I've mentioned it enough-time to post

IowacommuteFebruary 5, 2013

Hi everyone-I posted another plan (a very wonderful and well laid out plan, but it was 1500 sqft plus we wanted to finish the huge loft space and the basement. So yeah it was going to be over 4000 sqft).

I drew that wonderful house in Google SketchUp, and I started going through it and thought "How am I going to clean all of this?" I had a couple of cleaning jobs in college so I'm pretty fast, but with a toddler (she'll be 2 on Friday!) I get my fill of cleaning pretty fast (I'm a SAHM).

So DH and I went back to the drawing board. I have fallen in love with this plan. It's called Deer Run from Southern Living Magazine.

I don't know if it's because of that charming picture, but I adore this house. I have also done this in SketchUp, and sure enough I can fit everything in the kitchen (which was my main concern). I moved a couple of things like putting in a french door where the closet is in the bedroom on the main floor. The closets will also be floor to ceiling in lay cabinets. My in-laws have these in their 150 year old farm house, and I adore them. The bath on the main floor will have a big curbless shower instead of tub, and the W/D will go in there (it will be recessed into the cabinet closet space in that bedroom which will be ours).

I also like this house because the other room and bath are upstairs. We won't build this for a couple of years yet, so hopefully I'll feel better than having my kiddo up there by herself. When she's in middle/high school though I figured she'd thank me for the privacy.

We plan on screening in the front and back porch. Since we'll be in NE Iowa we're going to have a detached garage next to the house (on the side of the LR) with a screened in breezeway. My great aunt had a screened in breezeway with roses climbing all over it so that's probably where that fascination came from.

I'd like to hear any comments anyone has on the house. We have lived in a house smaller than this. Our first house was an 850 sqft three bed/1 bath ranch with an unfinished basement and no garage. It wasn't laid out very well and for the better part of a year one of my friends and her two middle school aged kids lived with us. It was cozy.

Our house now feels so spread out (it's around 1800 sqft), and I just want something smaller like our first house). I like this small plan because it looks like it has charm and history built into it. A new 'old house' I guess.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deer Run House Plan

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"it was going to be over 4000 sqft" yikes.
The house you are considering is adorable.
Great ideas that you have: I love the idea of built-ins, the ones in the older homes are really nice. Also a walk in shower with a built in bench is what every house should have.(I would want a big old cast iron tub in addition to a walk in shower but that's me, love baths.
Regarding the screened in front/back porch, how is your weather in Iowa ? Will you get a lot of use out of a screened porch ? At some point could you use the back porch as part of the house(insulated) ?
You will save a ton of money going smaller and then can do some nice finish work inside the house. I didn't study the actual plans yet so may comment more later...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:54PM
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That is a super charming house. I love it. The only change I'd think about making in it, is stealing a little of the space from the dining room for a bit more in the kitchen, but I'm not a formal dining area person and you could probably get that feel without actually changing the floor plan if that's something you wanted. I love the idea of building a high quality smaller home than a large, generic home with no special details. I think it looks great. Will you have a basement? We'd be lost without a basement for storage mostly in our small home.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:07AM
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I think a shower on the ground floor is a great idea, especially if you're planning to stay there for retirement (try to make it a curbless), but personally I'd want a tub somewhere in the house, and I think that in some areas code still requires at least one bathtub in a house. Check your local requirements about that.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:12AM
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I think it's an adorable house, but I think it's meant to be a lake house/cabin for occasional use only. As a primary residence it seems more like a house to build when approaching the empty nest years rather than when you have one toddler. Are you comfortable that your family isn't going to expand beyond one child?

The bedroom closets are the only storage. There is no pantry, coat closet, linen closet, etc. Do you live minimally enough that there is no need for heated/cooled space for "stuff" like computers, office stuff, musical instruments, sewing, crafts, hobbies, etc? I'm not even sure where you'd store a vacuum cleaner. Or a broom. Or extra blankets.

Is your climate moderate enough that you can store most extra "stuff" in the garage? If not, if you were to add a basement, that might give you the breathing room necessary should your needs evolve.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:29AM
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EAT~I suppose we could at some point expand onto the back porch if we put it on a slab foundation which I'm guessing we would have to since roof will be over it.

The winters can be bad with lots of snow, but besides that we'll be able to use the screened porches probably 7 or 8 months out of the year. Being in the country-especially surrounded by farms the bugs can be brutal so that's why I thought about screening the front and back.

Wi-sailorgirl~I'll have to post my kitchen/dining area I did in Google SketchUp. I made the counter next to the fridge 30" deep for my baking center. It's slightly more space I have now on my little island (which I use as my baking center). I also did a big wall to wall floor to ceiling hutch on the wall with the range that extends into the dining room. That will be storage for my catering packages and supplies. Oh yes did I mention I do smallish catering jobs?

We will have a basement. Too many tornadoes have passed through the area (I know current research shows no correlation between the paths of past and future tornadoes, but AH!) Several have hit my in-laws farm although never the house thank goodness. One did go close enough to the hog house while my FIL was in and took the roof. I just can't imagine.

Writersblock~I've heard about the tub thing, and I may put one in DD's bathroom upstairs. If she doesn't want one by that time it may go in the basement.

We are planning on this being our forever home. We're in our early 30's now, and I told DH "Wouldn't it be great if we could build a small, well built house that could be paid off by the time DD goes to college!" He originally told me this one was too small, but when I started talking about the cost of building he quickly changed his tune.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:34AM
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Jakabedy~I appreciate the thought about the closets. We're going to have built ins galore. Every room will have one which will act as linen closets and storage for coats, electronic peripherals. I've never had a pantry so I can't imagine using one. There will be possibly two rugs in the house. Everything else will be hardwoods/tile. I was planning on what I do now (just a broom/dustpan and stick vac for area rugs and other general cleaning.

Like I said our first house was smaller than this, and it felt like more than enough. The living room will have floor to ceiling, wall to wall bookshelves around the fireplace. There will also be a bench that goes almost all of the way across, and that is where I will store the stick vac and that kind of stuff.

We've also decided we are one kid kind of people, and we're cool with that.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:43AM
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> I may put one in DD's bathroom upstairs.

Yes, but you'd have to abandon or radically alter that plan to do it. The roof pitch doesn't really give you any extra space up there.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:04AM
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You're right Writersblock. I forgot it was only a half story upstairs. We'll most likely put the tub in the basement. I want a bathroom down there anyway for DH's office and my craft/sewing room.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:07AM
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Adding a basement is going to mean relocating the laundry and hot water heater -- I assume to the basement.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:09AM
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Access to the laundry will be in the bathroom but recessed into the bedroom on the main level. Along that wall in the bedroom will be floor to ceiling wall to wall (yes even over the door) in lay cabinets for our closet. The W/D will be recessed into those cabinets. We're looking at Mieles (we have older-what I call regular size) W/D now. So the Mieles will be about the same size we have.

The HVAC which will also have the hot water (my in-laws want to get us a geothermal unit-they really love theirs). That will be in the basement.

I'll have to work on the plan in Sketch Up some more and post it so everyone can see what I have. I know it sounds like nothing will fit in this house, but we don't have very much furniture. As I've gotten a little older I realized I like multi functional pieces, and I know that's what we'll need.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:24PM
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I am currently building this home plan. Instead of a cabin look, I am going for a dollhouse look. The exterior is pink and white. I installed Victorian curlyQ appliques above the windows and New Orleans style window boxes underneath. Porch railing are white wrought iron. I enlarged the house 2' on each side, making the size 32 x 36. I eliminated the lower level bath to enlarge the Master BR and added another closet. I eliminated the side window and made a door to a 10 x 10 bath with room for a laundry. The original laundry in LR is now a coat closet. I changed the 2 front windows to 1 double wide window. All window sizes were changed to the nearest standard size. The plan calls for custom sizes (much more expensive). I have plenty of space in the kitchen and made the area under the stairs a walk in pantry. Also enlarged the dormer upstairs to include a larger closet in the bath.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Tondrazac3~ I would love to see a floor plan or pictures if you have them. Your home sounds so lovely.

Its been hard trying to find people who have built this because its small. I tried to post this plan on the Building forum, and I got a lot of grief about how it should only be a vacation home.

I was thinking about extending the upper floor all of the way over to fit in another bedroom. I was also thinking about adding a shed dormer to the front for a bathroom.

I'm torn between basically this house and an American vernacular farmhouse' since we will be on a farm. I want the house to feel like its always been there. We will find land on or near the farm and then probably try to find an architect. I really want this done right since we are in our 30s and will spend the rest of our lives here. Ah. I really do want something small, and I keep coming back to this plan.

I want window boxes!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:18PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Cute house.

To me, snow = attached garage.

I'd want a door on that upstairs bedroom to keep the noise out from below. I like the idea of a 2nd bedroom upstairs even better...for me, when sq ft is tight, I hate to waste cubic footage.

I think I'd also make the shed dormer the full length of the roof to give more space and headroom into the upstairs bath.

And I agree that basement space is terrific in a small house for storage, mechanicals, and tornado shelter.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Build what YOU want. We live in an old cottage that is less than 700 sq ft with no basement. Make your living room big enough and enough kitchen cabinets and you're good, imo. I'd like a basement and root cellar though!

Window boxes would be adorable!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 10:23AM
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