1.5 story plans, only dormers

Bridget19June 2, 2014

I am trying to find plans that has the kids rooms upstairs but only exposure through the roof is the dormer, no exterior siding to maintain, i.e. painting.

We are wanting a true 5 bedroom, 4 bath.

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Look for "cape cod" or 1.5 story plans. They're out there (though a 5 bedroom one will be a stretch. These are usually smaller homes.) You'll need to have fairly large dormers with a window(s) large enough to meet egress codes.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Try "low country" style as well. I know Southern Living home plans has quite a few of these.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 3:38PM
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Cape Cod houses did not have dormers, porticos or porches. What we often call a Cape Cod today is a one story Colonial Revival house inspired by the original Cape Cod houses. Who knows what the plan sellers would call it. A Tidewater South design has a front porch and dormers so it may be a better term with which to search.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 8:32PM
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Any type of dormer is going to have some type of siding on it. Even these teeny tiny dormers on the photo reovator8 posted, they have siding on the sides. And trim around the windows.

If your looking for ease of maintenance, a simple rectangular 2 story colonial would be easier to paint.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 6:26AM
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Sophie Wheeler

A 5/4 Cape would have ridiculous proportions that would destroy any charm that the original form has. The basic size requirements alone assure that this won't be an inexpensive build, no matter how simple the form. Even a square saltbox 5/4 will still enclose a certain volume of space that has to be created and maintained. You want a lower cost build? Build something smaller in the first place.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 7:51AM
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Bridgett--it sounds like (from your initial post) you are concerned about finding a plan that is low maintenance.

Is that correct? If it is, perhaps the experts here might be able to suggest types of plans and materials that would allow that and still give you the five bedrooms that you need.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 9:30AM
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A low maintenance house is expensive to build and cheap to maintain. The choice is to pay now or pay later. One of the major advantages of spending more now is that it can be included in your mortgage however you will be paying interest on that money for a long time.

But nothing is maintenance free although unfinished or treated 18" cedar or SY pine shingles and aluminum clad windows come close. It's possible to omit the trim entirely except for narrow cellular PVC rake and eave boards characteristic of the Shingle Style. This is what you will see on high end homes on the ocean in Maine. Every 50 years or more they replace some of the shingles and let them weather to match even though that takes a long time. Not a lot of fussing down east.

Eagle windows (owned by Andersen) are aluminum clad and have a nice surround that looks good without trim boards.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:37AM
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R8--I don't want to hijack Bridgett's thread but are you saying that the Eagle windows look good factory mulled without using the exterior trim boards and interior spacing between windows? Or am I misunderstanding?

Bridgett--this house only has 4 bedrooms. I'm not crazy about the floor plan, but is this kind of what you are talking about?

Here is a link that might be useful: House

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 11:26AM
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I was referring to omitting perimeter trim on a single window. The exterior frame and screen look a lot like trim.

When windows are paired I might still put them 3 or 4 inches apart so they don't look odd. I would also put a PVC sub-sill under any aluminum clad window to look better and avoid water intrusion.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:34PM
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Thanks R8. I understand.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 8:35AM
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thanks...I think I will not be going for the 1.5, since we don't want to have 2 story siding.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:49PM
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If you have an aversion to second story siding you can hip the roof.

The sides of dormers (and end gables) are traditionally shingled because the maintenance interval for treated or untreated shingles is similar to that of roofing shingles.

Don't design your house to avoid issues that can be more easily solved with the careful selection of materials.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 6:40AM
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