Different house plan design - good or bad?

kassikoloSeptember 24, 2012

I found this awesome house that i love (here is the link)


We live in the country with no neighbors so i feel like it would fit well. We would make few changes like:

-Make a BAR area a bathroom for the study/bedroom

- not have that second WIC and sink stick out and have a smaller shower

but other than that we love it..

What are your thoughts on this house plan?

Note: we have to stick to 2400 sq.ft so we would do the upstairs

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here is another link to this house with more pictures


    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:18AM
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This is a popular plan by Garrell called Amilicola cottage. My spelling may be incorrect. Do a search and you will find a recent thread on it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 1:22PM
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I thought that looked familiar. There is a recent thread on the same plan(and variations thereof). It's a nice plan.

If the link doesn't work, the thread is second page on this forum (as of today) titled Garrell House Plans. I think there may be other threads as well. There are several variations, one I remember is the Nantahala.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amicalola Thread

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 1:26PM
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Hi Kassikolo,
I've never seen this plan before but would love to help you & learn more about your ideas. It is a beautiful plan but as always the question is: "Is it perfect for you & for your family?" I enjoy analyzing plans & advising people on how to best fit it to their lifestyle & needs/wants... (something I do on the side while not working :) My husband & I also designed our own 6000sq ft custom home & were the generals on it. It was a lot of fun & worth every minute of time spent on creating it to make it perfect for us. I haven't had a chance to read the other post but now am curious to see what others are saying. It's definitely a GOOD solid design but has a lot more potential if you wanted to customize it a bit & make it cheaper to build. Anyways, I would first start by asking who are you building it for? Thanks. Lana

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 4:46PM
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This plan does not appear to be limited to 2400 SF; it looks larger, just on the ground level. Is it?

The plan is complex to lay out and align. It also has a range of expensive, but interesting, details and designs. As a result, you will need a very experienced builder who can not only coordinate all of the angles and measurements (probably need a surveyor to lay out the major walls and dimensions), but also a landscape contractor to coordinate the intergral outdoor improvements that make this plan so appealing.

If this plan works for you and your site, it should be very enjoyable. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Floppy here again.
Here are some things that really stand out & should be considered before the house is built. 1.The foyer has no entry closet - a big no in my book. A place for a bench to sit on would also be nice. 2.The sight line from the foyer is of the side of a massive fireplace not the view. 3. I'm not a fan of dining rooms by the front door, period but if there is one, there definitely does not need to be a door into the dining room from the porch. 4. The powder room shares the same wall as the dining room - you definitely don't want that. 5. Good question to ask is where would the TV go? You don't want an authentic craftsman house with a gorgeous hearth & a flat screen plasma TV right above it. If you're keeping the fridge divider between the kitchen & the lodge room, then it could go on that wall. If you prefer to have that divider removed & have 2 wooden posts instead - (a pretty good idea others have suggested on the other thread) I would make the screened porch the family room with the TV. 6. If I were to take out the dining room from the front entrance I would make the screened porch the dining room & keep the TV on the divider wall. 7. There are a lot of doors & lots of door conflicts that you really want to think through. 8. I'm not an architect but I strongly believe form follows function so maybe an architect could still make it look authentic but for a major construction "change" I would not have the front porch & thus save on square footage. I would have a main entry/portico (for a lack of a better word) that makes a statement with a centered foyer that leads straight into the lodge room & shows off the view. By taking out take the dining room it will immediately give you lots of space to your left & even more space to your right for your bedroom/bathroom you mentioned (study conversion). Just center the foyer & have at least one solid wall on one side. 9. If you are re-configuring your master bath you might want to take into account how far you are going to have to walk from your bed to the toilet - a "little" necessity a lot of house plans forget to address. 10. And I think it's a good idea to stream line the walls & take butt outs out but I would HIGHLY recommend building in a washer/dryer station and/or laundry room near your master suite or better putting it in your master closet (just not next to the bed :). It'll make your large walk in closet look much more put together without piles of laundry everywhere. Anyways, just a few ideas. If these sound interesting let me know. I can keep going :) I like this stuff! The MAIN rule I live by is to live your life on paper. Do EVERYTHING on paper first before you even see anybody. Cook your Thanksgiving meal, vacuum, put your Christmas Tree & in general do your seasonal decorating inside & out to make sure you have enough outlets, take groceries in & out, park your cars & make sure to have enough room for storage, figure out what are you going to be looking at (opposite wall from where one is sitting) to make sure it's not an outlet acne, walk through your morning routine etc, etc, Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 12:08AM
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Floppy, thank you so much for taking time to look at the plan and write those ideas..i found this house at 2343 sq.ft. (i need to stick under 2400).
So If make keeping room my fireplace room where i can relax and make lodge room my tv room where my husband can watch his football...Then extend the study into foyer (great idea) and make foyer (with closet) instead of dining...You think if i put a table in breakfast nook that will unfold for family events i can not have dining room all together? I feel like with not a very big sq.ft. house having a dining room that will be used twice a year...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 1:35PM
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No problem :) I like your idea of the screened porch turning into a relax room. Per Sarah Susanka there always should be "an away room" her words. I've created one in my house & I love to hide in it. Of course I have a toddler :)

I'm not for throwing out the dining room completely because if you ever try to resell most people want it but I think if your screened porch is fairly open (not crowded with furniture) others could see a potential for the dining room in there.

If you're keeping "the divider"(which I personally like) & that's where the TV is then really you have all your bases covered. You got a lodge room i.e. family/TV/living room/lounge & talk room with its own fireplace; you have your separate space to be quiet in where people would enjoy the fireplace & maybe drinking coffee (so maybe a small table with some chairs) - and now it's not too far from having coffee to having dinner & putting in a dining room table (especially if you don't have a huge family, you can put a medium size table). I basically had a nice lunch with a number of people in such a room & it was very lovely. They had some minimal seating on the sides & then a table with chairs where everyone sat. Plus you have SO many other dining options! The covered porch, the deck, the breakfast nook & the island.

I like the breakfast nook but if that's the only place you had a table in, it wouldn't be good for resale. I appreciate you liking my "major change" of centering the foyer & I think it would make the house feel nice, open & casual with just enough separation for people to be comfortable with. (You know sometimes everything is just TOO open lately) but ultimately you want to ask yourself these questions: Who will come over for family dinners? Specifically how many people? Will they like dining in the breakfast nook & be happy with seating at the island or are your holidays a more formal affair? Or would you like your holidays to be a more formal affair?

Also what part of the country are you building in? If it's in the snowy area then if the screened porch is to double as a dining room, of course, you'd want it enclosed (You could still enclose it in glass - ooh, I would LOVE to either sit by the fireplace or have a casual dinner looking at the snow outside! So pretty & cozy! but then those windows/doors open when there's a spring breeze. You screened porch would officially be called a veranda - enclosed in the winter & semi open in the summer.

If you're building in a warm area then maybe having a nice summer breeze while dining would be idyllic all year round. The nook kinda provides the same effect with the glass & the snow but those circled windows don't open - if they did you'd be way over your budget :) but at the same time I wouldn't necessarily make it square just because it's really cool to have some interest in the house. You could make an octagon - it's cheaper & then put a round table in there. Or you could square it off & then have one of those bench sitting scenarios on all 3 corners with an extending table. But keep in mind the length of your unfolding table & the island sitting.

Dining rooms are SO overrated & whenever they're by the front door or by the garage you can be assured the table is littered with mail. Whenever you walk into a house you just walk right past them: oh great, so there's a pretty table to the left - is anyone at it? No. People might put food there & use it as a serving/staging area - what you have then is people jumping in & out, grabbing food, hurrying back to make sure they didn't miss the conversation in the lodge room. And putting it by the powder room is just unbelievable! But you want to have a dining area where people can still feel like they're a part of the group.

This plan accomplishes this very well & if you considered putting a table on the screened porch you would have a very lovely flow of guests entering & enjoying the view, of then either making themselves comfortable to watch TV or engage in conversation or go grab some finger foods layed out on the island; chat with some kids they see hanging out at the breakfast nook; see someone they know out on the deck or go have a more decadent bite of say desert while checking in to visit with just girlfriends in the privacy of the screened porch/conversation/i.e. eating area. Ever notice how men hang out with men & women with women, especially closer to the end of the gathering? And if there are kids then they can either play outside or if you're going to have a downstairs, watch their own movies in the den. If you've got toddlers turn the study into a temporary play room & lock the front door :) You're good to go! Sorry to write so much. Hope it'll go through!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Why are you limited to 2400sq ft? Is it a budget consideration?

If so, this plan may not be for you. All of the circles are difficult/more costly to build so you may find that in this *style* of plan, you wouldn't be able to build even a 2400 sq ft house.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Kirkhall, yes we are limited on the budget. But we love the house so much and this is the house we are building for life that we really hope to make it happen. Normally people in my area are building houses with same builders for $94 /s.f. and we budgeted this one $100/s.f. Also, with few modification (make the wall octagon, not circle, fewer posts since there will be no dining room and no circle windows on top of regular i hope this will be possible..We havent done the budget meeting yet we are still in the layout design stage of it.At this point i am just hoping we can make it work, i wish i could print money:)
FLOPPY- thank you again for taking your time to go through so many little details..it helps so much..i am planing to make the covered porch a room with fireplace just for me, but i would never thought of putting a table in there, but when you said it it makes sense to me i just hope it fits in there, because the room doesnt seem that big.I have 2 kids 3 and 5 so i need that room for little peace:)We live in Oklahoma so it is too hot for sunrooms..we need AC in as many rooms as possible. I dont plan on reselling this house because we are building it on our farm land, so resell value is not an issue for us. The LODGE room seems tiny and i hope to make it around 20x20 and yes an octagon makes more sense to me i just hope that it will still go with the style of the house...
In your opinion will this house is big enough for a family of 4 (and my mom comes and lives with us a month of a year)??Any other little things you did in your house that you really enjoy (like having laundry next to wic)?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:14PM
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FLOPPY i also love the idea of a bench in a foyer, i knew i needed a closet in there for all the shoes and coats but a bench makes perfect sense..i doubt i would have thought of it on my own

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:24PM
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Here is a link of the house with more straight lines..probably less expensive?


    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:46PM
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If you haven't read it there is a book by Sarah Susanka called "The Not So Big House" which is not only wonderful but will show you how to make your square footage work for a family of 4. She has SO many amazing ideas on how to make spaces seem larger, where to put little nooks & crannies & how to multi utilize rooms.

LOVE having washer/dryer in the master WIC, just hide it, make a little closet like they have in condos to hide W/D. You get home, put your dirty clothes in the washer, start the washer, when it's done you just take it out of the dryer & hang it up in the closet. It's so easy & you don't have these piles of unfolded laundry everywhere & lint all over the carpet as you drag you clothes heaps around. 2 main things: you ask for a fan in your closet (like a bathroom fan) & then figure out where & how you will vent W/D. Sometimes it's up, sometimes it self vents inside; most often to the outside. The vent outside doesn't look too pretty so try to see if you can vent it through the roof or to the side of the house. There is tons of info on self venting W/D online.

We have a bench & a large arched mirror above it (in a niche) to peek at yourself before going out the door & then an entry closet on the opposite wall. It works very well & makes an entrance, so to speak.

Please let me know your ideas about bedrooms. Are you going to have any upstairs/downstairs? If yes, your screened porch could cut into bedroom 2 and make it bigger. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 1:04AM
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I do like the round turret & but are you going to have a rounded deck with a curved railing? That would be expensive. If not then an octagon shaped breakfast nook would not look out of place if your deck is straight or comes to a corner in the middle.
Thank you for telling me where you live. It helps. Can I ask you some questions?
Do you have a boy & a girl?
Are they sharing a bedroom/bathroom now?
What are your plans for the study?
Where is your guest bedroom?
How do you plan to make the lodge 20� by 20�
What is a "door" from the covered back porch to the open deck?

Lots of people in the other thread talked about making the garage bigger. Will your cars fit? Some were taking out the bedrooms to make it bigger.

A W/D in the master closet is an extra expense but is worth it if you�d like to have your master suite reflect a more kept appearance BUT you still need your regular laundry for the kids/larger items such as blankets & comforters.
I like the location of the laundry near the bedrooms/bath & if you only chose to have one W/D it would be OK. If your laundry was across the house that would be a different story but your house plan is well laid out & actually takes everyday living into consideration.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Floppy, i just saw that variation of this house and it looks more affordable, yet still charming with octagon breakfast and octagon deck.
-I do have a boy and a girl..right now all 4 of us share one bathroom, so dont see them sharing a bathroom being a problem..I also want to tweak it a bit by making there 2 sinks and have a separate door to the shower/toilet.
-I plan on combining study with foyer , making it a little bigger room and making that guest bedroom/office. i am think about moving powder room in there for more convenience.
-I am thinking about bringing a lodge room a little up and taking some space from master. I just really think that 15x15 is too little.We will have to add few s.f. for the master closet on the side though
-I also want to make kids bedrooms at least 13x13. So we will ad a little s.f. to the house but not much
I did read about small garage so we will need to check that, but i dont see it a problem.
I love the idea to have washer and dryer in Master and laundry room, but it will be too expensive for us probably. Right now we have 2 story house and i literally have to walk from one end to downstairs and it doesnt bother me, so i think it shouldnt be a problem. Especially my husband being a farmer, he will have his work closet in the mudroom so i will only need to worry about carrying my clothes, since his will already be there.
-Since i will move powder room next to study/office i will take it out from the original place and will make the mud/laundry/p.r. area a little smaller.saving some s.f.
how does that sound? oh and i ordered that book you suggested , cant wait to look through it

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Sophie Wheeler

$100 a square foot for that house? Not even in the poorest state in the nation would you be able to do that. Yes, I live in the poorest state in the nation (Mississippi) and the construction costs for something like that at even a base level would run you $130-$140 here. And that's to the bone cheap.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:16PM
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The Nantahala Cottage you just posted is 2685 sq ft. The Garrell website states that the Harmony Mountain, which you originally posted, is the smallest in the Tranquility collection.

Are you planning on adding all the post and beams and cedar siding as shown on the website? That is going to drive up your costs. And, I agree with hollysprings, these do not appear to be houses that can be built for $100 sq ft.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:31PM
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Have you considered being your own generals on this? If you buy all your own fixtures you might be able to pull it off. We live in WA state & built a big house for $100 ft but we were the generals, we hired the subs (it also all depends on who you know - we found 3 people that pretty much were masters of all trades so to speak & built our house from the ground up with great quality). This is a great economy to build in - everyone is looking for work. And if you simplify the outside it really would not be that difficult to build. With a contractor, I agree it would not be possible but let's check the square footage of the house first, just to make sure you guys would be within budget.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:52PM
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If you want to move the powder room by the study you might as well make it a full bath & do double duty as a guest bath. The study/foyer will work great for your Mom or if your kids could share a room I would personally put them in there (temporarily) so if they have a bad dream I don't have to go through the dark house at night. I got a nursery (sitting room later) right off the master bedroom - works like a charm. I take 6 steps there, 6 steps back & plop back in my bed. No need to wake up :) Myself I'd leave the powder room by the mudroom but if you think you can make it work...you sound like you have way more stamina & discipline than I do! Turning the dining room into foyer w/closet will work great but it will make a very wide large entry so if you're trying to save space maybe use a little of it on the mudroom. Of course take that door out from the front porch to the mudroom. And not having all those beams on the front porch because you're only going to have a nice arts/crafts entrance WILL save you a lot of money. Is this your first time building a house?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:25PM
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If you want to move the powder room by the study you might as well make it a full bath & do double duty as a guest bath. The study/foyer will work great for your Mom or if your kids could share a room I would personally put them in there (temporarily) so if they have a bad dream I don't have to go through the dark house at night. I got a nursery (sitting room later) right off the master bedroom - works like a charm. I take 6 steps there, 6 steps back & plop back in my bed. No need to wake up :) Myself I'd leave the powder room by the mudroom but if you think you can make it work...you sound like you have way more stamina & discipline than I do! Turning the dining room into foyer w/closet will work great but it will make a very wide large entry so if you're trying to save space maybe use a little of it on the mudroom. Of course take that door out from the front porch to the mudroom. And not having all those beams on the front porch because you're only going to have a nice arts/crafts entrance WILL save you a lot of money. Is this your first time building a house?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 12:24AM
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sorry posted twice

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 12:25AM
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Floppy you are right on the money about being our own generals. We will do it through ubuildit.com (have you heard of them?)and we will be our own contractor which should save us at least about 15%. I talked to some people who built their house using them and they are very happy with service and savings. So thats one way we plan on savings..also there are few things we can do our selves (dirt work and cleanup) which will save a little. Also, i realize that building the house just the way it is on the pictures will never fit in our budget, so i am ready for some modifications but hope to still be able to keep the charm of the house.
Kids bedrooms being so far away from master is a little problem for me and heaven for my husband. Kids generally sleep well, but if they get sick i can always sleep with them in guest room. By the time we build the house they will be 6 and 5, so i hope it will all work out.
I really want to make a full bath in guestroom i am just worry it might be that extra expense we might have to cut. So this is a question we will know the answer to when we have our budget meeting.
I am thinking about having the wooden posts outside but not inside (since we dont have the dining) and that should save some $$$..but i do like the wall divider between lodge and kitchen, because if i put the fridge somewhere else i feel like i will have no room for kitchen cabinets.
This is the first time we are building the probably last..so i am also trying to take into account that when i will be older and have grand kids how it would all work:)..so much to think abut and we havent even started doing anything yet:)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Have you thought about moving the master & kids bedroms upstairs? You mentioned upstairs in your very first post but what are your thoughts? That would save you some square footage.

We looked into UBUILDIT but didn't use them. If you have friends (locally) who've had good results they might be a good choice. What you want to do is leave VERY little work for them. In order to pull this off by being your own generals you have to READ & PLAN like CRAZY so hopefully you're like me that way - a very good organized, disciplined planner. Because you still have to hold them accountable. You HAVE to make ALL the decisions or their fees will go up so you have to be very prepared.

When are you breaking ground?

The more time you have to plan the better the outcome. And be prepared to go over budget & not have the house done in time despite their promises. That's just normal construction. NO CHANGE ORDERS. EVERY little detail should be thought through, all the outlets, light switches, room & kitchen layout, all fixtures picked out & oh my gosh, bought SO CHEAPLY online! Did you know that if you sign up as your own GC at HOME Depot or LOWEs you get contractor prices? And bought in ADVANCE so have a place to store them somewhere. Prices go up when you don't have things you need & construction stalls but people are still getting paid for their time even if they're not building.

This forum is SO wonderful! I wish I knew about this because we built only 3 years ago but I didn't know these existed. ABSORB it, make tons of notes, start binders, lists, picture portfolios (this will be one of the MOST EXCITING things you'll do in your lifetime) - no fuzzy
"I think I'd like it like that..." that's what forums & books are for. When you walk in to UBUILDIT - you MANAGE it. Not that they'll expect you to manage it, not at all, they'll use your inexperience & first time builder status to their great advantage. You know how to run a household with 2 kids & if you know how to manage your husband :) & kids - that's how you manage UBUILDIT people. They can help you think through the design & they'll charge for it. If you just ask them to draft it & make blueprints that's a whole different story. YOU hired them not the other way around. Remember that. Don't let them sway you because when you request a Change Order they once again make money. By all means be open to their ideas but don't jump on anything immediately. If they estimate a cost for you - double it because you're the one paying the final bill. Even if your friends had a great experience don't go in blinded by friendliness. They dispense good subs for you but ultimately you're in charge & if you have your own GOOD cheaper subs you have every right to use them. Say I need a sub for this but not for that. Maybe the rules have changed but we knew we could do that when we had our initial meeting.

Anyways, hope you're not sick of me :) Let me know about upstairs.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Ok, you possibly could not have looked at this one & not liked it. Unless I'm really missing something it appears to be 2091 sq ft...is it adorable or what!?


Craftsman Style COOL House Plan ID: chp-46985
Order Code: C132 I found it on Cool House Plans Site

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Floppy i did see that house deign and i do love it form the outside, i like the layout of the original plan a lot more. So we went to look at some new open houses and the interesting thing i noticed is that what really sets the house of is the height of the ceilings..One story with 10" ceilings looked fine but with 14" they looked wow!
Which made me think since dont have that big of a living rooms maybe instead of doing all the wood we should put the money toward raising the ceilings everywhere..To 14" in lodge room, 12" in kitchen/breakfast, keeping room and master bed, and 10" other bedrooms? What do you think? i am just brainstorming.
I know the house would be different without wood but if i keep the front 2 posts and keep the brick fireplace and brick wall between lodge and kitchen it will still be charming with the tall ceilings??? What your opinion???
You mentioned thats it is a lot cheaper to buy things online, what kind of fixtures are you talking about and do you have any good websites??
Yes i know we will be getting discount in stores since we are the contractors...i am excited about this part

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Sophie Wheeler

I see a LOT of red flags here.

If you don't know enough to GC the house by your self with no help, then using Ubuildit isn't really going to help you out here very much at all with either cost savings or the ability to supervise the trades. Their sole advantage is in the network of subs that they can give you contact info for. But, guess what? Those subs won't give you the best pricing or the time priority that they will give a regular GC that will be able to provide them with repeat business. Trades discounts don't really exist on many things, despite the hype of "builder's pricing" that you get from Ubuildit. You can already probably buy the plumbing fixtures cheaper online than you can get with a trade discount at any supply house. Lumber is a commodity in which there is such a minimal margin on it that you will get zero discounting that isn't available to just about anyone doing a large project purchase. There's a lot of marketing hype with Ubuildit, so be very very careful entering into any relationship with them without understanding how things are priced and who bears the ultimate responsibility for the build. (It ain't them!)

Also, you REALLY need to be talking to your bank here. Self GCing will need a LOT of up front money to even get financed at a not so great rate. Typically at 30-40% plus the land. That will also come with a time limit attached. Banks have been burned a lot by those wanting to GC their own home and quitting halfway through the process leaving the bank holding the bag for something that's completely unsellable.

For someone on a budget, a new build is NEVER the first choice for housing. It's always more expensive than buying existing. The only possible exception to that is a production builder who has the economy of scale and assembly line like building. But that isn't what you're talking about here. You're talking about an expensive to build plan, even if you had the background to completely self GC without paying for "consultants" who will not be legally responsible for anything should something go pear shaped on the build.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 1:40PM
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I like tall ceilings. We have 10' in every room. You just have to keep the ratio right because you don't want very tall ceilings with a small room. "The Not So Big house" addresses this issue. I'll have to see what page it's on...
Here is a quote from a website: "Raising the ceiling height can make a room look bigger, but only if the dimensions of the room are greater than the ceiling height, in which case the room will look smaller".

Good website by the way, I just stumbled on it but you might like it: http://www.sensiblehouse.org/des_rooms.htm The article is called Room Design, I haven't read it yet but it looked interesting. Look up "golden ratio" & "room size to ceiling ratio" .

As far as finding fixtures cheaper, you first research what you want, be it plumbing fixtures or lights. You find what you like & you read the reviews to make sure it'll last & other people liked it. Then you take the exact name of that product & Google it. You'll then find a number of websites that carry it for either a lot more or way less. Look for free shipping on heavier items & no tax - those will be your big savings. Also always call & nicely ask if they company offers any discounts - sometimes just for calling they'll give you 10% off. And try to buy in bulk - like your lights for example. A lot of companies offer discounts when you're buying a majority of say lighting fixtures from them. Don't be afraid to negotiate, even if they'll match any price always call & say: I'd like to buy from you but the price is a little too high for me. Is there a chance you could give me 10% off? If it's no, it's a no - you didn't lose anything by asking. But if it's a yes & you're buying $6000 worth of lighting fixtures - that's $600 saved. They know they have competition & buying fixtures is one of those areas where being pushy really helps because you�re the one with the check book. Overstock is always a good one. But any website that offers the same product for cheaper is a good website. I�ve saved anywhere from $50 to $150 depending on what it was. You just gotta click on every website that has your product in stock & keep going to about page 3 on Google & you�ll find these sites. LOTS of clicking but you get used to it. Sometimes a price you see is what you get but most of the time it�s not. Websites will come that say they have your product & they don�t so you just go to the next one. If you have a product item/number sometimes you can type it in the search engine of the website itself or search by brand. We�ve found some of our most treasured items at Lowe�s or Home Depot. One chandelier we just sprayed black because it was grey & we wanted black. When I tell people it�s from Lowe�s & cost a $100 they can�t believe it.

Try to match the exterior of the house to the inside. If it's a Craftsman style house you'll probably want more woodwork then just 2 posts. Usually Arts & Crafts houses have a lot of detail to make them more authentic. I like 14� lodge room but am not sure if you need to go the extra mile in the kitchen/keeping room/master. Ceilings make statements when they are vaulted or have beams or are tray ceilings & those might be the things you might want to give some thought. I know they�re more expensive but we went with regular 10� ceilings � didn�t even add moldings & they don�t look so great. It was cheaper but now I want to add something to every room to make it feel more special because really the ceiling is your fifth wall. If you�re going to have brick instead of stone though that�s less of a Craftsman style house.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:05PM
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I agree with hollysprings - there is a lot of hype about UBUILDIT. If the "architect" you were referring to in your earlier posts, who drew whatever you told him to, is from UBUILDIT - that should give you an idea of a not so good service.

But at the same time you can't pass on a building experience if it's scary or you don't know everything or it'll cost more than you want it to. You'll have so much pride after it's all done. Can you imagine living in a house where you know every nook & cranny because you've made it with your own two hands? It is a priceless feeling & an enormous accomplishment.

You have lots of resources at your disposal. Use them. Ask clear questions & get clear answers. Don't let your subs be wishy washy, whatever you do, don't TRUST them, EVER, double check everything & get it all in writing. Bring cookies & sandwiches to make nice but don't blindly think they'll get it all right. After all you'll be the one living in the house, not them.

Plus with all the changes you're researching & making - you're making a much cheaper simpler version of this plan. No you would not be able to build this plan AS IT IS on pictures for cheap but you can modify it to simplify room layout, roof lines, use other materials & finish certain things later - although I'm not a fan of that - they'll hardly ever get done :) Anyways, keep doing what you're doing - you're on the right track & much farther than when you posted your first original draft. :)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:16PM
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Floppy that website is exactly what i needed to read...makes perfect sense..That is so true that tall ceiling are only good as long as they are not bigger that room proportions.
Buying is not an option(i wish it was, but there are no house for sale here). We live in the country 1.5 hours away from the city and we are building on our land. Since we live so far we would have to pay crazy money to contractor for all the traveling and we would never be able to afford the house. Doing it ourselves is the only option since we are on the budget. And yes i am prepared to do it all myself...and i am very excited about it..
I want to leave stone as is on the bottom and posts but change shingles to brick because we have crazy winds/tornadoes here and shingles are just not an option.
I email our consultant with the plan and inside pictures to give me an idea of what it might cost per s/f..The people who built with him said that he was only $5,000 off their budget so that pretty close and i am curios to see what he says..he should have it for us tomorrow

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 12:24PM
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How is it going?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:38PM
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I agree, there are many red flags here.

Budget for a 50% overrun of your goal to avoid living in an unfinished house or losing it altogether.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 8:23AM
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Floppy, here is a draft, i will rearange master bath, but ither than that what do you think?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 9:37PM
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What ever come of this?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:54PM
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Hi, We're thinking of building the same house and I like the changes you've made, as seen in your drawing. How are things going? What cost per sq foot did you come up with? How is it being your GC? Is it working out? We plan on doing the same thing. I'd love to see pics if you have them! Thanks :)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 1:16PM
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I absolutely love the Harmony Mountain Cottage. Has anyone actually built it? I got an estimate on the trusses and it was $28,000 plus freight (?). Garrell would not tell me how much it cost to build the home in the video tour.
That would sure have helped tell us if we could afford it or not. Anyone's input would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 9:23AM
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