Design & Floor Plan – Part One

When you’re the architect, engineer (shy of all the help we got from Sam Caston) and interior designer of your house, a million questions, decisions, and choices will suddenly overwhelm the hell out of you when attempting to conjure an efficient home design and floor plan.

I had learned from other owner-builders that coming up with the floor plan and design would be one of the most difficult elements on the project.

That has proven true up to now, for sure. Dave and I usually get along like two peas in a pod, however, designing the house created some, uh, tension between us at times. Well, really, it made Dave want to bludgeon me with the laptop. He was the one painstakingly creating the house in SketchUp and I was the one critiquing it to hell.

In the end, I think we had over a dozen floor plans and designs drawn, trashed, and finally came up with one that we could both live with. From what I understand, this is normal. In fact, if you didn’t come up with that many designs, you may have sold yourself short.

To start, we scoured the Internet for ideas.

Did we want a two story? Basement? What kind of square footage were we thinking? Passive Solar? What kind of energy-efficiency design did we want to have and could we incorporate that into any style?

We finally narrowed down that we wanted a single level ranch-style house. We opted out of a two-story, despite the added square footage at a cheaper cost. Why? We have every intention of growing old in this house. Multi levels + old people don’t mix. Also, I’ve spent time on crutches while living in a two story and found hobbling up and down stairs on them, well, sucked.

Our intention was to build the house to our needs and desires, yet also make it versatile enough to have the option of selling down the road should the need ever arise.

Given the fact that (spoiler alert!) we have decided not to have kids, aka we will not be manufacturing our own minions, we figured we’d enjoy the space in our house more with two bedrooms instead of the traditional three. We live in a predominantly retired community, so we figure this won’t be a problem in our local housing market.

Once we finally had the big decisions nailed down, we were able to move to the more fun facets of the design, like the kitchen and master bathroom.

We put considerable thought and research into this floor plan. It’s amazing how much information is out there, regarding ideal dimensions, heights, lengths, etc. In theory, every square foot of a house could be meticulously and painstakingly planned. We didn’t take it to that extreme….but close!

The next few blog posts will go into detail on some of these particulars – things like, how to design an ideal kitchen space or how amazing our master bathroom will be (we have two shower heads and a built in shelf for shower beers). In the meantime, here’s our floor plan! Check back soon to delve into the nitty-gritty with us. It should be a good time.

floor plan