchen and dining room than in this floor plan. I am pretty comfortable with the sizes of the rooms, they are mostly based on the size of rooms we are currently living in.
Here are some pics of the revisions I am thinking of. The first floor is about 900 sq ft and the second is about 750. The extra thick outer walls on the bottom floor represent straw bale walls.

On the upper floor the N/S (north is up) walls represent a 7 ft ceiling height
I will take a look at those links you have provided maybe I will find something better suited.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 5:45PM
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What is the extra space next to the stair in the second drawing? You might want to check your fire/building codes - the door might not be allowed to close off a stairway area.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 7:35PM
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The doorway goes to a pantry that is partly under the stairs.
Looking at the plan I like it the only problem is that it keeps growing...
We are looking for something small that we can get built quickly and easily and cheaply. Two small bedrooms probably to start and then add on a larger master bedroom later. It is going to take long enough as is since we are doing most of the work so I think I need to rethink the whole thing.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 8:45PM
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What about something a bit more square and very basic? Here's what we built. We're currently living in only the 2 bedrooms upstairs and the completed main floor and it lives much bigger than our previous house of the same dimension. I think when the upper bathroom and loft are completed we'll have more space than we need with one child.

We made a few changes as we were building but it gives you the idea. Each "corner" of the square has a function and then they sort of all work together. We're really happy with the functionality of the plan now that we're in it.

Another layout we considered was with a central living space and the other necessary areas surrounding it. We found that too difficult to fit into a square box of the 30X30 size we had limited ourselves to.

This plan takes the stairway out of the middle and puts it in the corner like in your plan. We liked it but rejected it b/c it was a bit more spread out than we wanted and we decided we didn't need the dining and living space to be so big.

We also considered this plan but it wasn't the best for our view. We used a lot of the things we liked when designing our own plan. Your plan reminded me of this one too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our house photos

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 7:57AM
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I kind of think you need to start over. Your revised plan has two tiny upstairs bedrooms that have pocket doors (very bad idea for small children) and, apparently, no windows. I'm guessing that those thick lines across the back of the bedrooms define the closet for each room If that's true, you've cut the rest of the room off from the only wall that can have windows.

I'm not sure what your intention is for the rest of the upstairs? That's an awful lot of defined space.

Re the downstairs, you have a lot of wasted space in the bathroom and also around the staircase. You just can't afford to do that in this size house.

Since you live on 20 acres, why are you using a plan that's deep and narrow? One big trouble with the plan you found is that it has what amounts to a corridor that runs the entire length of the house and eats up a huge amount of space. This is made worse by the fact that the stairway is at the rear, meaning that the corridor must run the entire 40 ft length of the house. Moving it toward the front would allow all the space in the rear one-third to be fully used.

Better yet would be to use a more squared-off plan and save all that wasted passageway space.

I actually don't thing it would be all that hard to design a square or rectangular house of 1300 or so sq ft with one bedroom and bath on the first floor and two reasonable-sized bedrooms and bath in the space above. That's really what Cape Cod plans are all about. Also, Chalet plans often have that configuration. You might want to look at these styles for more floor-plan ideas.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 1:53PM
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Ajpl-what does the roof look like on that? I am having trouble picturing it from the houseplan.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 3:59PM
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Our house has a 12:12 pitch with a dormer along one side.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 8:30PM
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We are in the process of building a smaller home. We used the floor plan from the house I linked to below. Made some several changes, had an architect draw it up and we love it.

It's not really going to be that small, though, because we put a full basement under it which will be for storage and my dh's woodworking.

Here are a couple of pictures:

Here is a link that might be useful: small house plan

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 5:09PM
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It's against building code to have bedrooms without egress (windows) for exit during fire. You need to start over and make sure that windows are included in all bedrooms. They have to be of a certain size, too, to permit safe egress.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:07PM
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caboodle: Very cute house, thanks for sharing.
Nanny2a: Thanks for pointing that out. We actually decided against that plan and for something a little more open. (see the link below) On that plan keep in mind that the 2nd floor plan is no where near a final version and windows will definitely be included in all bedrooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Latest plan revision

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:25PM
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There are so many variables to take into consideration when looking at building your new home that it is a fun yet challenging proposition. There are many surveys out there that help you focus on places others have found to be the best. If you have a family you will be looking at things like the best places to raise a family, the best schools, the friendliest towns and other family oriented focuses. If you have already picked out your favorite authentic English country cottage house plans then you will just have to figure out where to put it.

If you are single and looking for a mate, some surveys actually let you know which cities have the best opportunities for finding a mate. It may be a great place to build your dream from your California bungalow house plans and then go out and search for your soul mate to help you fill it. Maybe you can find your dream mate prior to finding your favorite home plans. That way you can dream with your mate after finding them instead of hoping to find someone with the same dreams as the one you've already built.

If you are looking for a place that allows you to be in a community of people in the same income level, there are surveys that will let you know the median income level. Then when you build your dream home with your luxury Mediterranean house plan you know it will fit into the neighborhood. Surveys can often be misleading but these seem to be pretty good for finding what it is you think will make your life comfortable. Whether you are single, married, rich, poor, young and on the move or older and on the move you will find the best places to build your dream home.

Here is a link that might be useful: Packing And Moving Tips

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 1:58AM
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It is not a good idea to have the bedroom used by small children to far from the bedroom used by the parents.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 7:40PM
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We're also doing a small house ... I found Sarah Susanka's books really useful, especially "Creating the Not So Big House." She has a website with house plans.
Below is the link to my house blog. We were very constrained by the lot and lake.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small Michigan House

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 2:14PM
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