Return to the Smaller Homes Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Another two story plan

Posted by flgargoyle (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 18, 11 at 18:49

Yeah, I know, I should be building my house by now, instead of still trying ideas! I'm really torn between having a spread out 1 story, and a compact two story. I know the pros and cons of each, and yet I'm still torn. On our property, a second floor would have a wonderful view- I REALLY want the second story deck! The two story would be a bit cheaper to build with it's small footprint.

Anyhow- on to the house. The view is downhill, and on the left in these drawings. The last drawing shows the house as you would approach it coming in the driveway. It finally penetrated my limited wit that I could put the garage entrance BEHIND the house, rather than in front. It makes very little difference to the driver; they still have to back up and turn around, either arriving or leaving. It makes all the difference for curb appeal, though, with the cute little hip-roof porch instead of a yawning garage door.

The main floor is pretty self-explanatory. The den could serve as an alternate bedroom should one of us be incapacitated, and could no longer climb the stairs. It could also be a guest bedroom in a pinch. In one version, I had the den access from the kitchen, but then you have to walk through the laundry area to get to the den. The bump-out by the dining table is a window seat. The space across from the laundry is a pantry.

The upstairs as shown is one big master suite. The bedroom is very large (for a small house) and has a door out onto a second-story balcony. The bathroom and closet are intentionally isolated from the bedroom, as my wife loves to make noise and turn on all sorts of lights early in the morning. There is an upstairs laundry, which would get moved downstairs if we had to give up climbing stairs. I wouldn't have both, though. I'll run the hook-ups downstairs as well as up, but only buy one set of appliances.

North is on the left in the drawings, so the kitchen is on the east end, and the LR is on the west. The basement does not extend under the garage, den, and foyer; they are on a slab. Thoughts?

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay, First I will say how wonderful it is for you to explore all options. My DH handed me pad of paper and said draw up what I wanted and we will build it. I was up all night as we were on a time crunch. Finally had it pretty well down as morning arrives and he had changed his mind to buy a manufactured home. He felt so bad. But it was good for us to go the way we did. And it was a good exercise for me to make decisions on what I wanted and we ordered this house with lots of those options included.

NOW I really like your two story plan. I love the two decks. The master bedroom is fantastic. Love the dressing room and bath away a little from sleeping area. And washer and dryer there. The only problem there is you would have to think about laundry day and plan to get loads shifted and lots more up and down stairs. Is there a way to do a laundry shoot/lift from up there to main floor. There was a house we looked at that had huge pantry in basement with lift into kitchen. Was just the neatest thing and could be done with your laundry areas I think. Looks like one is almost on top of the other. The one we saw was on a motor with chair or??

Love the look of the approach. And if it is sixes on in and out driving then make it pretty.

PS. your hangers in foyer closet are crooked. Hehehehe


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay- I love it! I would only make two small changes...first, can you put a center window on the wall, between the living room and screened porch, since that's your view? Summerfield suggested I use french doors for my windows, in the sunroom, which might work for you, too.

Second, in the upstairs bedroom (which is beautiful) I think I would put the two chairs together with a table in between, for conversation...and put the door closer to the closet. That way, you're not walking between the two chairs, to access the deck and it would be much easier to set up furniture out on the deck...to enjoy your wonderful view :)

I like the garage in the back, too!


 o
RE: Another two story plan

I moved the window around, and added the garage roof to help visualize the layout. I also added 3 small windows along the right side- in the bedroom, the bathroom, and one over the stairwell. It's not a very big wall there, but I think the added light will be nice. I'm thinking stained glass over the stairwell. Being in the Deep South, I'm keeping the south-facing windows to a minimum.

I'm sure I can rig up a laundry lift of some sort. There will be very little laundry on the first floor- kitchen towels and a few bathroom towels. The upstairs bath will get used a lot more day-to-day.

Now if only I could make up my mind! Mom climbed very steep stairs until she was 84, and still climbs several steps in and out of here house. I guess a stair lift could be installed, if it ever comes to that. Quite honestly, I'm not sure living out in the boonies will be such a good idea once we are too feeble for stairs! I've also considered pushing the garage back 2 more feet to work in a closet for the den. That would make converting it to a bedroom much easier. Until there is a need for a first-floor bedroom, the den will be our TV room, and so there will be a door.

Photobucket


 o
Changes

Jay- I really like the changes you made, except the small windows, upstairs. I like the one in the stairwell, but not the bedroom...and not so sure about the bathroom.

Speaking of your master bath, now that you have a little more space up there, what about making the bath a little bigger and the dressing room a bit smaller? Maybe a larger (not huge) but larger walk-in shower and separate tub? A claw foot tub would be beautiful...and that second window would make a lot more sense. You could also have a bigger window over the tub, if the shower is separate.

You make a good point about not living in the 'boonies' if you're having a hard time getting upstairs, but I still think it makes sense to be able to turn the den into a bedroom, if you ever decide to do that. Instead of adding a closet now, I would add two or three feet (push the garage back) and make a bigger TV room with maybe a sleeper sofa/small sectional.

Also, if you put double doors on the den, it will be much easier to bring in furniture. My mom had to keep the standard door size in her second bedroom and has to use a futon and small loveseat, because nothing else will fit through the door.

Last thing, with the chairs moved and the door changed upstairs...looks great, BTW :) have you ever thought of adding a second door to the closet and making it a walk through closet?

I think this plan is even better than the old one, which I really liked. With the basement, it's going to be very comfortable, but not too big. I think it would be easier to sell, too, if you ever decide to do that...but who would want to, with that view? :)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Hum There is a point to making the den large now and closing in a closet later. I believe there is code for some sort of firewall between house and attached garage. Would be more costly to have to build that wall twice. Just a thought.

I like the added window in the bath. Nice to have a bright bath.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay, comment on the chair lift. It would work better with a straight set of stairs, not so much the way yours are drawn.

And I'd not put a window in the wall opposite your upper deck because that is the wall for the bed. You can put the TV on the wall by the chimney, or else have a lifter installed in a low chest/entertainment console at the foot of your bed, which could swivel around 180 degrees for watching either in bed OR from the lounging chairs.

I would think about moving the window in the dressing room to be at the end of the long view through the hallway, up next to the laundry area. Make sure the hall is wide enough to get a twin bed down the space though, so you might have a nurse stay overnight in the dressing area in an emergency.

I like the two story house a lot.

When I added a small deck off my family room in MoccasinLanding, I wanted a pair of French doors. I found that they make them pretty narrow, like both total width was FOUR FEET, plus molding/framing of course. Think about that for your master bedroom, to close off the hallway and the other functions down that way, from the sleeping area.
You could even get a set of bifold doors with French panes in them, and hang them with hinges on each side of the doorway to be a 36" set of French doors.

I forgot to ask, what kind of ceiling height do you have? Or will there be sloped ceilings to take advantage of room under the eaves?

Also, that dressing room is puzzling to me. I can see that it might be pressed into service as a library or study, or computer spot. You'd be close to the bedroom, to the laundry if doing some of that late at night, folding clothes and so on.

And a walkout basement? Wow. That is great. Also, I like the garage to the back. No need to advertise that you are home or not, keep it hard for someone to tell. I never like to let folks know I'm not in town. Keep em guessing.

Been wondering what you were up to.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Sorry I have to be the odd one out here. I say stick with the windows. This room is upstairs and needs all the ventilation it can get. I love having windows by our bed. We even had a room where the bed was under a large window. That was an older house and windows were allowed to be higher from the floor then.

We also had a house exactly as you jave it Jay with the bed and night stands between two narrow windows and it is perfect if one of you needs air in the night and not the other.

OK So sorry to disagree on the windows.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Shades- What's bugging me about those windows...the bathroom and bedroom windows are not the same distance from the outside wall. Maybe two or three windows in the bedroom? It just looks a little lonely and off center, by itself :)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Admittedly, the windows do not look great from the outside. The windows on the south wall will be rather small- almost like clerestory windows because of the shed roof attached to the wall. They won't be much to look out of, but will let in light and air. We generally have our windows open when the outside temp is between 50 and 80, so we like our fresh air.

Downstairs ceiling is 9'; upstairs is 8', with no cathedral or tray.

I'm still playing with the design- I'll have more to show tomorrow.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay,

I am liking your two story plan. I was wondering if there would be room to put a closet to the den in the under the stairs space? It would be deep and not so wide but usable space.

I also suggest the separate shower and tub upstairs. We have that and in terms of accessibility it is easier to step in and out of a shower vs the tub/shower combo. Otherwise, I wonder if you could get by with just a larger shower downstairs?

This plan has a nice flow to it and has the features you want. It's been fun to see your process over the last couple years. Up until you build it's never too late to make changes and since you are doing it yourself it's not costing you anything but time.

Happy Easter!

Jill


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Good to see you're still around, Jill!

The process continues- it's so much easier to move walls around on the computer. I've tried a few more things, but didn't have time to sketch them up. I really need to find out why SketchUp won't run on my home computer!

One thing I tried was removing the indent in the Master bath, and simply having the washer and dryer in the dressing room, which works fine, and allows enough room for both a tub and a shower. Another approach I'm tinkering with is having a straight stairway along the south wall instead of the U-shaped stairs shown. If we ever need it, a stair lift is much, much cheaper on a straight stairway as opposed to a U-shaped one. I also added a closet to the den, along the garage wall. A 4' wide recess at the center of the room will house an entertainment center, with a closet on either side of it. I can't have a closet under/over the stairs- they are stacked over the stairs down to the basement. Have I complained lately about how hard it is to fit stairs into a small house?!

One issue esthetically with this design is that from the south, the house doesn't look like much, with the long expanse of wall for the garage/den/foyer. I tried making the foyer smaller to step the building in and create another roofline. People visiting wouldn't likely see the house directly from the south, though, and it's not visible from the road. What people think of the outside of the house is way down on my list of priorities, though, with function being Number One.

To be continued.............


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Well- I sort of got SketchUp to work. I had to turn off the Hardware Accelerator, whatever that is! I need to ask DS how to fix that.

Anyhow, here's the version with some of the changes- first floor only, for now. The closet behind the refrigerator is a pantry. You can see where I stepped in the foyer to add interest. I could either put a coat closet there, or a bench and cubbies for shoes, with pegs for coats. Not much else changes, but it seems bigger, somehow. The bathroom could even be stretched a bit more. Notice I did pick up a counter and prep sink next to the fridge, though.

Photobucket


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Nice, Jay!

Seems larger and more open that way. You are doing good!

Jill (who lurks more often than posts)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

I like the prep sink! The living room looks bigger, too. I really like the way the foyer bumps out a bit...very nice :)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay, I cannot tell which way those stairs are going. Looks like maybe there is a door which opens in the laundry area, and so it goes DOWN to the basement? Or is this where the steps go UP to the master suite?

I was surprised at myself for saying NO to a window on that wall in the bedroom, because I put windows everywhere. Actually, the more you have on the south side of your house, the better in the summer, because the sun is very high then, and in the winter it is low on the horizon and thus lets in more winter light. You never get any direct sun from the north, so artists always like the "true" light which comes from the north. Right now, here in south Alabama, I get no direct sunlight on the floors from the south, just a lot of light, but I do get it from east and west depending on the time of day. And never never anything but true and constant light in my clerestory windows on the north side.

You can put two fairly high up windows in your bedroom and have the bedside tables in front of them. Even with sheer curtains the light would be fine, the lights at night would look nice shining through into the yard.

Shades knows more about building codes than anyone I know of, so I'd listen to her about the ventilation for the attached garage.

Consider this a question about embarrassing situations:
If the bathroom door opens into the living room and faces the front door, will that present a problem?
I liked the bathroom opening beside the door entering from the garage, in a way which makes it feel like a real mudroom bath, where you can come in from working on the car and not traipse around the house with grease on you, just dump your dirties right there and clean up. I would think about ONLY a shower in that bath. And you could put it so that you could use the saved space to create an ALCOVE to sink your fridge into, making it look like a counter depth fridge, same depth as your kitchen cabs and that prep sink.
It would not be a problem to put your pantry facing the living room.

Not sure if I am cogent tonight. Been working in the garden all day and boy was it HOT. Finished another flower bed along the Teahouse, will wait for Monday to put in my bed of strawberries....which come back perennially I'm told. And I found one of my iris blooming! What a treat for Easter.

Blessings to everyone.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay- I'm not sure why there's a laundry on the first floor and the second floor. If you have the stairs that allow a lift, can't you just have the upstairs laundry? If so, then what about making that laundry the pantry area...and then having the bathroom door, where your pantry is now. That would be like your first plan, above...then you could have the kitchen counter (with cool prep sink) actually wrap around into the living room, with a bar, etc. :)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Happy Easter! I gotta go play trumpet at church, so I'll keep it brief. I like the idea of moving the pantry to the washer/dryer area. I didn't like having the bathroom door facing the living room. I show laundry on both floors as sort of a Plan A/Plan B scenario.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Hey, Jay!
It just came to me, if you have the pantry in the downstairs spot presently showing Plan B laundry idea, HOW ABOUT LOOKING INTO HAVING A DUMBWAITER IN A PART OF IT? That would allow you to send things up and down without having to carry them. Stuff like a lunch tray or a stack of books, or a pot of flowers? And the same coming down, whatever that might be...suitcase? Christmas presents?


 o
RE: Another two story plan

ML- The idea of a dumb waiter is.........brilliant! Especially with me being a life-long tinkerer/inventor/madman. I think the bits and pieces of a garage door opener would be perfect; I could even incorporate the safety stuff. Here's another drawing, reflecting some of the changes we've discussed. I pushed the window seat/dining area 2' towards the kitchen to make the porch bigger. I'm not sure if I bunched things up too much, though. The closet at the end of the bathroom marked 'Mech' is for A/C equipment, etc. Alongside the counter by the fridge is a spot for our beloved old Hoosier cabinet.

I need to tinker with the upstairs now. I'd prefer the up stairs to be in the living room, although I do like the idea of sneaking down to the kitchen for my morning coffee without going through the living room. I'll have to see how it lays out.

Photobucket


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay- I really like it! The kitchen/dining space is so inviting...and that Hoosier cabinet is going to perfect there.

The bathroom door is much better and room for a linen closet...nice touch. The dumbwaiter is brilliant (good call ML) and the stairs will work either way.

Looking forward to seeing the upstairs! :)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay, I am pleased that you like the lift/dumbwaiter idea. What will go in the MECHANICAL area? Will anything need venting to the outside with a stack? Is that a heat/ac/HVAC/whatever? Where is your water heater?

The latest thinking is a gas tankless which can be natural gas or propane, but would need an outside vent setup, if I'm not mistaken. While you may be economizing for now, if it was me I'd locate the water heater (make it gas) so you could easily convert it to a whole house tankless later on w/o rerouting any water lines.

If there is no problem with the utilities being located in the basement, would that be a good spot for your MECH stuff?
In my DH's cape, he has a full basement....actually the only house I've lived in with a basement at all, so my experience is quite limited. But he has the heating unit in the basement with baseboard heater units in all the upper rooms, the water heater is electric but it has a way of using the recirculated heat from the heating system, and the electric only makes up the difference. Not sure how that works, but sounds good to me. His water is well water for now, will that be the way your water is too? And he has a sump pump which can run when the ground water level rises and tries to get in the basement. He also has it set up where it will gravity drain as well. Like yours, his home is on a hillside, but that does not preclude getting water in the basement.

He has a generator which will be able to run the fridge and the oil-fired heating system, and a few appliances so he can stay warm, have a cool beer, and watch TV. You know, the "necessities."

:)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

We will be on city water, and gas is not available. I could go propane, of course. Most of the mechanicals will go in the basement, but I've got to get the ductwork and return air to the basement somehow. It won't take up that entire space, but it reminds me to allow for it.

My intent is to build a solar hot water system, with electric back-up. It would take a long time for the hot water to get upstairs from the basement, though.

The way basements are built today, water in the basement is rare. A drain pipe is placed around the perimeter, and much of the back fill is gravel. Coupled with sealing the basement, and using dimple board to facilitate drainage, the water will go away. Gutters and proper grading are also code now. We'll be near the top of the hill, so there won't be a huge amount of water coming down the hill, like if we were mid-slope or lower. At any rate, it couldn't reach any depth, as it would simply run out the back.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay,

Just a couple of thoughts on the downstairs bath. I can see the entry in the back with easy access from the garage and away from the main living area. However, if eventually the den is a bedroom, then the bath access is not as handicap friendly having to navigate corners and being further away in those urgent situations.

So far as the stairs going up from the kitchen, I wonder if it could be a problem getting furniture up to the second level? Your basement is a walk-out I believe so you'd have access there. Wider staircase may help. Aesthetically an open stairway going up from the living room seems more appealing to me than a door to the basement but then in the kitchen you end up with 3 doors right together. No right/wrong answer, just more to think about.

Glad to hear you are thinking about wall space for your special antiques. We have lots of windows and an open floor plan which limits our wall space, so a smaller home can be a challenge fitting things in.

Jill


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay- Since the only space upstairs is your private space...and that dumbwaiter is so cool...I'd put the upstairs access through the kitchen. The basement stairs can be off the living room (maybe with a french door) that would look stylish and make it obvious that this area goes to (I'm guessing) a more public space/family room? Or is it your study area? Either way, more of a space I'd want to access from the living room and have my privacy upstairs, through the kitchen. And how cool to be able to send up breakfast! :)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

I looked up dumbwaiters today (you get a whole different bunch of links if you search 'dumb waiters' instead of all one word LOL!). Manually operated ones start at around $2000, and electric ones are double that (and up). Good thing I know how to build stuff. The commercially available ones are very small, and most can't take much weight. A large suitcase wouldn't fit in most of the ones I saw, and I can see that being an excellent use for one.

Good point about getting stuff up the stairs. Regardless of which way the stairs go, there's the dumbwaiter at one end of the staircase or the other. I may have to slide everything down towards the LR a bit. That hallway is 4' wide; 5' would make all of the difference in the world so far as moving furniture is concerned. A queen-size mattress is 5' wide, and that's the biggest thing likely to ever go up there.

One variant of this design looks like a salt box from the outside, with the second floor roof running all the way down to the garage in one slope. An 8/12 pitch works out perfectly in this regard. It would actually be a tiny bit cheaper and easier to build that way, although you would lose any second story windows on the south side. What it does do is opens up the area over the garage as potential storage or closet space, albeit with a sloping ceiling.

Need to get working on the second floor layout.....


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Here's one idea for the upstairs. Not crazy about the long plumbing run to the bathroom, but I do like having it close to the bedroom. The various bump-outs on the right- the laundry, linen closet, and bath tub, are based on the salt box roof line. Those bump-outs are actually over the garage/den/foyer wing. Each one of those little nooks would have a sloped ceiling.

I don't want my dumbwaiter in the bathroom. There's a fairly good-sized room left over, which we could use for sewing and crafts, but it could be enclosed for another bed room easily.

Photobucket


 o
RE: Another two story plan

How about a bigger bedroom on the end (like you had it before) with a walk through closet and the bathroom, where you have the dressing room. I still like the little hall, with laundry alcove and dumbwaiter, but I'd have a door to the bathroom, opposite the laundry area. The walk through closet area/dressing room could be between the two, and where you have the 'M' area, that could be one long wall of bookcases, opposite the stairwell. What do you think?


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay, if your saltbox design sloped roof faces the south side, and you are planning on SOLAR POWER, then by golly you will have the right slope to access the sun's energy! Talk about roof space, wow, a salt box would have it.

I think our new Teahouse roof is 8:12, and it is pretty steeply pitched IMHO. Of course, it looks E/W and not the N/S that I wanted for solar panels, but it is working out pretty good for us. Our HOUSE roof does have the southern exposed roof that could carry our solar panels, enough to run the water heater in this 30 degree North latitude where we live. And I'm hoping I left enough room in the WH closet for the preheated water tank so we bypass the electric water heater. That is the major killer, besides the range, for the power bill. Oh yeah, and the A/C heat pump.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Here's the upstairs re-arranged again. Good thing I've learned how to use Sketch-up; I'm not wasting paper anymore, although I am inconveniencing quite a few electrons!

The space labeled 'M' is for the upstairs A/C duct, which lines up with a similar space downstairs. I've put two windows in the bathroom, neither one of which is visible to someone outside unless they want to climb a tree to peek in. The unit opposite the bed would be built-in shelves and drawers, plus a spot for the TV. Everything upstairs would be able to be closed off, since there's a good chance we might want to invite friends up to sit on the deck. I could build an outside stairway, but it's some 20' off of the ground- that would be a lot of stairs. The washer and dryer could go under the saltbox roof if I can get away with it- not sure what it would take to meet code. Likewise, there could be closets anywhere along that south wall. Lots of storage in this little house!

The second view is of the front of the house, showing the saltbox roof version. I got lazy and didn't draw the porch and sun deck, but they're on the left, same as the other drawings. I'm not sure what siding to put on it. The gables of whatever house I build will be different than the main siding, which will be clapboards. I think either shingles, or rounded shingles. What I'm not sure of is how to treat the area above the garage/den/foyer. I could bring the foyer back out to the full width of the den, and have a bigger roof, thereby reducing that funny area. When I get the time, I'll do a full 3D version so we can look at it from different angles. Viewed directly from the south, it's one big roof! Thanks for playing along!

Photobucket

Photobucket


 o
RE: Another two story plan

I like this plan, but I would move the washer/dryer to the wall on the right and maybe put a window seat, where you have them now. If you don't need a window seat, then I'd put a second sink, so you don't have to share, or you could use it with the laundry area. Either would look nicer as you walk in, then the laundry, IMHO :)

I would also put the chairs back, the way they were before, in the bedroom. On the right side of the bed, I'd put in either some dressers or a small office area. Also, that built in with the TV (great idea) I would make that even with your 'M'.

For the foyer, adding the space back, so it's even with the den, will give you a nice closet or a place for a bench with hooks, which always looks nice.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Thanks again for your input, LL. You're right; I'd much rather have the laundry on the right, and I'll put it under the saltbox roof if I can. I just need to be sure to keep enough room open in front of the lift.

I've never had a bedroom this big, so I'm a little lost when it comes to arranging the furniture. I'm sure it will make more sense to me 'in the flesh', and of course my wife will be all too willing to help me figure it out.

Here's an isometric view of the house in 3D. It looks much better than I thought. Pay no attention to the colors and textures; I'm not all that good with Sketch-Up to make it look good. It definitely helped to widen out the foyer and it's roof. I'm still not sure on the funny triangle of wall where the main house and the garage/den/foyer comes together. Main house siding? Gable siding? Eliminate the trim piece that divides it? Maybe some kind of architectural gewgaw just to define it?

Photobucket


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay- This looks amazing! As much as I liked your earlier plan, I think this one is wonderful. What does your wife think? That beautiful screened porch and your upstairs deck are going to be spectacular! :)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay, with this drawing, are you just leaving off the screened porch down below and the sun deck up top, or are you scratching them? I assume that you still want the house to face the view as before, just this roofline is the object of interest at this time?

Just LOOK at all that roof space for solar panels! Putting a metal roof on this would not be as expensive as it would with a more intricate roofline of valleys and gables everywhere in the "cross" roofline. This is high, but very straightforward for installation. Now. How about a gutter and rainbarrel setup, something like a sistern maybe, so your kitchen garden could be watered from the rain runoff the roof. A humongous heavy gutter on that saltbox roof side would not break the bank and would be really helpful to your gardening.

How much of a problem are termites in your part of the country? They are awful down here. What I'm thinking about is a big ole farm watering tank setup. If your house is on the higher ground of the lot, then gravity feed to the lower gardening areas would be pretty neat.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay,

I like the simplified roof, looks good and is practical as well from a building standpoint. So far as the cladding material, I would suggest vertical siding on the triangle area and no dividing trim there with shingles/shakes on the true gables. To me the scallop shingles are more Victorian and don't fit your house as well.

Though I do like your built in area for the tv/books, I'm wondering about having the closet in the hallway with a door. Where do you see yourself getting dressed/ready for bed? Bath or bedroom? Also going through two doors to get to the bathroom is not appealing to me.

I am impressed with your creativity and ability to keep trying out new ways to improve the plan. You will end up with something that is 'just right' for your and your family. We can keep on suggesting this and that but in the end you know best what works with how you live, your land, climate, etc. Some of it you will probably tweak again once you can walk through the actual house during building and can change it on the fly.

Jill


 o
RE: Another two story plan

My wife has a hard time visualizing things on the screen and picturing them in 3D. After a life time of making 3D objects from 2D drawings, I'm pretty good at. Her needs are very modest- roomy kitchen with the sink facing the view, attached garage, and most important- something we can afford to build and live in.

The back porch and sun deck have been left off due to laziness on the part of the draftsman. They are important elements, and will be on the actual house!

Yes- That roof will collect a lot of sun and rain water! My plan is to have a pond on the property as a reservoir to hold irrigation water, and of course to enjoy looking at. We currently have a small 15' pond that is the focal point of our back yard. That's another thing my wife has requested- a garden pond. I figure dig it big enough to hold say 20,000 gallons, and feed it with the water coming off of either the house or barn roof- or both, if necessary. That way, I have a pond to enjoy, and a supply of irrigation water for the dry spells. Every inch of rain that falls on the barn, for example, is about 1400 gallons At an average of 4" a month, that's 5600 gallons in an average month! A 25' X 35' X 4' deep pond will hold well over 20,000 gallons.

99% of the time, the closet, utility room, and bathroom doors will be open. I only want to make them closeable should we need to tidy up for guests coming up to enjoy the deck.

Termites in SC are rated 'extremely heavy', the worst rating. Being colder and higher than much of the state, I'm sure the termites are much lighter than, say, Charleston. Here in FL, we don't say 'if', but 'when' when it comes to termites, and the house will be designed, built, and maintained with this same mindset.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay, so right about the WHEN not IF with termites. Last week we had a big swarm of them flying around our back yard, which creeped me out. I called for inspection, but they were busy with no appointments available for another two weeks. Must be the season.

I discovered that the tree roots from that sweet gum, the one which destroyed the foundation of our original garage, were full of them. And they'd only been cut off and out of the ground for about 2 or maybe 3 months at the most. I was hoping to keep them, for the history, but not at that cost. So now they are out at the street for trash pickup next Tuesday morning. Whether or not my digging of flower beds had anything to do with stirring them up to swarm is unbeknownst to me. They sure are ugly little beasties.

Glad to know that the draftsman has not eliminated the porch and sun deck. And having enough land to create a real garden pond is beyond my reality, so of course I was thinking watering tank. Wow, you might even stock it with fish? Home grown catfish. And a rowboat. That is better than going to the beach.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

You have to stock it with fish, or go in the mosquito farming business! Our pond here has a couple goldfish (BIG goldfish!) and a few hundred Gambusina, aka Mosquito Fish. Their primary food source is mosquito larvae. They look like a guppy, but plain gray without all the colors. Although we have a lot of land, most of it is too sloped for a big pond, so I'll make do with a smaller one- not big enough for a rowboat LOL! It will have a bridge, though- my wife loves the one I built over our pond here.

Photobucket


 o
RE: Another two story plan

Jay, I don't know about the durability/hardiness of water lilies, but planting themm in tubs and stashing them in the barn during the winter might be a solution to a harsher winter climate. If we have a lot of rain, your new pond might wind up a bigger success than you can imagine now.

Build yourself a small model rowboat, I think it will look fantastic in your pond, even if you have no hope of a usable rowboat. In Ireland, I remember an old boat carved from a log which had been cast upon the bank of a stream, and it had iris growing from its stern. Some things give such a nice "feeling" to a place, without overdoing it. And seeing it from the vantage point of your bridge, will be a focal point.

I notice the pathway lights are 12 volt, and that will be a nice feature to ring your pond pathway, also to plant things which have white flowers so that at twilight the pathway is marked without the need for lighting.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

There are two types of water lilies- hardy and tropical. The hardy ones will of course be fine, and the tropicals can be over-wintered as you describe. Since SC is not cold enough for the pond to ice up, the tropicals would probably just go dormant and re-emerge in the spring. The ones in the pic are darker blue than they appear, and are tropical. The two lights hanging off of the bridge are also functional. I confess we sit out in the evening and watch the fish hit the bugs that fall in. Talk about romance- redneck style!

A little boat would be cute. I used to build boats many years ago, and it would be easy to throw something together as an accent piece.

Back on topic- here's an updated isometric view. I added the porch on, and tried out some architectural detail in the odd corner I keep obsessing about. I read an article on how to make a sunburst in a gable, and I like the idea. I've also designed sunburst patterns into the porch railings, but I'm too lazy just now to try to draw them. Also- bear in mind that the back porch will actually be 10' off of the ground, and the sundeck about 20' up. The ground slopes away at the back; I just don't know how to add that to a 3D drawing.

Photobucket


 o
RE: Another two story plan

WOW LOVE the sunburst. Really nice touch.


 o
RE: Another two story plan

This is a wonderful plan and will look amazing on your lot! Do you have a barn plan? :)


 o
RE: Another two story plan

I've had a barn plan a lot longer than I've had a house plan- priorities! The barn is a classic gambrel roof, 28' X 48', with 2/3d's of it having a loft. The ceiling under the loft (my workshop) will be 12'8". The other third will have a really high cathedral ceiling (24'), and will be used as a great room for larger get-togethers. Eventually, I'll insulate and put tongue and groove paneling up. There will be a few large exposed beams. The barn will feature a full bathroom, so overnight guests can have a place of their own to stay. Meanwhile, we'll only run heat or A/C when actually in use, so it won't cost us much. Being classified as a barn, we won't pay taxes on 'living space'. Here's a SketchUp rendering:

Photobucket


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Smaller Homes Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here