I'm very excited to find this forum!
DH and I bought a small ranch house in a vacation area, with plans to retire there someday. Well, someday is getting closer, and I'm getting worried. This has been great as a vacation home, but DH and I are afraid once we move down there, we won't be able to get away from each other.
The house is a rectangle, 24' x 48'. The front door faces water, the back door faces the road. On one end there are 2 bedrooms, about 10' by 12' each, with good size closets. On the other end is a master bedroom, about 10' by 12', a master bath 8' by 10' with a closet and a single bowl sink (lots of wasted space, but the possibility of putting in double sinks). Then there is a 6' by 10' combo mudroom, washer/dryer area, and main entry. The center of the home is a living room and an eat-in kitchen, semi open to each other. Out side is a covered deck, almost the length of the house, but only 6 feet deep; a deck on the back or street side; and a one boat dock, with a sundeck on top. There is a storage shed. There is no garage, no usable attic space, no basement just a crawl space underneath. We have a well and a septic system. If theres no power, then no water. We plan to put in a whole house standby generator, and are considering solar hot water, and solar electric panels.
I have some of the same problems others have, no coat closet, we use pegs in the laundry room, the front door in the living room opens to a covered deck with a water view, but there are 15 steps up to it, so everyone uses the laundry room door. The kitchen is very basic with lower grade cabinets and appliances. Haven't measured the 2nd bath, but the bath and surround are across the end wall, with the toilet and vanity on one side wall, and 2 towel bars on the other wall. Not enough room for a double sink, no place to store towels unless we install something above the toilet.
There is a deck on the street side of the house, but it sits in sun all day and faces the road, so we don't use it except to dash out and grill something, then come back in. You have to go through the mudroom to access it too.
The living room has pathways on 2 sides, to the master on the short end, to the kitchen on the long side, and to a bathroom door and then continues to the 2 other bedrooms. Right now I have "floated" a couch with it's back to the kitchen and bathroom door. We have a picture window, but the railing on the deck cuts off the water view when sitting.
We furnished the place, including washer and dryer, furniture, pots and pans, and linens for less than 8 thousand dollars 5 years ago. As you can imagine we spent at the dollar store, the 'marts, and Ikea. When we move down there almost all of that will go, to be replaced by our furniture in our current home. Well some of that is going to have to go too, cause we have more rooms, and bigger in the current house.
We have considered adding to the lake side of the house, to make a large living room with lots more windows to view the water. The septic tank will have to be moved if we do that. We have considered building out on the street side, making a new front entry with closet and hall, and a new kitchen and pantry. The current kitchen and living room would then become a dining room and library/office, and we could expand the master bedroom into one end of the living room to make a larger room and larger closet. The problem there is that you would have to walk through those 2 rooms to get to any of the others. We will need a garage and a boat storage area.
Now that I've written a novel, what advice would you give me on planning our move, and upgrading the house?