Author Topic: More 20X34 2 story questions  (Read 8074 times)

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Offline MushCreek

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More 20X34 2 story questions
« on: January 30, 2011, 09:00:13 AM »
After several years of designing all sorts of houses, I've decided your 20' wide houses make the most sense for us. Like everyone else, there are some changes I'd like to make, and want to see if they make sense before I order the plans. First of all- I want 9' minimum ceilings on the main floor. I assume that puts me into a platform framed 2 story? I want free-span ceilings, so I figure that means floor trusses or LVL's. If I'm platform framing, I also think I'd go with a flat ceiling upstairs, so I can use simple triangular trusses Lastly, I plan to put a 12' deep, one-story shed roofed addition on one side. 16' of it would be a den/bedroom, which we would use while I finish the upstairs, and as a Plan B should one of us be incapacitated, and not be able to climb stairs. This addition would have a 4/12 roof, and there would be a porch under the same roof, which would run the length of the house. Do you see any problems with these changes? Also- Are there alternate roof pitches, or is it locked into the 10/12 shown? I might want a flatter roof to make it safer to work on. Are the plans prescriptive to IRC 2009, or will further engineering be required? The house will be on a walk-out basement, and will be built in upstate SC, an area with light snow, wind, and seismic conditions. Thanks for your help!
Jay

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Offline John Raabe

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 09:24:08 AM »
The 2-story Universal Cottage is what you should start with. It has platform framed walls on both floors. When you go 9' on the main floor you will have to lengthen the stairway cut out to get a couple of extra risers in if you stick with the IRC level stair that is in the plans. The roof pitch can be adjusted and the easy way to do that is with the truss roof callout (also in the plans). You could have flat or attic trusses. These trusses will then be engineered to local loads and delivered to the 2nd floor walls by the truss company.

That plan has several different basement options and a basement plan which you will need to customize for your slope. Your shed addition will be simple but will need to have an extension for the foundation plan (probably not to the basement but that will depend on your slope). You want to set the slope of your addition roof so that your upper floor windows still work and provide egress.

You should work up the modifications you want on overlays prior to taking you drawings and my plans to a local home designer or engineer. We can help you do this here in the plan support forum. Whether or not permit drawings need an engineering stamp is dependent on the requirements of your justification. The plans meet general IRC specifications but not local modifications and additions or the whims of your inspector. There is a report in the booklet that comes with the plans called "Taking your plans to the building department". That will help you get a strategy together and determine how much outside help you will need. This varies regionally, and SC is not normally a tough state for fussiness, however, expect to spend a few hundred dollars in addition to the stock plan cost. A bit of pro help, especially on a sloping site, will be well worth the investment.

You have probably seen this version of the Universal: http://www.countryplans.com/sky-holt.html. It has a shed addition for a carport and a side porch.

Here is another version of the Universal with a shed roofed addition:


« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 09:55:00 AM by John Raabe »
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Offline MushCreek

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 11:37:06 AM »
John- Thanks for the quick response! Greenville County has no plans review! As long as it meets code, that's all they need. As long as it's all prescriptive, without any funky engineering, I think it will fly. With pre-built trusses, the main house should be fine. As for the stairs, I was going to do the lower half of the 'U' as shown, and just extend the upper half. It will stick down from the ceiling some, but be high enough to clear one's head. I'll probably go floor trusses to facilitate running utilities and ductwork. With the trusses will come the required engineering.

As for the addition- I had a different idea. I could put a basement under it, but that is more money. Instead, I was going to basically build a 12' deep porch down the long side of the house, and then enclose 16' of it. The porch floor will be lower than the main house, so I was going to build up the addition floor with flooring SIP's, which will also add about R-24 to that floor. The whole thing would be on posts to the ground like any other porch. They would rest on sona tubes to keep the wood out of the ground, and have diagonal bracing, again like any other porch. If I (or the inspector) feel it's necessary, I could also insulate the floor joists under the room. I'll have to run the costs to see how much more a full basement might run. It will be a 'tall' porch, though- about 10' out of the ground in the back.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline Bob S.

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 12:29:33 PM »
I sure would like to see plans, due you have them drawn up yet? Have you purchased your land yet?

Offline MushCreek

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 01:16:50 PM »
It's looking like my plans are going to be based on the 20X34 two story offered here, plus a shed roof addition. As my project gets off the ground (literally) I'll start a thread, which will include the changes I'm planning. I'll post a floor plan in this thread as soon as I get it drawn up.

We have 7 acres of woods in the upstate area of SC, close to the NC border and the mountains. Plans are to build a barn this spring, followed by the house.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 02:10:16 PM »
PEG pointed out to me several years ago that an issue with using a porch as a base for a section of the house is that there is potential for water from the porch to make its way under the house floor section and cause problems under there down the road. And don't count on caulk to keep water out forever.
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Offline MushCreek

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 03:19:48 PM »
That's why the enclosed area would have a higher floor. The porch would be, say, 6" lower than the house floor, as it should be. The enclosed portion would be built up with a 6" SIP, which would both insulate and bring the floor up to match the rest of the house. Any water on the porch would just run underneath to the ground. I would have to be careful the SIP couldn't get wet, though. Some flashing would do it.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 04:04:25 PM »
As long as water can not get under the SIP's. What holds the SIP's up? Maybe I'm don't follow the method you plan. Water can even move along the tops of joists... just want to be sure you look at that.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2011, 01:24:21 AM »
The SIP's would rest directly on the joists. The sheathing would extend down to cover everything, like any other elevated building. Actually, I could leave a gap between the sheathing and the porch decking to prevent wicking and trapped water. I guess I described it backwards- In reality, I'm building the addition on piers, and adding a porch.......

I arrived at the idea the other way around, since I planned a porch for that wall, and then thought- why not enclose part of it for a 1st floor bedroom? I guess I need to organize my thoughts better before spilling them out! d*
Jay

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Offline archimedes

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2011, 06:02:37 AM »
Mush,  when you say "Greenville has no plans review" what does that mean exactly?  Do they do a building inspection?
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Offline MushCreek

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2011, 08:31:20 AM »
Yes, they do full inspections, but they don't look at your drawings. I assume they just check to see that everything is to code. If it's something unusual, then they would want to see engineering drawings. To get a permit, you fill out a sheet which has things like square footage, number of rooms, number of bathrooms, number of plumbing fittings, number of electrical outlets, etc. You have to get a septic permit first (which I have) and locate the building approximately as shown on the very crude sketch they provide with the septic permit. Oddly enough, they do want to see a drawing upon completion to get a Certificate of Occupancy. I was told it can be a pencil sketch, so long as it shows the basic layout and dimensions. Most likely it is for determining taxable value.

Bear in mind that this is for unincorporated Greenville County, NOT the city of Greenville. I've heard that there are some rural SC counties that don't even have an inspector- you can basically do what you want. You might be in violation of state law, since the entire state is IRC 2009, but who would know?
Jay

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Offline MushCreek

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2011, 12:28:10 PM »
Here's a couple of quick sketches- a floor plan, and an iso view. Kinda crude- I'm not a Sketch-Up whiz like some here, but you get the idea. In reality, the garage will be a step or two lower than shown.



Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline Don_P

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2011, 02:07:50 PM »
Archimedes, when plan review is not done prior to issuing the building permit it is essentially done during on site inspections. Easier for the building dept but potentially more expensive for the person building.

Looks nice MushCreek, the porch is not a problem the way I see it, the joists are not projecting out from under the building leaving tough to detail entrances. If it were mine I'd continue the closet line in the bedroom with a door into the bedroom.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2011, 03:25:04 PM »
Not sure I follow? Have a doorway into the foyer from the bedroom? The first floor bedroom is designed to be a den, until such time as we are unable or unwilling to climb the stairs. I intentionally did not enclose the obvious closet, since a bedroom is defined as a room with a closet. No closet: no bedroom. I'll call it a 'den' on all the official paperwork. I'd leave that whole addition off for now, except for that by the time I NEED a first floor bedroom, I'll be too old to DIY. As is, that nook could become a closet very easily.

Do you think it would be better to have a basement under it, or just put it on piers? I still haven't run the numbers to see how much different it would actually be.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline Don_P

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2011, 06:58:24 PM »
Ahh, I see, den it is  :). I've seen inspectors argue over the closet triggering a room being a bedroom. an office can have a closet, your foyer has a closet, etc. The correct interpretation is that a room is what it is labelled on the plan and they are off the hook if you decide to use it for something else. Your approach works without trying to tell them how to read their book though ;D.

My feeling is to always put the house over a full perimeter foundation, basement or crawlspace, and the porch can be on piers.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2011, 03:01:35 AM »
I ordered the Universal 20' Two Story plans last night- the decision has been made! Look for a build thread starting in the next month or two. Now, I just need to decide what kind of basement to go with..... I'm thinking ICF, but I need to get other quotes. It might be overkill in a mild climate. Thanks for the help and support!
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Offline duncanshannon

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2011, 04:59:43 AM »
Hi MushCreek-

Did you start your build thread yet? I'm excited to follow it :D  I looked at your recent posts and didnt see anything yet...

Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
Build Thread: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10784.0

Offline MushCreek

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Re: More 20X34 2 story questions
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2011, 07:21:18 AM »
I'm getting closer- I'm just about ready to go to contract for my land clearing and site work. I'm going to start with the barn, and I'll do a separate thread on that first. I was going to start in March, but life keeps getting in the way, and it now makes more sense to start in mid-June or so. I'll need to make a short trip up there to lay out where the buildings are going to go, and then I'll leave my job in June, and become a full-time builder for a year or so. I can't wait!

That being said- I'm still torn on a house design. I have two favorites- a version of the 2 story, and my original one-story cross-gable design. Maybe after a month or so living on the property building my barn, I'll get my inspiration.
Jay

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

 

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