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New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

Posted by NashvilleBuild42 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 11:39

Hello my fellow small home fans!

We decided the other plan may take too much to customize. And this sounds utterly insane given how much land we have, but were thinking of building a more modern shotgun home. There would be a screened porch off the back that would also connect to a garage that would then correct to the in law apt. Thus forming a L. Or perhaps I'd just connect the two houses by a huge dog trot/ covered porch with phantom screens and build garage separately. Any suggestions on that are welcome!The barn stable would actually provide another shelter around a very large court yard with pool. Outside of the courtyard would be all our land with converted trails etc

I'm attaching a rough sketch of the general building layout and outdoor space. I am then attaching a few inspiration pictures. I meet with an architect in 2 weeks. Should I abandon this idea before then? It seems easy to build, heat and cool. Easy to make energy efficient. Putting it over a basement provides some peace of mind if a tornado occurs even if we decide not build entirely ICF.

I know it's hard to see

A. Wrap around front porch
B. Living/dining/kitchen
C. Den/tv room walk in closet 3/4 bath
D. Screened patio
E. Study/library there is a closet could be a very small bedroom
F. Kids room
G. Master
2 bedrooms and laundry nook also upstairs

H- garage
I- in law apt
J- in law private courtyard
K- dog run
L- lap pool
M- covered patio and open patio

So my program didn't have chaise lounges therefore I placed sofas and turned them 90 degrees. I also think I'd have a large bench built into the brick wall hence the u shaped couch :). The blocky structures would be the 6 ft concrete panel fence or brick fence at the front and back but likely wood on the side.

So, thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

Inspiration pictures


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

I'll start with a silly question. Are the rooms E, F, G upstairs or next to B? If next to B, I assume (and vaguely see) a hall there. What's at the end of the hall next to room E? Can you add that area to the room?

In law kitchen counter seems too long. I think it would be hard to bring sink, range. and the fridge close together and still have a good sized prep space, unless there is an island there (couldn't be sure) Bedroom seems quite close to the pool, if you expect pool area to be noisy maybe bedroom can be relocated.


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

Sena- thanks. No silly questions. My sketch is pathetic :)

So the main family house would be a modern twist on a shotgun style home. When you walk in you can pivot slightly and go upstairs. Upstairs there is a 4 ft 2" hallway that leads to 3 bedrooms. There is also a family bath, laundry nook behind pocket door with countertop onto of appliances, and a master bath. Downstairs is a living room for socializing, reading, talking. Then the kitchen/dining and behind quality pocket doors that could stay completely open or close would be a den with tv. The den has a walkin closet and full bath too. This could be used in a pinch as bedroom if someone is injured or we have overnight guests with mobility issues. Next to the fridge in between the living room snd kitchen area will be a hidden doorway the basement. This will be a play area and house all the homes mechanicals.. It will not be a walkout.

Onto the inlaw suite the MIL wants a induction cooktop snd double oven. It's non negotiable as she is the one who organizes bake sales, takes meals to ithe I'll or grieving families in her church. She also will host atleast 6 people for dinner every other month. Thus why the rather large entry. It actually has coat closets that flank a banquette which can be used to sit while putting on shoes or whatever. But across from the entry there will be a drop leaf gate table on casters. When both leaves are dropped it is only 15" wide. When it is extended the table can seat 6. So 1-2 people at banquette and pull chairs off island and voila she has a proper dining room. However day to day it works great as entry and dog play area (open space for a dog to catch a ball).

I guess I'm expecting the yard /courtyard of the houses to be about an acre. That acre would be divided down into MIL own private courtyard. A shared dog area with astro turf and built in doggie composter. AstroTurf that drains away urine. So no unpleasant smells wafting eith the wind. Very safe for the pups. MIL can have a host of container plants to keep her busy on her patio. Then we would have a portion what is left as our own outdoor space and pool. At other houses we've had a pool + house on much smaller plot of land than my imagined 1 acre courtyard. This could be bigger if needed. But I want it to feel like a sheltered unexpected oasis. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll talk it over with everyone.

Oh and the kitchen is drawn funky in the apt. We were thinking of something similar to the attached picture to ease the transition from entry/dining/dog area to kitchen. Still unsure if it could work.


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

It helps to attach a photo :)


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

Sorry, .as am no expert, I'm still not clear. Couldn't visualize how stairs go to the upper floor and where they end there.


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

Sena, no problem. This is taken from the chasen home in Raleigh, NC. It has a very similar floor plan. The home was designed by insitu architects.

I want a different facade but similar floor plan.

Here is a link that might be useful: In situ architect similar house

This post was edited by NashvilleBuild42 on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 8:53


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

So where they have a loft I would have a small bedroom. I'd also add a few feet to the width so I can create a slight entry and offset the stairs a few feet to the side of the entry door.

I love the narrow house because it's so efficient to cook and heat. We may actually earn money from the electric company with solar energy. Lots of cross ventilation lowering the need to use the ac. The basement would provide mechanical room playroom and storage space.

Anyway, I think I'm leaning towards building a similar house like this but detaching the garage an mother in law apartment and anchoring the courtyard with the 4 structures and some kind of more modern privacy fence.

I was hoping people may have more to say so I had more positive and negatives and issues of concern to discuss with architect. But it appears I'll have to wait until I have architect plans and get those torn to shreds :)

This post was edited by NashvilleBuild42 on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 7:51


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

I wanted to post the other day, but I'm not very good at critiquing other peoples spaces. Having said that I would make sure the MIL LR has easy access into the bathroom. There are two corners to go around and could get annoying or harder as they age. Maybe that's not a big concern since its right off of the bedroom, but it seems like the MIL space should flow better.

I love shotgun homes, and we actually have saved some of the same homes. We will build on the family farm in the next couple of years, and I have thought about building this style. My DH nixed it though because we live in NE Iowa so the breezeway wouldn't have the same feel as in the South.

You said you would do a detached garage, but I was wondering what you would put in its place or where the garage would be in relation to the house? I like that both 'residences' would have direct access to garage and acts as a good divider for more privacy. I was wondering if you would only need a two car garage though and maybe that would be a reason for a detached.


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

Iowa- thank you. Can you tell I am indecisive? I keep vacillating between the all connected residence and a courtyard surrounded by separate houses. I think that will be the issue I let the architect decide. Either way if done well would make me happy. My only concern eith the garage connecting to the screened porch and the mil apt was that it my dwarf the actual houses? They aren't big to behin with and the garage would be close in footprint size? I wondered about the side view coming up the driveway. 10 minutes later, all I think about is how convenient the direct access from both residences would be.

Good point about needing to pay attention to corners with aging family members.

Thank you, you've given me a lot to think about!

Yes breezeways in NE Iowa don't have quite the appeal. I'm glad to see someone else appreciates the shotgun style of home. I think it's an oft forgotten house style.


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

We will hire an architect to design our small home too in a couple of years, and I haven't settled on the style of home. So I guess if I were you I would hold off on the garage placement/design until you meet with the architect.

I was thinking though if it could blend into the rest of the house well (maybe with some creative windows or architectural feature) you wouldn't notice the size as you drive up to the house or in the courtyard. I would also think about what kind of plantings you could use to help break up the size.

Something like this garage is pretty and would seem less daunting I think.

Edited to add: Since you are worried about the house looking a little lanky as you drive up to it (I think of this long shotgun style house as a big ole rancher that seems to go on forever) I think you could use plantings for this too to help break up the length. I've hung out a little in a couple of the landscape forums, and they are pretty amazing. I bet a couple of strategically placed trees and interesting architectural fence or other object would go a long way to adding interest and make it more pleasant.

This post was edited by IowaCommute on Fri, Feb 21, 14 at 18:44


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

I just had a chance to look through the pictures. Great choice! I think it will be a very beautiful and efficient house.


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RE: New ideas, would like your input on multigen home

Iowa- plantings. I hadn't even considered how the right landscaping can minimize the length. I think I'd ,uch rather have everything attached. So, I think I'll take the plan to a landscape architect once our architect has a design. I love that garage! Great choice.

Sena- thanks. I think it will be too if we can nail the execution of linking a mil apt to the main space.

I did notice the lack of mudroom. I think that is something I may want to have an architect include. Not that it has to be huge, just some small area for us to drop coats and gear by the garage.

How small can I go on that feature and still have function?


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