Saw a new book today with small house plans

marti8aNovember 17, 2011

It was at Lowe's, and the title was something like Great Plans for Small Houses, and I thought the house on the cover looked pretty big so I took a closer look. In small print were the words "Under 3000 sq ft". LOL, They don't EVEN know what small is.

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hehehehe, I am reading, commenting, and as soon as I submit my comment, I find ANOTHER NEW THREAD....

Wow, what is happening to our Smaller Homes Forum? Is it getting HOT or WHAT? Over on the Gardening side, things are winding down for the season, and it seems we are just hitting a new active season.

Good for you Marti!! SMALL?? 3000??? Good GRIEF.

And winding down things here, in our 2000 sq ft. cape, I am taking my good-bye pictures. You could say that the rooms are not large, but there is a full basement, either 3 or 4 bedrooms (we use the 4th as a study/office), 2 bedrooms upstairs w/1 bath there, and the master w/two walk-in closets (one of which can be made into a 3rd bathroom), and a nice southern exposure sunporch off the master. Then there is a 34 foot long family room. Two wood burning fireplaces, a new baseboard heating system, great well water but soon to be plumbed for city water. City sewage already connected. And this is a 2000 sq foot house. Large closets in each bedroom. But a small kitchen with stainless appliances.

What I've seen in many of the new house plans is designs with little storage, except maybe in the kitchen and a master closet which is an awkward shape. They are not thinking about the cost of heating and cooling those soaring cathedral ceilings. They are not planning for anyone to stay in the house very long. If the family grows, they think folks are going to buy another new house instead of remodel. And with the size of city lots approaching tiny, and parking only in a short driveway or on the street, they are not thinking about kids getting driver's licenses and having to play car shuffle to let cars out of the driveway. I'm thinking in snowy regions, that could be a really agonizing thing to do with cold engines and snow piled up high along the street.

And people will need to have more gardening space to help out the budget by growing some produce.

Aw, Marti, I'm sorry but I'm sort of ranting. This house of DH's is looking much larger now that I've removed a good portion of the stuff which made it so personal and cozy. Now it looks downright HUGE.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 5:00PM
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marti, where will you be having Thanksgiving dinner? Hope you can get settled in the new place enough for turkey sandwiches at least.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 5:20PM
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We aren't moving schoolhouse, just working on this old place. We'll have it here, as nothing is really torn up right now. I WISH we had the dining room finished, but we'll just have to make do with the table in the living room again.

ML, when I have thought of moving to town, everything you listed is the reason I want to stay put. Have even a small gathering in town and there is no where for anyone to park. The driveway holds 2 cars at most and everyone else has to park in the street. Here, we have a long driveway, plus a grassy area beside the driveway. We can have ten cars park off the street if needed.

I would still like to do something about our closet space, but dh is fairly adamant that he doesn't want to expand anything except the dining room. Still, I'm going to keep at least one idea on the back burner - expanding the corner bedroom onto the porch space. There's a house down the street with the exact thing and it looks great. It will require someone to check out the foundation, and build up the concrete on the porch. But I think it's doable.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 8:01PM
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The author must be from Atlanta. ;) That seems to be the concept down here, too, and it's so frustrating.

ML- You nailed it: huge house and still no storage. That drives me crazy!

I want a small house with LOTS of storage.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 7:30AM
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I want a small house that lives big. I know I read that in magazines all the time, but most of the time I can't see how they would. Our house has 3 bedrooms. The master is a good size 12x16 but the master closet is 3x5 which is really too small for 2 people. The other two bedrooms are 10x10, one with a 2x-4 closet and the other with a 2x-6 closet. The 2x6 closet was fine, and the other might have been ok for a boy, but with two girls, I found it too small.

It has been ok in the years since the kids left home. I still have a trundle bed in one room and put a full bed in the other. But as the kids marry and have kids, I don't know how where I will put everyone. That's why I'd like to expand that one bedroom, so I can put a queen bed in there along with somewhere to open a suitcase.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 12:04PM
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I agree that all of these new garden home plans with a one-car garage or no garage at all have totally missed the point. Even out here in exurbia, the developers cram the homes into tiny lots, with driveways barely the length of one car. These are built on slabs, and there is simply no room on the lot for expansion. I suppose that's why the mini storage industry is booming, and why the tiny backyards of these places end up filled with storage sheds.

Ours is a 1960s MCM plan at about 2,000 square feet. Although it is a non-traditional layout with no master suite (hall baths only), there is a ton of storage. Closets are reach-in only, but the two larger bedrooms have two each (12' total length). There are also two additional reach-in closets in the great room, two full-size linen closets in the baths and two pantries in the kitchen (which also has 23' of base cabinets). With a carport only (two large closets there as well, though HVAC takes up most of one), no basement and no attic, the plan took into consideration that a family would need storage somewhere. The modern builders just don't bother with it.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 1:22PM
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Modern builders seem to have bought into the idea that everything is DISPOSABLE. You use it and then throw it away.
Even seashells (the original creatures in the shells) keep on adding on as the animal inside grows. Only the hermit crabs who live in a shell long enough to grow into it, and then abandon it for a larger one as the crab gets bigger, those are the disposable critters.

But then our economy has put a hitch in our gitalongs, and the "starter home" that was OKAY as long as the new couple could afford to move on up as the family grew, well, they cannot sell that starter home, and it is suddenly a trap they will have to come to terms with. Because with TWINS on the way, they need more space, or suddenly one of them is working at home part-time, and they need room for an office.
And they must have two cars but the garage is full of STUFF and only room for ONE CAR in the driveway. So they pave a narrow strip off the side, if there is room, and then the neighbor starts turning around on it instead of backing out into traffic every morning. Or, there is a problem with the garbage can sitting near the only entry for guests, and trying to hide it from view is an issue. Not a big one, but I mean it is not the most attractive welcome, is it....

I like multi-use spaces. Which is why I think a carport that is toward the back end of a driveway is a perfect place to use for a cookout, maybe a party can take cover there when it rains. It makes a great space for the ice cream freezer and a picnic table when the temp is hovering at 100 F. And a row of container plants can find shade there, and vines can grow up the support posts. It can look really nice, and give the illusion of privacy without too much effort.

What I've discovered this last week as I packed up a PODS, and what my DH commented on tonight, was that the house is still not looking empty. True true. We got rid of about 7500 pounds of STUFF, and the house is not empty yet. I told him that it looks like the house has BREATHING ROOM. Sort of like a diner who has to let his belt out a notch or two after Thanksgiving dinner, the house is giving a sigh of relief to finally have room to relax. Not so devastating when something is out of place now, because it doesn't look so overcrowded. Mercy, it took me a long time to convince him to let me do this. You know, I'd still be carrying things back to Alabama in a "body bag" strapped to the top of the car otherwise!! And up here in MA, it is hard to dispose of things, but in AL I can have one hellashus yard sale you betcha.....I will be thinking twice before bringing new purchases home with me.

Books, however, are a particular weakness of both my DH and myself. So I'm trying to convert to e-books as much as possible. Easier to find them that way too. But my picture books are still something I love to touch. Paper is so satisfying a medium for color prints.

Gotta go to bed, folks. Keep up the good work.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 8:28PM
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