Wish list if starting from scratch
What if you could start from scratch? What features would be on your wish list?
Balance. Not too big, not too small. Plus or minus 900sf depending on local building codes. Since I dont have an actual design yet, I canÂt say if that will be one or two bedrooms. I think I would like the option of having occasional overnight visitors without folding out the couch so two bedrooms may be necessary. Still pondering that one.
One level. IÂm 49 now, so stairs are not a problem. However, this is supposed to be my retirement place. I donÂt think I want to climb stairs into my 60Âs, 70Âs or 80Âs.
Open floor plan. Fewer walls should make the space feel larger.
9 foot high, flat ceilings with a smooth finish. The added volume of 9 foot verses the standard 8 foot ceilings should add to the perception of being a larger space while not sacrificing the heat to the ceiling as is the case with vaulted or soaring ceilings.
Views and natural light. I love to look out and see my plants, flowers and wildlife.
Deep, covered, screened porch. I really love sitting on a screened porch and watching it rain. But the porch has to be deep enough (8 feet or more) to keep me completely dry when the wind shifts. Damp isnÂt enjoyable.
Energy efficient. Duh! Passive solar, proper site selection, windows, insulation, all that. I might consider partial solar cell or wind power but I am not shooting for true off-grid living.
Emergency heat source. No matter where you live, "stuff happens". I like the look of a real wood burning fireplace but fully understand that a wood stove produces much more heat AND you can cook on it. If my budget allows, I will probably add a stand-alone emergency generator.
Sufficient storage. Part of the allure of living small is editing your belongings down to very few extras. Nonetheless, you have to have room for winter clothes, linens, paper products, etc. Smaller packages cost more than bigger ones. I buy the bigger ones to save money but you have to store them somewhere. You can never have too much storage space.
Covered parking. This is one of the trickiest parts of the overall design. How do you incorporate covered parking into a small structure without having the parking area visually dominate the design or even dwarf the dwelling itself? I do not like going out into the rain to go between my vehicle and my house. IÂve had it both ways and much prefer staying dry during the transition. But maintaining design balance can be tricky. Remember, one level.
Free and clear by age 60. Double duh!
ThatÂs about it. I donÂt think thatÂs too much to ask for. WhatÂs on your wish list?