The house plan, part one

pond from house06272013

As the build progresses, I thought I would just take some time to breakdown the house design. My husband is a residential architect, since 1982. In 1995 we designed our house for our active family. The kids are now on their own and married and we have a grandson.

For this house, we had a general idea of a preferred layout, and since we had the 26 acres bought we knew we could start the design. Suggestion: don’t design until you have your lot. It is too important in the design to know your lot layout and surrounding features you want to enhance or hide in your layout.

As it turned out we finally hit upon a good design on our third try. Yes, we totally designed 2 other houses first before we scrapped them to try again to get it right. Our criteria were: keep it livable for us, on one level (well, mostly), with porches for places to sit with room to spread out, and in a Craftsman style with hints of other favorite styles thrown in (dogtrot, cottage, lakehouse, vacation cabin). Additionally, we needed to have bedrooms for the family when they visit, but can be multi-functional (one bedroom is also my sewing room, with a hidden Murphy bed to use when needed).

The square footage had to stay under 3000 sf to be in our budget. The materials we knew we wanted (metal roof, well insulating windows and doors, new appliances) we agreed to economize on other areas to stay in budget. We wanted a stone exterior but way too much, so we settled on a good looking brick.

One large expense was the foundation. We had a soil test and knew it was a very active soil. It required quite a lot of piers to be poured, then the foundation pour was almost 4,000 sf because we stretched the house out long to take advantage of our site.

Next, I will break down the plan and how it fit our needs.

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