Small house; big rooms?
We are planning to build our last house in rural upstate SC. We are on a limited budget, and it will just be the two of us, so we are thinking pretty small. We figure a small house will be cheaper to build, heat, clean, and maintain, esp. once we retire. So, we are thinking only one bedroom on the main floor and 2 bathrooms. We will either have a walk-in basement, or a small 2nd story for the occasional guests. In 1232 square feet, I have a 12 X 20 master BR, 8 X 12 Master bath, (2) 6 X 6 walk-in closets, a separate 'house' bath w/ washer and dryer, front hall closet, linen closet, and 14 X 20 LR and 14 X 20 kitchen/dining area. There is also a 4 X 6 computer nook. All of these sizes are nominal; most will be 4-6" less. Either the upstairs or basement can be finished off later, and closed off when not in use. I'm torn between having a second bedroom on the main level or not. It's nice to have a spare room for hobbies, reading, sewing, or for the TV, but we don't really 'need' it. In our 50's now, we can both easily climb stairs; I'm thinking more about as we get older. Have any of you seen plans like this? Most small house plans I see insist on cramming 3 BR's into 1200 square feet, which results in a number of small rooms. Once I get some estimates, I'll make the determination between 1-1/2 story or full basement. The lot we are buying has the perfect slope for a walk-in basement, so that is our preference right now. The house will be a southern style simple rectangle w/ tin roof, full width front porch, and a large screened back porch (big enough to park the cars under), so there will be plenty of extra space in pleasant weather.