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A small plan to review

Posted by flgargoyle (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 24, 09 at 17:17

I've posted a number of plans over the last couple years, and thought I had finalized my plan, but times being what they are, I am exploring ever smaller and simpler layouts to cut costs. I need to build this house without a mortgage for our plans to work out. This plan is a 1-1/2 story, so there will be potential living space upstairs. I wanted to fit all of our requirements on one floor, however, since we are not getting any younger, and I have learned that one can become temporarily or permanently handicapped at any age. If we can afford to finish the upstairs, we might put the master suite up there, and use the main floor BR as a den. This house will also be on a full basement, so the potential is there to take this 880 sq ft house to over 2400 sq ft. Other pertinent information is that we have views in all directions, but the best one is out the back, off the kitchen and master BR. The property slopes, so the basement will be a walk-out, in the same direction as the view. Thus the back porch and deck will be about 10' off of the ground. I figure the small home experts here will be able to see what I'm not seeing in this design. There are a few things I'm not sure about, but I'll hold off until I get some feedback. Thanks!
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A small plan to review

This looks like the perfect space to do this wonderful kitchen we all have been swooning over. See link. Scroll down a little over half way and there is a kitchen across one long wall. Open to the living room. I would love that kitchen. Might give you more options for your living room arrangement.

My only thought on what you have now would be to place the fridge next to the sink at the end of that counter. Would be great to open it up and place food on counter to work on at sink then over to stove and then around to counter to serve. I have had many a kitchen with fridge across the room and it is always back and fourth.Dripping all the way in the center. LOL I am a messy cook.

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen area.


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RE: A small plan to review

That seems like a large foyer. How big is it - 8x10? Since you have great views from all sides, it would be nice if you could have more than one window facing the front in the living room.
Is there enough room to put a dining table without blocking access to the basement stairs and the MBR door?
Do have access to the back porch from the MBR?
It's a really nice plan and I'm sure you can tweak it to suit your needs.


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RE: A small plan to review

The foyer is 8X8 (outside dimensions). I need the size so I can access the stairs and the entrance to the living room. It also gives me enough room for the closet and powder room. The foyer bump-out will look as if part of the porch was enclosed, sharing the same roof line. I probably won't put the basement under that area; just a crawl space. That will keep the basement simpler/cheaper.

Since the house will be in the middle of the woods, there are views in all directions, but the front view is probably the worst. It's a flag lot, so you can't see the street, nor can the house be seen from the street. I may connect a garage to the foyer, maybe through a breezeway, which would further block any view out the front LR window. Due to the lay of the land, that's the only place a garage could go.

I'll probably have access to the back porch from the MBR, although I doubt we would use it much, knowing our habits. A glass door could take the place of a window, and would let lots of light and air in.

Chris- Good point about the fridge- that's why I like to have input from others! There could be an eat-in bar on the LR side of the kitchen, which would open things up a lot. Our company (which we rarely have) is the type that would sit and chat with us while we cook, so a more open plan would be better.

As for the dining area- I'll have to draw it in 3D and play with furniture to see if it's workable or not. Our old dining table is quite small (it's more of a kitchen table) but we have a number of leaves to expand it for a crowd. In it's 'normal' mode, with the two chairs we use, it would fit fine. With a crowd, we probably wouldn't need to access the basement or the MBR until after folks left.

Once I get done playing on paper, I construct a model out of foamboard at 24:1 scale to get a feel for the actual 3D house. I bought 24:1 dollhouse furniture to complete the effect. A couple hours with a hot glue gun and a razor knife goes a long way towards visualizing a home, at least for me.

It occurs to me (a bit late) that it would be better to have the LR take advantage of the view (mountains) than the MBR. I may re-arrange the same footprint, swapping the LR and MBR to see what that looks like. To be continued......


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RE: A small plan to review

What Chris said....I love the way they added the kitchen in that photo.

All personal, but I agree with the refrigerator being moved over by the sink. Although, moving the fridge would be the first thing seen when walking into house. My problem with my current kitchen is needing more room between the sink and stove. Seems everyone wants to be there even though there is room on other counters.

A couple thoughts without knowing the land would be to flip the plan, leaving the stairs where they are. Then you could add a garage at bath wall and walk in at the foyer. Plus have doors going out to the front porch from the living room. And those stairs can give you storage underneath or is this a double stair set, one going to the basement?

Am probably little help, love that you are doing this and what you have come up with. Plans are difficult as it is. Tis' wonderful to walk through the dreams with others in our little houses.


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RE: A small plan to review

As shown, the end of the house with the kitchen and LR is to the east. I'd rather have the MBR on the east side, too. The way our land is, where the front of the house is won't really be the front. The driveway comes in on the west side, which is the bottom of the plan shown, then curves 90 degrees and runs parallel to the house. So as you drive in, the bottom of the plan would be what you were facing after the curve. If I flipped it, you wouldn't see the front door unless you drove past it. BTW- the stairs go up and down. If I have to economize further, I'd go to a single story, and just have stairs going down to the basement.

Plans are difficult, especially small houses with stairs!


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RE: A small plan to review

I totally understand this plan deal. So hard to make such important decisions. The foam board is a great idea. When we built our small house years ago Joe and I sat down one evening and laid it out on paper and never varied from the original drawing. THEN after living in the house for a few years we really wished we had moved our master bedroom from one end of the room to the other. It would not have made a difference to our room but it sure would have made a difference to how we could have done our kitchen.

So you are very wise to ponder over all of this. Even then you will wish you had done something different. Having lived in so many houses and had to live with the way they were we came pretty close to getting the house we are in now to what we wanted. I would have liked to move the door in the laundry room out from the corner but after so many changes the manufactured home guy was getting upset with me. So I let it go.It would have been nice to be able to have room for my step stool or hamper behind the door. Oh well. It did not happen but I have it on all my other doors.

The little house we built was 24 by 36 pretty close to your size. We also had an attached garage that the people after us finished off to a family room. We had that in the plan if we needed it and even backed up the bath to that outside wall so it would be easy to add a second bath.

Enjoying your process.

Chris


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RE: A small plan to review oops

I made a mistake in my post. It should have said we wished we had moved our bedroom door from one end of the room to the other.

DOH on me. What I get trying to type before I am totally awake.

Chris


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RE: A small plan to review

I am so bad at visualizing. Are you saying that the road/driveway will run beside the master bedroom side of the hosue?

I like this plan, it looks really workable. I agree with everyone about moving the fridge though. The only other thing I would like, if it were my house, would be to have the closet door from the bathroom instead of the the bedroom. I don't know which slot the toilet is planned for, but if there is room, could you put a door at the end of the tub? Then you could put clothes up easily as you do laundry, and get dressed in the morning without making a trip through the bedroom and waking up the spouse.


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RE: A small plan to review

As drawn, the driveway would run from the bottom of the page to the top, on the right side. This is actually parallel to the road, but the road is 300' away, and on the other side of the hill.

I forgot to draw in the toilet, but it would go at the end of the tub (which will likely be a shower). We really don't like having to go through the bath to get to the closet. I know many houses are done that way, but we are very modest people, and if DW was in the bathroom, I would have to wait to access the closet. Just one of our hang-ups, I guess.

Chris- You know, in thinking back on all of the houses I've lived in, I was always quite happy with the room and layout that we had. I'm sure none of them were perfect, but we're just not that fussy. The only thing I notice about the house we live in now is just how little of it we actually use. Other than storing stuff, we actively use less than half of our 1600 sq ft. That's one of the reasons I keep trying to whittle down the size. And with the space in the basement, we'll have plenty of room for all of the stuff we shouldn't have in the first place!


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RE: A small plan to review

I agree for the most part we have been happy with the houses we have had. Mostly it was little things that we always said .What were they thinking?? Our last house was set up so the master bedroom was placed so it took a trip all the way up one side of the house and down the other to let the dogs out at night to potty in their back yard and stand there and wait for them and by that time I was too awake to go back to sleep. So this house has a door to the back yard in the master bathroom. Also nice for the day we might get a hot tub again and I DO get that out door shower in place.

The other thing mentioned was the door out at least 16 inches from the corner so a person can place something there on the wall and not bump into it with the door. Made it so much nicer.

For us we do use this whole house. Or I do. Hubby lives mostly in the living room and our bedroom and bath. I like to sew and do my mosaics so that uses the two other bedrooms. I also sometimes nap in my sewing room or go in there to read if the TV is on and annoying me. And of course we both use the kitchen living room dinning room so it is really nice they are all open to each other like your plan is.

I do not know how much more expensive pocket doors are. I would do one in your master closet if you could. Rather then having it open into the closet. It will be come a pain to open it inwards go in and have to close it to get what you want from behind it. For us I took the closet door off and hung lace curtains over the opening. I like the closet to breath. Keeps your clothes so much fresher. But then I am sort of weird. Hehehehe

Chris


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RE: A small plan to review

i guess u have an out house out back am i missing something where is the toilet?


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RE: A small plan to review

Well, it IS in rural SC! The toilet will go at the end of the tub as drawn.

I like the idea of pocket doors, but have had bad luck with them in the past. I'll have to research to see if there is decent hardware available.


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RE: A small plan to review

Flgargoyle- South Carolina is a beautiful area. I can see why you want a design that will take advantage of the views as much as possible. I'm wondering, is there a reason you have to work with this plan, or are there others you can consider? You said at the beginning that you're continually scaling down to make your dream house affordable. A small plan with access to a walk-out basement must have several options.

I only ask, because I just finished getting my mom into a new home, which was much smaller than her old one and we looked at SO MANY plans...but it was worth it. The hardest thing to find was the kitchen she wanted and the front door on one end of the house to work with her lot layout. It sounds like you know what you want in your home and are trying to make this plan fit those requirements. I've seen a lot of small home plans on the Internet. You may find one you like even better than this one, but if nothing else, they may give you some ideas on how to tweak your existing plan :)


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RE: A small plan to review

That gives me an idea Lavender lass.

Flgargoyle. Try going to manufactured home sales websites. They have lots of floor plans there you can look at for more ideas.

We chose the house plan we have to get the house to fit our lot.

Chris


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RE: A small plan to review

Because we have a lot of room, we can build anything we want (and can afford). I've looked at so many plans, if I had a dollar for each one, we could pay for the house in cash! There are actually some limiting factors due to the lay of the land. The best view is out the back, which eliminates a lot of plans, since they don't take advantage of that. I actually got a lot of ideas looking at waterfront plans, since they are more oriented towards a rear view. We want the kitchen looking at the view, the sink in particular. That's the only thing my wife has specifically requested! We're both foodies, so a decent kitchen is important. We're both rather private, so we want two baths, but they can be small. The one thing I've noticed about all of the houses I've lived in is that the master closet is never big enough, or some of it is hard to access, like the house we have now. I've really agonized over the stairs; they're surprisingly tough to fit in to small house plans. We may have a partial upstairs, but we want to be able to live on one floor, should the need arise.
If we have a connected garage, which I would like to, it has to be in the front- due to the slope, the only other option would be in the back, under the porch. I considered that idea, but then everything has to be hauled through the basement and up the stairs. I'm playing with a modified version of this plan, with the master BR and the living room switched. That's gets the MBR on the east, which I prefer, and allows people in the LR to see the view.

Here's one of my older plans- probably still my favorite. The cross gable design allows all of the major rooms to see the view, and allows for lots of cross-ventilation, which we love. But the house is about 1300 square feet, and the basement has an expensive 12 corners!

Photobucket


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RE: A small plan to review

flgargoyle, since I could not sleep last night I was thinking about floor plans. Here is my arrangement of rooms in a small house with a great view - which is 40' x 25'(800 sq feet.)
Photobucket
I'm not good at it so, I will explain. The top would be looking out on the 'best view'. That means bedroom, living room and kitchen sink are on same wall.
I forgot to draw a foyer :( But my nephew's house is laid out sort of like this. The dining room is directly inside the front door area, and the living room is in the back to take advantage of the view.
You could put the porch on the front, deck on the back and the garage beside the living room with a side entry. The washer and dryer is in the small 2nd bath.
Simple box without extra corners!
Oops! Forgot the door on the bedroom and bathroom.
Loretta


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RE: A small plan to review

Thanks, Loretta! That certainly looks like a workable plan- I'll play with it tonight. I might flip it to put the MBR on the east. I don't really care about a foyer. Everyone says you need to have one, but our old house didn't have one, and our current house has such a small foyer it's almost worse than not having one. We rarely entertain, and when we do, it's close friends or family, so I don't care about making a 'grand impression'. Hopefully, folks are there to see us, not the house. I would have to do something different for the stairs if I decide to go with upstairs access. I could add a foyer to the front porch, which would give me access to the stairs from either end. BTW- 25' X 40' is 1000 sq ft, not 800.


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RE: A small plan to review

What if you made your front porch half glassed in and half open? The glassed half could be in front of the dining room, entry and stairs (allowing you to access the stairs on both sides if necessary). It would also give you a nice area to welcome guests if it's raining or cold. It would be a great place for a couple of chairs and a table, maybe a bench and a few plants. What a great place to sit and have tea on a rainy day...just a thought :)


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--'BTW- 25' X 40' is 1000 sq ft, not 800'
Duh! lol, I originally had it 20'x40', but it seemed a little tight so I added the extra because of the stairs (and forgot to change demensions). I was still up at 4:00am and had to get up a 7:30 because I had a doctor's appt at 8:30! Talk about sleepy!


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RE: A small plan to review

Flgargoyle,

Aw, I really liked the plan you had put together before, but sure understand about the downsizing.

Here is a plan you might want to check out. I have been in the model and we had at one time considered building it. We would have just put one bedroom up instead of the two small, head room does slope down. It is a decent layout. FWIW, maybe it will give you some other ideas.

Jill

Here is a link that might be useful: Timberline plan


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RE: A small plan to review

I just want to say 'good luck' flgargoyle! There are so many good ideas here. :o) I don't know how I would ever build a house from the ground up. I think I would end up seriously unbalanced long before it reached completion.

~ Missy


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RE: A small plan to review

flgargoyle, I like your 2nd plan too, but agree your first would be cheaper to build, at least when it comes to the roof.

I've never seen closet doors open inward, is that the way you want them, or just how that program did them?


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RE: A small plan to review

Jill- That plan isn't necessarily 'dead' yet, but I have to consider alternates. One idea I've had is to have a single gable, and use a shed roof over the parlor and master BR wings. Not nearly as pretty on the outside, but a lot simpler to build. Since I'll be doing much of the work, the added labor isn't really a factor, but it's surprising how many more linear feet of wall there are in the cross gable design. I'm not sure on the foundation yet- I may go DIY ICF, or I may just have it poured. Of course, the more linear feet of wall, the more it costs, and I've also been told that the more corners, the more expensive. I would rather have a house with good 'bones', though, and cut back somewhere else. I'll live on a plywood sub-floor if that's what it takes!

As for the closet door opening inward- I didn't really think about it. I might go with a slider, or not have a door at all. The software I use has nothing to do with architecture- it's actually for computerized machining! It's rather awkward and tedious for drawing houses, but that's what I have. On the plus side, I can draw 3D renderings pretty easily, so I can 'see' what the house will look like. I have a couple cheap architecture programs, but I always find something I want to draw that they don't seem to be able to handle- or I'm just not skilled ehough (which is likely).

It's fun bouncing ideas off of other people- it really helps the process. Thanks for all of your input.I'll post a few more lay-outs as I get them done.


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RE: A small plan to review

FG,

You know I am biased because I love our cross gable house, but your points on cost and increased labor are valid ones. We realize we could have built a rectangular house easier and cheaper, but the character and how the design accentuates the views is worthwhile to us. DH did curse all the corners when it came to siding and soffits, though. He says he feels like he has been working on this house forever and that if we'd have built a simpler one it would have been finished sooner.

I'm not much help with input on your current plan only because I like the other so well. But you have been so meticulous in your planning that I know you will end up with something that is perfect for you and your family.

Jill


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