Smallish House Construction

ajplMarch 29, 2007

We have house plans now and I thought I'd share. Our house is going to be much smaller and simpler than many of the houses on the Building forum so I wanted to get some opinions here too.

We currently live in a house that is almost the same size but with a cathedral ceiling in the living room making less livable square footage. We know the size works but needed some changes in layout to better suit our lifestyle.

The house is 1.5 story with a 12:12 roof and a full dormer on the bedroom side. The view is incredible from almost every window.

Here is a link that might be useful: our blog

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grinder12000

"but with a cathedral ceiling in the living room making less livable"

I'm not sure what this means. You mean ABOVE the living room???

Our house is 1600 sq feet. If you add the non-finished basement 3200 sq feet (makes sense LOL).

Here is a link that might be useful: Rod and DJ's House Building Adventure

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 12:19PM
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ajpl

Yes, our current house has a cathedral ceiling in the living room. That means we have over 200sqft of "missing" upstairs space. This home will have the same exterior size but a full second floor giving us more space.

We'll have a full basement which is the norm here but it won't be finished until much later.

Our livable space will be 1800sqft (900 up and 900 down) with another 900 unfinished basement. Right now we have 900sqft down and 650 up plus the unfinihsed basement.

Thanks for sharing your blog. How did you like building in the winter? We will be building through next winter but should be rooftight before the cold weather comes.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 1:55PM
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grinder12000

Well - "WE" are not building but have a General Contractor and there is no problem - in fact it works out great.

We talked to our new neighbors and they agree.

The hole was dug early FEB and then we had a blizzard but even blizzards are a non-factor as far as digging a hole. Temp is the only concern and we were set back 2 weeks with below zero weather. Once the temps hit 20 it was full steam ahead.

Foundation needed 5 days to cure (sp ??), then the framing started and 20 days (16 work days) later we are covered with windows and shingles!

One thing you might or might not know! The house will changes sizes a number of times. Even though I knew of this phenomenon it still is a shocker.

If this is the first house you are building you will not believe how many decisions you will be making.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rod and DJ's House Building Adventure

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 2:42PM
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ajpl

This is our second house and our last! We've chosen a piece of land we don't want to leave.

We considered building through the winter but the chances of having enough time above freezing to do the foundation was slim so we decided to wait. Now after a few changes and stalls we will be starting in the next month.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 11:28AM
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grinder12000

Thats great - have fun and good luck.

Also - you don't have to be above freezing for the foundation. the only thing you have to worry about is comfort of the cement guys.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 2:41PM
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suntoadmom

grinder 12000, we built our first house in Alaska and you DID have to be above freezing for the foundation. LOL Once the ground is frozen, good luck putting a foundation in. By the way building in the winter is NOT fun. We were putting on a metal roof in -5 degrees, and yes we did it ourselves. We did not expect to do this but learned the hard way there is always delays in building even when you are doing it yourself. We had rain almost the entire month of August which delayed the framing. We are now getting ready to build our third house and I hope this is the last time. I feel I am getting to old for this. I have learned to expect the unexpected and no matter what happens it couldn't be much worse than what we went through when we build in Alaska.

Here is a link that might be useful: suntoadmom houses

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 9:19AM
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lara_jane

First off, WOW, Suntoadmom! You have --and have had-- some beautiful properties! Gorgeousness!

ajpl, we're thinking of building a similar layout, with 2 bedrooms upstairs and eventually finish the basement with one or two more bedrooms there. Thing is, it would NOT be our last home. Do you -- any of you -- think we'd have a problem with resale? I'm guessing most people in the market for smaller homes (ours would be under 1400sf not counting the basement) are empty-nesters that want their rooms on the ground floor. We want the house WE want but we do have to take this into consideration before we finalize our plans.

Sorry, this ended up being sort of a hijack!

Lara

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 10:19AM
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ajpl

Don't worry about the highjack! I think I answered you already somewhere but we did sell our current home which is similar very easily. One thing is that our house had a lot of character with the post and beams etc but we did get a very high price for our area.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 9:23AM
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grinder12000

Hmm - we were at 15 degrees when the foundation was poured and that is pretty common in Wisconsin. However the ground at that level was below the frost line.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 1:19PM
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