1300 sq ft plan for retirees. Any comments?

msh2000February 7, 2009


I am sorry I do know how to directly link it. I appreciate your comments.

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A couple of thoughts:

- Where are you building this? Depending on how cold it gets in your area, a basement might be really nice. Plus, it would add some storage space (looks like it could use some).
- Without spending a lot of time poking around the Web site, I did not see any mention of "accessibility". A plan is a plan, but it seems to me many of those rooms are a bit small to have regular furniture and someone in a wheelchair or scooter turning around and so on. Lots of twists and turns to get into rooms, too. This may not be your situation now, but if this is a "forever" home, it would be uneconomical (at least) to ignore this aspect.
- I have to say, I do love the golf-cart bay!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 11:00AM
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Just copy your link and paste it in the "Optional Link URL" below the post before sending. Make sure you add a name to the link in the second box.

Here is a link that might be useful: MSH plan

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 11:02AM
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I really like the plan and with only two bedrooms your 1300' is going to feel huge. Plus all the amentities....a wonderful tub.

The one thing I don't get (no reflection on your plan) is how many garages are bumped out and take up most of the wonderful design of a home. I know this has to do with lot usage, but wish they would figure out another way.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 11:06AM
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It would be built in arizona or florida. We are still deciding. I would like to get rid of all my stuff and just stick to the basics. I am tired to paying space for things so no basement for us.

Steve, good point on the sooter or wc. I will look into it but I would definitely ask the builder to build it with no stairs.

Emagineer, thank you so much for teaching me about the url link.

I will make some tweaks on the plan based on all your suggestions.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 11:34AM
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Pocket doors might help with the accessibility. I do not know how much more it takes to do them.

For us we eliminated the large master bath tub. We had one once and never used it. Too much waste of water to fill it and it got cold too fast and jets are a pain to clean. The steam took the curls out of my hair. We just have a nice 4 foot shower here, larger would have been better, and regular tub in guest bath should I really feel the need for a long soak.

There are some things I like in your plan. The nice master closet . The master bedroom is the same size we have here and it is a really good size. I personally would not bother with the extra door in the master since the other door to the porch is so close. This would make the room more arrangeable.

I do not understand the off set wall in the guest room. That could make furniture placement awkward. Being in a smaller house means it is important to have all options available to us.

Is the golf cart parking blocking the back garage door?

For me there are too many doors opening into other doors.

I do think this plan could be improved with not too many changes if it is the plan you like then go for it after all it is your signature on the bottom line.

We thought long and hard and made many changes to the house we just had done. It is a manufactured home. We are very happy with what we came up with and the only change I would have made is the guest room is very narrow and I had no option on that.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 4:32PM
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Well, in AZ or FL there are tons of homes already built at bargain prices, so you might want to check into existing homes. I have a family of 4 (sometimes 5 or 6!) in a 1200 SF home in AZ and it is quite comfortable, so for two it would be extremely spacious.

And most people in AZ don't have basements, homes are built on slab. You could do a walkout/daylight basement if you're on a steep grade.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 10:53AM
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It is basically a nice plan, but I agree that there are too many doors in some of the rooms. Pocket doors in the bathrooms could help.

Other things to think about:

~ do you really think you will use bar stools at the breakfast bar as you grow older? I have hated bar stools and eating at a bar for years and I'm only 61.

~ do you plan on having guests for dinner or family feasts from time to time? The dining area could use some more footage if you plan to have more than just a few guests.

~ the placement of the laundry room bothers me; could you put it off the second bedroom/office (do you need that large walk-in closet in an office) or combine the garage storage and laundry room into a large pantry/laundry room with access from the kitchen? Or, could you put the washer and dryer in that huge master bedroom closet?

~ I agree to nix the master entrance to the covered back porch; you can walk just a few feet to the porch door off the great room.

~ agree that the whirlpool bathtub would not be on my list of priorities.

Just my opinions,

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 12:01PM
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If you are building your "forever" house, you had better be sure it meets handicapped codes....one never knows if you might end up in a wheelchair.

Be sure there are NO steps....all doors are wide enough to get through in a wheelchair. I would do a walk-in shower and leave out the tub in the master bath. The toilet area does not meet requirements for turning, etc. You will need to have lever door fixtures, etc.

I am disabled, so I know that your breakfast bar height would not work for me....too high to get up on bar stools...and the dining room is not very big if you do much entertaining.

Also, the placement of the laundry room bothers me too...I would not like it right off of the entry.

Otherwise, I don't see any glaring problems, but didn't spend a lot of time studying it.

My DH is an architect and we are in the process of building our "hopefully" last house.....but be sure you will be able to maintain it, especially if one of you is left alone. Just somethings to think about~~~good luck.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 4:04PM
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At the age of 50 I broke my leg in a compound fracture and spent months sleeping on the LR sofa and using the main floor bathroom - which BARELY accommodated my using a walker for the first couple of months. I didn't see our master bedroom suite for four months, LOL.

At the very least I would redesign that master bathroom to accommodate a walker. That means safety bars around the toilet, tub and shower, too.

I agree that there's so many homes available in both AZ and FL that I'd check the market first before building.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:22PM
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Would you be building this in an area with other 2 bedroom houses? I know here, that two bedroom houses are hard to sell.

I started writing what I would do differently and just realized I changed most of the plan. lol Basically, I agree with others above about the doors.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 1:40PM
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IF I could build I'd have only walk in shower with a built in bench in master bath with plenty of grab bars. ALL doors would be wide enough to accomodate a wheelchair & no bar or barstools taking up space we couldn't use.

Ask me how I know...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:07AM
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Avoid all the steps possible and have pull outs in anything that is low as bending is difficult to reach backs of cabinets. Put in taller height toilets and put in grab bars as someday you'll need them..always have a walk in shower with no steps and a seat at least ..some shelving good as well and a built in grab bar.
Non scald faucets. 36" min width on all doors. etc..check out handicap sites for more information but living with a man with a head injury it is important that you also have the best quality storage for every item you plan to keep..a closet should be just inside the front door with room for coats boots etc..unless of course you don't need coats and boots in Ariz..but anything you do need to take in and out.
slip proof floors are important and slip proof outdoor surfaces.
and when you put in furniture in a small space every item should have dual duty, such as drawers in your coffee tables, cabinets or drawers in your end tables..etc..don't use anything that doesn't offer dual purposes

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 1:15PM
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If you do an internet search on the phrase "universal design" you'll find tons of information on how to make your house a safe and welcoming environment for yourself and guests of all sizes and abilities, children through mature folks.

You may even find some home plans.

There are all kinds of things, like door lever handles, appliances with good lighting, walk-in showers, that you can put in now that just look like attractive design and are there for you if you sprain your wrist paragliding, or far into the future.

Your house does NOT have to look like an institution! If you do it right, no one will even notice anything is different, except that you will be able to have ALL your friends over!

In that vein, I too think it does have a lot of doors and angles. Having it a bit more open plan also can save you a bit on construction. Which is nice.

1,300 is plenty of room, once you get accustomed to it.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 3:05PM
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OH YES I am so for the lever door handles. We do not have them on the outside doors and will be looking for something that will do lever inside knob outside or both lever. My hands are so painful and the levers are so much easier for me and I am not even old yet.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 4:02PM
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i totally agree about the easy open lever and other type of handles that don't require twisting or gripping, not only for painful hand but full hands.

i have polyperepherial neuropathy all over, but esp my feet and hands..which makes it difficult to grip..and i have been replacing my door handles with lever ones a few at a time and i really prefer them now that i have some in.

it is a good idea for all of us to plan for our older years as we do new things in our house and on our property.
We aren't getting any younger..of course unless you plan on selling right away, you will be there as you age and you should always plan when you replace something for that end..saves money in the long run

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 12:54PM
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Also easier to open when you have lotion on your hands, or are carrying things in them, as ronbre said. Stylish too.

I have paddle handles on my new kitchen faucet and love them.

I do not have a disability, but I have friends with varying levels of ability and health and it's really opened my eyes. If I were building a house, I would build it with an eye to making it as invisibly ADA compliant as possible. Wide doorways, walk-in shower with bench, smooth floors, variable level counters -- it would just be a cool looking house.

And it would have GREAT resale!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 4:09PM
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If you plan to build in Florida, you should consider having the roof structure re-designed as an all-hip roof. Stronger in hurricanes and because of that, provides substantial insurance discount. Check with your insurer. If the truss company is doing the roof engineering, there shouldn't be any additional cost and the annual savings are $400+

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 5:27AM
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