Kelly's Little House

Started by Kelly(Guest), May 11, 2006, 06:11:03 AM

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Hey everyone... I recently purchased a set of floor plans, I made a few changes and I can't wait to start building. I am closing on the property the 25th of this month and I am getting really nervous. I am building a two bed, one bath 26x30. It is going to be so cute. My family and friends are helping me build it but I am contracting out somethings too. I will be posting up dated pictures and questions when I come across a problem. In fact my first hurdle is getting the building permit which I can not do until the property is mine. I have attached my floor plan, I think it will be a cute little house. Let me know what you think about it and what things you might change. I have till the end of this month to make all the changes. Apparently I can not make changes once I get the permit, or I need building codes approval, something like that.



I like your floor plan layout. Very practical use of space.

I can't quite determine how the roofs work. Also we don't know the climate and compass layout of the house. (Morning light in the kitchen?)

One thing that would be a concern in my cloudy climate would be getting enough light into all the rooms. Those big porches have the downside in some climates of cutting off the connection to the outdoors and the light (This can be helped with skylights.)

One story with truss roof, right?

Actually, as I look at it a bit more I think you could improve the plan. I really don't like that one little window into the kichen/dining area. That's going to be a pretty grim place to wake up to.  :P

How about this? Take the utility area and turn it into a deep closet along the lower wall. Cover it with a bank of bifold doors and then open up the left and upper walls with tall windows for an eating nook and let it flood the kitchen with light?

To get back the lost storage complete the "U" in the kitchen layout and get extra storage on the lower wall.


I've certainly seen worse plans.  It avoids some of my no-nos (kitchen as corridor, only one exterior door, for instance).  There is awkward door interaction between the front door and the coat closet, but it might not bother you if only one person lived there--could be helped with a window in the front door, if you can do that without a curtain.  Or exchange the coat closet with the bedroom closet, if you can do without the fireplace.  And I might put either a bi-fold louvered door or even a curtain on the linen closet.  Both for the same reason and to get slightly more moving air into the linen closet.

(an internet acquaintance has fresh, clean, dry air fan-forced into all of his closets.  He swears it helps his allergies a lot.  I'm more than a little envious.  And I think I've figured out how to do it on the main closet inexpensively even if it does mean that the closet has to take up space on that valuable equator-facing side)

You will probably hear from others of us who are better than I am for figuring awkward traffic patterns, etc.

What size wall studs are they calling for--2x4, 2x6?  The latter gives you rather a lot more space for insulation--might be required by your building permit on exterior walls only.  BTW, some of the people here believe that even 2x6's should be placed 16" on center because most siding materials (including the thinner dry-wall) will wobble and wave if the distance between supports is 24".

And we have no idea what the actual house will look like.  Looks like stud construction.  But is it on a slab, crawl space or that weird northern outside cellar door affair?

Where--climate, urban/rural/isolated, what size, similar questions about your property are important to the house design process.   Might it be a good idea to scrap one of the porches to give you some solar heating in the winter, for instance, especially if you're on a slab?  Alternatively, put removable (I've seen some windows that hinge at the top so they raise to the ceiling that look pretty cool--except when I think about a severe thunderstorm or even a mild tornado) windows on a screen porch for the winter, blow warm air into the house--design needs more than just that, but that's where to start.  Are you going to have grid electricity, city water, sewer--those impact your design as well?

One of the old books about homesteading in the country recommended that people live on the land for a year before starting to build--so they'd know the quirks of their property--where the swamps were, for instance.  Not possible for a lot of people.  Christopher Alexander wants you to ask yourself where you could see the best view in the property or neighborhood from your spot for morning coffee.  Curb appeal? you'll only see it a couple of times a day for a few seconds.  How you see the world from the house and garden?--that can last for many hours a week.  

If you've got a week before you have to make the final decisions, you might, however, take a look at Alexander's process for designing a space for one--or two.  I used it for a still un-built studio, still think it will be wonderful--if somewhat eccentric.

Here's the link.


Oh wow, I guess I left so much information out.
The house is being built in the South where to much direct sunlight through the windows raises the electric bill.
The rear of the  house will face north and the front will face south. This allows for the morning sun to wake me in the mornings and the evening sun to shine into the living room for a later evening effect. The front porch eliminates the direct sunlight (this is an issue I have in my current house. The sun heats the living room to much and it isn't full summer here yet). I also like the effect of being able to open the windows during our cooler rainy days and have through ventilation without concern of rain getting in the windows. Roof truss, see the newest attached pictures.
Both the Kitchen door and living room door are glass, this helps with the kitchen getting in more light from the rear of the house.

I understand the concern with the front door and closet area, I purposely switched the two closets so that I had a corner space in the bedroom and a flat wall to place something on in the living room. That "fireplace" looking thing is actually a television. Sorry for the confusion. I hope this helps explain the closet layout a little better. My mother has the same closet layout design and it doesn't work all that bad. On the linen closet I have thought about a bi-fold door. Do you think the bi-fold door would really give a better open area effect?

The walls are 2x4 with R13 insulations, standard here with R30 in the ceilings.
All walls and roof truss are 16 o.c. and the roof truss will be pre engineered so on sight framing will not be needed
The house will be on a raised slab. That will be 12" above average ground. The two porches and utility room will be 3 1/2" lower. This will allow for a 2x4 to give support under the door jams.
The house is being built in South Carolina, coastal region but not coastal and in rural area. I have horses.
The house will be on 2.5 acres. The widows will be double hung double pane. 32x52 in size. I think this will be pretty.
Septic Tank, Well and normal power from the power company.

I hope this has answered many questions and Thanks So Much For The FeedBack


Take another look at the kitchen layout and the traffic flow from the front door.  If you left the kitchen exactly where it is but flipped the kitch cabinets you wouldn't need to bisect the living area to get into the kitchen.  To me, that is a good thing.  That does change the piping a bit so that is a trade off you may not be willing to make.


I think the fridge next to a wall like that is going to be a minor annoyance when it comes time to clean it, or a minor annoyance every day when you have to walk around the open door (reversed) to get to your grub.  Might just be something that annoys only me since I've seen a lot of plans with the fridge next to a wall.

Looks like a nice workable plan overall to me :)



Here in the central south, we would like sun inside in the winter-time.  And we compensate for this in the summer with awnings or, if we're clever, overhangs just large enough to shade us in the summer and let the sun help heat up the house, especially in the morning.

Works for me in a leaky trailer with an awning, although I'd rather not have it out during a thunderstorm.  It does heat up quite nicely on sunny winter mornings.

But on Guam or the lower elevations of Hawaii or South Florida they would like to have daylighting, wouldn't care a whole bunch about being able to heat up the place--and especially on Guam the sun does go NORTH of the island for a while.   Points between?  [highlight]It all depends. [/highlight]  (every once in a while that's our answer to everything.

The refrigerator door thing could be fixed (it won't open as far as you'd like, the shelves will still be in your way) if you just stopped the kitchen wall right there, made the beam across the opening on the load-bearing wall longer.  Might have to make it bigger, one way or another.

I'm leaning to blinds in front of the linen closet--you might still hit a bifold door if you were rushing into the bathroom.  (One of the situations where I'd prefer not to run into obstacles.  ;) )  It might make the linen closet a bit less apt to be musty smelling.


Amanda mentioned curtains for the linen closet - that would be my choice.  There's so much neat material available... or you could buy the curtains.  I've used pretty lace curtains for closets, etc at both places & really like them.  I have curtains instead of doors for my cupboards in the cabin, which I really like.  Every-so-often I find some new material I like (the last ones were made from material I bought at a yard sale-new ) - don't have to worry about which way the cupboard doors are gonna open.  

I thought you did a pretty good job with your floor plan.  And it's nice to be able to run it by others who might be able to spot some problem areas & give you alternative ideas.  


Thanks for the ideas on the linen closet door. Those sound really interesting and I will look into alternatives to replace the door.

I do have a question though and I do believe many creative people from this website have done work in this area.

I am building my house on a slab and plan to do something with concrete floors. Later I might add hardwood but for the time, just the concrete. I have heard of a marble-izing paint and I have see some creative things before.

Any suggestions?

Thanks a bunch everyone for your ideas...


I'm not a big fan of concrete floors, but just plain stained concrete looks pretty good.

(a just plain earthen floor--clay/sand/straw or wood chips--over well tamped gravel sand with a layer of polyethylene and maybe some vermiculite will be a lot softer, finish with a couple of coats of linseed oil so it will be mop-able and easy to keep clean--can stain with concrete stains, or some made for the purpose, put in designs.  Not sure how it is going to last, but I've embedded some of those rubber "looks just like cast iron" mats in the floor in wear areas--you do need to do something in high traffic areas.)