Southern Living 2014 Idea House

snuggieAugust 1, 2014

Have you seen it? What do you think? I've been looking and looking at the pics and have many questions. For one, where is the laundry room? I guess most people would use the "clutter room" for that. Also, wouldn't it be nice if that long wall of windows in the great room opened onto the covered porch?

This house looks pretty square in shape, if you omit the garage bit -- at least the first floor. And yet I see it is listed for a cool $1.7 M in Palmetto Bluff. Is that just because of the roof and interior choices, plus the location, or is there something else I am missing?

I love the exterior, but the double gabled roof seems to have a valley in it, which is the same problem I am having with my plan. How would they mitigate water accumulation?

Here is a link that might be useful: Palmetto Bluff Idea House

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Annie Deighnaugh

Wow, there are so many "No!"s in that house, I don't know where to begin...ok, I do know where to begin. I don't want to be in my master tub seeing the Fed Ex guy coming up the front step to make a delivery!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 10:26AM
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It is a very awkward floor plan imo. There wasn't much that I liked about it. The exterior is nice to look at, but, think of the maintenance!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 10:57AM
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The tub-entrance issue is unfortunate but the plan is otherwise very interesting if for no other reason than it isn't the ordinary plan so often posted on the forum where there is no light in any of the major living spaces and the kitchen has a dog-leg counter.

I don't see why it would be difficult to maintain.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 11:31AM
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What's up with that "indentation" in the roof? Isn't that a glaring issue?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 12:59PM
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I was looking at this house the other day and was reading a bloggers impression of the home. She liked everything about the house except walking directly into the dining room. Now I can't find the blog.

I think I could live with the tub issue although I agree it's unfortunate. I would rather have the bathroom in front than the bedroom.

While I was looking at this plan I was thinking about how it might work on my lake lot for a someday tear down of our old house. Half acre lot but due to setbacks, a small building envelope. I think this one would work.

The back would be really nice waterfront. Mosquitoes couldn't carry you away with the ice porch. Big enough family room, kitchen, master. Clutter room would definitely be the laundry room. Bigger than my current favorite lake house plan.

Upstairs...lots of room for visiting family and grandkids. One even has a nursery which I thought was cool since I am in the grandbaby stage as well as still raising kids.

I wondered if you could get stairs ino a basement since we would have to have a basement.

I also wondered if that strange roofline could cause problems.

I don't like the island cooktop. Easily remedied I suppose.

All in all I like it and think it would make a unique and livable lake home. Would love to talk dh into taking me out to see it.

Snuggies...did you find any actual interior pics of it?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 1:00PM
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Well, as far as the roof...they get rain, but not snow, surely they have engineered the roof to deal with that. I do think the rear exterior is lovely, but I absolutely do not like the enormous, protruding carport on the front of the house. I think the floor plan is interesting, but only as a beach house/second home.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 1:25PM
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I sure did, red_lover...the house is currently for sale in Palmetto Bluff. I am frequently on their site looking at plans. I also like this house, but then I live in a beachy area so it suits our lifestyle. I don't think the bathtub issue is a deal breaker -- some plantation blinds would take care of that. I do think it's odd that there are no laundry facilities indicated in the plan and I would build a separate garage with pergola walkway rather than this carport/golf cart combo. It would be a bit of a pain having the dining table right inside the front door like that. We always seem to have callers just as we finish our meal and are sitting in front of our dirty plates talking... Can you imagine?

I think the roofline is interesting and pretty, but likely expensive and the water issue would worry me a bit. The siding is probably hardiplank so maintenance would likely not be a big issue -- though of course they have to be installed properly for that to be true. The windows would be a huge expense and difficult to clean, but they are part of what makes the house so pretty.

Apart from that, and having doors open out onto the porch, I think it's kinda cool. Wish I could afford to build it. Wonder how much it would cost to build in my neck of the woods.

My husband would kill me if he knew I was even looking at another plan -- we're on our third go-round!

Here is a link that might be useful: Palmetto Bluff Real Estate

This post was edited by snuggie on Sat, Aug 2, 14 at 14:44

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 2:34PM
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It looks like the carport has 2 separate "doors". I can't imagine driving into the one that is closest to the house. There is no room for error!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 5:24PM
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This design is really a one-of-a-kind, custom home design for an imaginary family and their needs, wants and likes. It's far more imaginative and interesting, IMO, than the vast majority of the "stock", look-alike plans one tends to find in most of the plan factory sites.

As a custom design, this house has many feature and qualities neither present nor possible in stock houses which may be as deep as they are wide.

Of course, this design will not appeal to everyone. No design does or should. At the end of the day, one has to decide if they prefer a one-of-a-kind design, or a design that is like many of the others out there. Different strokes for different folks.

As for the roof, the valley between the two ridge lines should have a significant cricket included so that water drains properly. As such, it presents no problem for rain water run off. In snowy climates, which the house appears not to be designed for, the roof structure would have to be designed for the accumulated snow load that would collect in the valley. If that was done, snow should not be a problem.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 5:25PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

The DR looks like it's in the foyer what with the staircase and door way right there.
What's with all the extra little steps up and down?
And the ceiling/windows upstairs give me the heebie jeebies the way they are cut into the ceiling.

The corner window isn't much better.

And even the professional decorator had trouble squeezing in this seating given the door/traffic design...

I sure hope there's glass in that railing too. When we were growing up, my brother would've tossed me over that thing for sure. And what is set up to be a quiet reading nook is going to be the noisiest place in the house given it's open to the LR, DR, and kit below and all the foot traffic going by.

Sorry, not a fan. It's an idea house for what not to do. Unique, yes, but not as functional for my tastes for that kind of money....

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 8:46PM
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I like the swoops.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 9:05PM
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Not so much of a fan either after seeing the inside.

My biggest objection is looking out the rear windows and the roof of the porch obstructing the view. Not crazy about the balcony either.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 11:19PM
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Really? Oh, I would love to have that porch. Our climate is very similar to South Carolina, where this house lives, and we can't even use our back garden six months out of the year because it's just too hot. We are building primarily because we do not have a large covered porch, or the space to build one, now! I think the balcony is very pretty, but agree it would probably be noisy, especially given the proximity to the children's/guests' bedrooms and the likelihood that kids would be running back and forth through that space.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 9:04AM
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Glad you shared the link with me. Look at the back porch on this house. It is basically the same house dh and I like by Historical Concepts/Our Town Plans called 55 Reidsville. Reidsville has a flex room above the great room.

See how the back porch roof doesn't come down as far and doesn't block the view like the idea house porch. That's what I am referring to. I agree with you. We want a house with a back porch all the way across like this one.

If you are ready to build soon and you like the idea house you should look at 55 Reidsville on Houzz. It is really a beautiful house. For a lake home it is really a front runner for me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:08AM
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Yes, the master bathtub isn't in the greatest spot, window coverings will have to be drawn pretty much all the time. Other than that, it has a lot of interesting details and features - inside and out.

Annie, that one pic of the living room you posted above is very deceptive. Like the room is so tiny they had to shove a sofa against the wall. That was just a poor decorating choice of a massive room:

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:28AM
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It's worth remembering that interior photographs are limited by the angle of view of the lens that the photographer uses. Thus, to make an interesting photo, often times furnishings are rearranged (and artificial lighting is often added) simply for the photograph, regardless of the shape and size of the space.

So take a large grain of salt when looking at photos, particularly interior ones.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:33AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

VC and MagdalenaLee, I am very familiar with photographs of interior spaces and how they are staged vs. how they are to live with. The other photo still shows there are 2 doorways creating a traffic flow that is blocked by furniture. The fact that the room is so large and this still happens speaks to me of the inefficiency of design. I don't like a lot about this house, including that area for supplemental seating in the LR. YMMV.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Hmm. The area that Annie pointed out might be better for a window seat, or for low bookcases with a single game table in the front? I don't care for the master suite layout, and interior bridges make me nervous, but I think the great room issues are more due to the decorator than the architect.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:51PM
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Ah, red_lover, that is a beautiful house! I have seen this one before, on Houzz and admired it then. I think this is very like the 55 Shenandoah Court house -- it has the same floor plan as 55 Reidsville except that it has the open ceiling above the great room. Really lovely, and I see what you mean about the porch.

If we were not already in the midst of wrestling with our own architect-designed plan, I would build this one. Lovely! Are you building something similar?

Here is a link that might be useful: 55 Shenandoah Court

This post was edited by snuggie on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 17:35

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:24PM
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Here is the link to Houzz for the same plan. I find it amazing how different a house plan can look depending on the choice of finishes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our Town Plans

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Snuggie, a nice site with some very interesting vernacular designs. Thanks for posting it!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:20PM
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They do very nice plans, don't they? Virgilcarter, what do you think of the 55 Shenandoah Court plan? Do you think it would be very expensive to build? Is the roof relatively simple, or would it be expensive with the added dormers, peaks, sheds etc.? Pardon if I have the wrong names for these things.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:24PM
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Suggie, I like that design. IMO, that plan has been well thought out to simplify the forming and pouring of the foundation, and to frame and enclose. The plan is really just a couple of intersecting rectangles.

The single largest "additional" expense, compared to normal builder's houses, may be the 1,000 SF in roofed decking, front and rear. But without the decking and roofed covering, the design of the house would be worthless, IMO.

Walls and roof framing are straight forward for any experienced builder. Of course there are ways to economize, but eliminating the dormers and roofed decks leaves only a character-less rectangular cracker box!

A lot of the expense of this, or any, house will be in the level of detailing and finishes. Keep these simple and the house should not exceed a normal cost for your area.

My only suggestion would be to consider enclosing the second floor loft balcony wall with a full-height wall with operable glazing so that acoustics, smell and HVAC are simplified for the second floor, above the vaulted first floor area.

I think this is a good design for empty-nesters who have visitors or for families with older children, who are capable of living on the second floor with less supervision.

Hope this helps.

This post was edited by virgilcarter on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 20:15

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 7:55PM
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Thank you, VirgilCarter, for your detailed response. Gosh, I wish I had come across this plan again, and particularly the photos, before I started our latest go-round with the architect here. It really would fulfill all our needs and is very pleasing visually. I knew there was a reason I kept being drawn back to this year's idea house! Thanks again for the link, red_lover, and for your thoughts, everyone.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:02PM
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Snuggie--long story. We have been struggling with the decision to build on another property. We just finished a plan with an architect that somehow morphed into a beautiful but too big house. So we have put that project on hold, maybe permanently.

In the meantime...I'm thinking it would be fun to try to find the perfect (or close to it) plan for our lake lot which right now has a really old house on it which has to be torn down. This will be our retirement home.

I love 55 Reidsville.

This is what I would do with the room above the great room. For the grandkids and others.

When are you building? I actually talked to Suzanne..the lady in charge of plan sales at Our Town Plans and they have a company out of Mn I believe that is licensed to do their customizations. She was very helpful.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:52PM
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I really enjoyed reading your insight on this house as well.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:54PM
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Red_lover, that looks beautiful! I'm sorry to hear that your house plan didn't work out. That is disappointing. We are in a similar situation. Now on the fourth revision of our third plan and still over budget. At this point I am sure the architect is tired of seeing our faces -- and I know I am tired of thinking about this plan. We are building in the Cayman Islands.

I actually did send a sneaky email to Our Town Plans last night to ask if the Shenandoah could be built from ICF or block since that is the norm here. I heard back from Suzanne this morning -- she said it has not been built that way before but probably could be and recommended AO to have a look.

Did you see on the Palmetto Bluff website that the kitchen for this (Reidsville or Shenandoah) measures 10 x 12? That is pretty small. The kitchen in the photos looks bigger.

This post was edited by snuggie on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 8:46

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 7:58AM
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Red_lover - I know the company in MN that Old Town Plans told you does their modifications. We used them to modify a John Tee plan we are building. They were easy to work with. I have nothing but good things to say about them!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:36AM
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Imccarly---thank you so much for that information. You know I actually looked online for something about, etc and found nothing. So that is valuable information.

Snuggie--we have wooded propert closer to town and wanted to live there while we finish raising our kids. We set parameters for the size of our house plan with the architect but ended up going way over. It was more our fault than his. I finally realized that I don't want to build a huge house and brought dh it's all for the best. We will probably stay where we are and maybe go ahead and raze our old lake house.

Do you live in the Caymans full time? Must be a fun place to think about building. I just don't have it in me to try to custom design another home. I understand your frustration.

Back to these beautiful homes! I did not see that the kitchen was that small!

Here's a screen shot of the PDF for Reidsville which is basically the same as the Shenandoah. Even though it doesn't have the kitchen measurements, I thought it must be 14 wide. The dining room is 12 wide and it looks like that is from the columns of the DR to the wall. The cabinets on the left side of the kitchen would have to be 2 ft. That's where I came up with 14.

I think it's too narrow for an island even if it is 14. On Houzz they used a peninsula in 55 Reidsville.

I asked Suzanne if it could be built with a basement and she said yes. So I would think ICF might work.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:54AM
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Yes, it definitely looks bigger than that. I think those measurements must be incorrect. It could be built in ICF, I am told, but it would mean sacrificing a good chunk of square footage (since ICF walls are thicker than frame) or by increasing the length of each wall by about 13 inches, which would add significantly to planning and construction costs. I wonder if concrete block would be an option...

I like this house better every time I look at it. The Reidsville option is great too -- the flex space is wonderful.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:12PM
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I'm not sure why you want to build with ICF or concrete block, rather than 2X6 (or deeper) wood stud walls, but it's easily done by keeping the interior dimensions unchanged and just making the exterior wall dimensions based on your material of choice.

The result will be a somewhat enlarged building foundation, footprint and exterior skin, but the interiors will remain unchanged.

Only a thought.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:19PM
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Hi Virgil,

We live in the Cayman islands. In recent years, ICF or concrete block has become very much the norm here for new builds. Energy efficiency is one reason (our energy bills are extremely high, as you can imagine), but since the island was hit by the eye of a cat five hurricane ten years ago, almost no one builds with wood anymore. If we built a frame house, we would be very unlikely to resell it. That is really the only reason...

This post was edited by snuggie on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 20:50

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:26PM
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Not trying to be off topic, but reading this thread, what's a "dog leg" counter that Kirkhall referred to? Just curious.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:20PM
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mu3jump, look at configuration #6 in the post below...

Here is a link that might be useful: Dogleg Kitchen Island

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 6:51PM
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