Castlehaus Floor Plan

October 23, 2014

Lavendar_lass had wanted to know more about our dream home, so I thought I'd indulge her a bit more. I'll note right off the bat that the house is very NON-traditional in terms of what is 'modern', cool, or necessarily deemed useful at the moment.

Our 'Parti'. (We actually have a 40 pg program document that hubby and I drafted up before we began the design process, but this is the short version ;) )
- Green building design, where possible in our cold northern climate.
- accessible design, not just for master, but for guest rooms as well. A place for guests to visit with 85+. Stacked closets for a future elevator.
- Accessible design
- ICF walls, with faux stone vinyl siding. Possibly Stucco and wood trim a la Tudor-style.
- little/no hard surfaces (we hate tile and marble! and prefer vinyl and corian)
- a modern-day adaptation of historic houses and castles, drawing inspiration from French Chateaus, English Castles, Edwardian and Victorian, etc
- house is designed for us to relax, and host multiple parties/events
- Closed-concept; plenty of room to hang our artwork, , and place our tufted-back furniture.
- a staircase to the basement immediately off the foyer, that steps down to the entertainment area.- A main floor that is very formal, without 'modern technology' such as TVs - a place to unwind and really connect with friends without technology getting in the way.
- an upstairs bathroom that is 'big enough to get sick in, comfortably'. With closets and bathroom OUTSIDE of the bedroom, so one person getting up early for work doesn't disturb the other.
- . LOTS OF STORAGE.- a house oriented to take advantage of sunlight, and the big garden i want to grow in the back.

In the end, the house is just over 2600sq ft of heated space. (not including the basement, which is the norm here). A little more than we wanted, but should still be within our budget.

The front of the house faces NE, with the long running 'long' in the E-W direction. This allows the garage to be less prominent, and make the front entrance visible from the corner of our corner lot. The north side has a mini-forest of trees to provide shelter from harsh north winds.

Note that all dims are internal dims. (ICF walls are too thick to use external walls as a dimension)

Oh, and due to a question i posed in the kitchen forum, I'm considering bumping out the kitchen 2' and adding a gable to the kitchen...but still deciding on that one.

So if you keep the above in mind, comments are welcome. ;)

This post was edited by Naween on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 15:30

Comments (101)

  • lavender_lass

    I know the above drawing is a "rough idea" for the exterior, not the finished product. Here are a couple of pictures I found online...
    {{gwi:1502028}}From Stairs, landing, entry, etc.
    {{gwi:1502029}}From Stairs, landing, entry, etc.

    And I love the detail on this one...and the stone! :) {{gwi:1502030}}From Stairs, landing, entry, etc.

  • mrspete

    I agree that the interior and exterior must be designed together. They're going to co-exist as one unit eventually, and you don't want to sacrifice one for the other.

    I also agree with PixieLou: Though I didn't apply the word "Colonial", that is appropriate, though I think that's as far as could be from what's in your mind. Being a country girl, I DID think of silos.

    I like the three pictures that L-Lass shared. Study their proportions -- that's where yours is falling short -- not in the concept, but in the proportion, the degree, the execution -- and that does matter to both the interior and the exterior:

    Note that in the first picture, the tower is positioned at the front of the house, where it is in balance with the rest of the build and is a focal point . . . whereas, your proposed tower is going to be overshadowed by the massive three-car garage, tucked into a deep corner. If you push the garage "back" into the fold of the entire house, you'll have this "balanced" look. Also, your three-car garage is dwarfing the tower, making what could be a focal point into an "also ran". One idea that hasn't come up yet: Consider pulling the garage back AND ALSO reduce its size . . . and later add a second detached garage, if you decide it's a need. This helps with your budget, and since you're so handy, it might be a project you could manage on your own.

    Another lesson in this picture is that the tower is proportional to the house: It is shorter /fatter than your tower, so it looks like a part of the house, not an add-on or a tall /thin Pringles can.

    I like the roof in the first picture best -- it doesn't mass over the tower. And I'm sure this is stick-built, not trusses.

    Since budget is always an issue, I'm pretty sure that the second picture -- which you taught me is a turret instead of a tower -- would be considerably cheaper than the full-fledged tower. Why? Because it doesn't require a separate (and specially shaped) foundation piece. Yet it gives the same "concept" on a lesser scale.

    I think the big lesson here in this second picture is the roofline: It's more steep and not so simple as your proposed picture. Note the gables and the stone accents. These are what make the design work.

    Between the two pictures, note the difference between the round tower and the octagonal turret. I personally like the octagonal option, but that's pure opinion. Do note that you'd be able to hang pictures, etc. INSIDE the octagonal wall . . . whereas a round tower would give you curved walls, and no hanging space for typical flat items.

    I think you're thinking a roof is just something stuck on top of the house, almost detached from the other choices -- kind of like a hat. However, the roof brings a great deal of personality to the house, and your current roof says simple, plain . . . which doesn't mesh with the tower: Are you looking at trusses? Will any part of the second floor be "tucked under" the roof rather than it standing up top?

    I don't think we can learn quite as much from the last picture, but aren't the stones and the colors lovely together? That's what I personally can't do: Color.

    However, one lesson here is that repetition is good: Curved windows, curved shutters, curved door, curved stairs, curved chair backs.

    I really think that if you get the roof and the garage "right", the exterior will come together. Given that your two floors are approximately 1300 sf each (is that right?) I wonder if more of a story-and-a-half design would work better -- would keep the build from being overly tall for its bulk?

    Where are YOUR favorite house-with-tower pictures? What can we learn from them? The devil is in the details.

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  • lookintomyeyes83

    Lavendar_lass, that first pic is very similar to some of my inspiration photos. The scale of my house is different, admittedly, as the 1.5 story style doesn't work well with icf, or with our room locations/requirements as resulted from the parti. To get a 1/5 story Id have to move either hubbys office from the 2nd floor, or one of the guest bedrooms, neither of which excites me just to have extra dormers to deal with, poorer insulation in the walls, and more noise transfer to bedrooms if someone staying over wants to go to bed while the party continues downstairs.

    The triple car garage is a norm in our area, and will be largely necessary for us as we need 2 cars for our out-of-city living, plus the lawn tractor, snowblower, and our shop space. We are hoping to use geothermal heat for the shop, so need it to be attached.

    I am playing with a diff version of the plan that may allow the garage to be to the side...but I really dislike that it would force us to change our driveway location to a less desireable one. Ill perhaps post both options including the full site plan after this weekend, as Im still looking at the second option.

    All my pics are at home, Ill try to post some tonight, and/or later in the weekend. :)
    I'll comment again though that the '30 sec sketch' I shared was just that, and from an old plan, to boot. I do plan on adding the 'little details', I just feel its a waste of time until the floor plan is settled.

    MrsPete - we cannot do a turret with ICF, as the floor wouldn't support the concrete. I've also always been more partial to towers than turrets.

    I've been in love with a round tower since forever, and my ICF manufacturer stocks blocks for this. They currently don't stock blocks for octagons, so it would require more labor time for install than a curved tower. (Tho drywall may be more expensive.)

  • lookintomyeyes83

    An example of a nice 2-story home with a castle feel

  • lookintomyeyes83

    Another French chateau

  • lookintomyeyes83

    and a storybook style

  • lookintomyeyes83

    and one more stone & storybook

  • lookintomyeyes83

    I'll also add that I tend to prefer simpler roof lines, esp when looking at Chateau styles. Multiple-hips and multiple gables look (to me) like a million little jogs were added just for fun and added cost.
    Eg, in the last photo I posted, I'd simplify the right garage into a single hip, and nix its baby gable and 2nd hip.

    and one more from Houzz, because I love the stone on it.



    [Traditional Exterior[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/traditional-exterior-home-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_736~s_2107) by Montreal Photographers David Giral Photography

    and another



    [Traditional Exterior[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/traditional-exterior-home-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_736~s_2107) by Arroyo Grande Architects & Building Designers RESIDENTIAL DESIGN STUDIO



    [Mediterranean Exterior[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/mediterranean-exterior-home-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_736~s_2109) by Colleyville Home Builders Larry Stewart Custom Homes



    [Traditional Exterior[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/traditional-exterior-home-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_736~s_2107) by Charlotte General Contractors Grainda Builders, Inc.

    This post was edited by Naween on Fri, Oct 31, 14 at 12:41

  • lavender_lass

    Some of these castles, especially the one all lit up....makes me think I'm going to see Cinderella leaving the ball (LOL) They're beautiful!

    I love that storybook house! So wonderful...but I agree about the roof lines. On the storybook home, I could do without one set of gables on the front. It looks a little too busy. One gable...and then the little gable over the window would be more than enough for me. The middle gable looks 'busy' and takes away from the overall charm.

    I'm not really a tower/turret person, but that close up of the storybook home is amazing. I think you should definitely have those garage doors and carriage lights! :)

  • LogBuildDreams

    I think one thing to note, is that these concept pictures are of sprawling estates; the houses are all cover more horizontal than vertical distance, where the majority of the vertical distance is covered by the rooflines. Your images (even the photograph from earlier) show a house that is almost as tall as it is wide, compared to the concept pictures which are 2 to 3 times as wide as they are tall. It just changes the visual.

    To offer more horizontal weight to your design to help the balance, have you given thought to making the garage angled to the house in order to elongate the visual, and perhaps utilize the 1.5 storey by capturing living space under a larger (balanced) garage attic? Adding something like a dormer in this space or a juliette balcony would give the garage visual appeal, instead of making it a work-horse tacked on. This would allow you the room for the study and such that you wanted, plus isolate those rooms in terms of sound from the other areas of the house.

    Stick-framing the 1/2 storey certainly wouldn't lead to horrible insulation values, if you considered some of the more common rigid foam exteriors and sprayfoam. It would have many of the same vapour barrier and insulation properties as your ICF, especially if you utilize a 2x6 or 2x8 wall. It may not offer you the "bomb shelter" characteristics of all ICF, however most bombs come from above and your roof is still wooden. This would give you 2 layers of ICF, and a 1/2 layer of stick, which your roof will be anyway, so incorporating rooms within the roof isn't actually removing the ICF construction that you're fond of. With your carpentry skills, you could probably even take over construction sooner because you can frame the 1/2 storey, where with ICF I'm assuming you don't have the experience with pours.

    Keep in mind also, that the little "extras" to the design that you wish to add (corbels, ledger stone, curved flagstones, vents, copper accents, etc.) often could cost just as much as design elements as a small bump-out or false roofline (stick framing a peak in a roof, a false dormer, etc.). Even those fake stone corners are 2 to 3 times the cost of the siding panels. Food for thought when deciding on your finishings.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    - I understand that Im trying to shrink a plan that is quite sprawling, a challenge, definitely. I could happily chop off the 'side additions' from the base shape of the house and be happy with them tho.

    - we do love the look of dormers above the carriage-garage style doors. Adding nice windows the front of the garage will also help with its style.

    We also love the 'permanent' nature of concrete, and the energy efficiency. Yes, you can come close today with stick+insul walls, but in 20 years they are going to start to mold, sag etc in our extreme-to-to-extreme-hot&humid climate. Not to mention the carpenter ants that are just lurking in the (slowly dying) treeline.

    As for details - I've previously noted that where possible we fully intend on using 'simulated' finishes. Eg, colored tin roof instead of copper, faux stone siding instead of actual masory (including those fancy corners), polyrsesin finials etc. Got a little spreadsheet of the suppliers lined up to go! If budget ends up being limited, the 'back of house' may end up being plainer, with possibly upgrading it in the future once the house is paid off.

    Careful planting of landscaping and trees etc can aid in 'lengthening the house somewhat, depending on how things are placed. Eg, taller trees such as cedars flanking the house, added shrubs hiding a walkway leading to the front of the house, to visually 'shorten' it, etc

    I do feel an angled garage would show too much to the roof tho, so id rather move it to the side of the house than change from 90deg to say, 45deg.

    This post was edited by Naween on Fri, Oct 31, 14 at 15:43

  • lavender_lass

    I know you said you want to keep the kitchen at the front of the house...would something like this work? Just an idea :)
    {{gwi:1502035}}From Kitchen plans

  • bpath Oh Sophie

    To bump out the kitchen, you need to know how you are using that first garage bay. You show it very separate from the two-car garage, with a second door to the side yard (love that!). If you drive a truck that will sleep in the first bay, it'll be hard to back it out without knocking the corner off the kitchen. But if it's for the little four-wheeler for touring the grounds, the kitchen and cook are safe. What's the story?

  • lookintomyeyes83

    The first bay was supposed to have two uses, which likely make the bumpout a pain (sorry!):
    1) current use - heated workshop, with wheelchair ramp for moving furniture/groceries, and parking for lawntractor and snowblower.
    2) future use - option for accessible vehicle (which requires a taller/larger garage door)

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler

    You need to view the home in perspective rather than elevation. You will never actually see the home in elevation, which is the viewpoint that minimizes the mass of the garage and how it affects the overall look of the home. In perspectives, the boxiness of the main body and tacked on look of the giant garage won't be able to be overlooked as the major feature of the exterior. You have more than enough physical space on the property to avoid that, or for a separate linked structure even, so why you would design it as the dominant feature of tbe facade is baffling.

    The kitchen being all the way across the home from the garage can be remedied by returning it to it's traditional location adjacent to the garage. Being different than a traditional floor plan just for difference sake isn't helping the overall flow and work paths of the home.

    I suspect that you already know that a double staggared 2x4 wall construction will be much more energy efficient at much less cost than an ICF build, with fewer technical problems during the build that will end up also saving you money. ICF is great for below ground portions, but much clunkier and less versatile for above ground construction, and not a good value for the cost invested in it. Yes, it's ''different'', but again, being different just for being different comes at a cost to value returned. Your bank may need better justification for it's use than that in order to grant you the loan.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    Hollysprings - I have an edited plan i may share shortly, that reduces that hallway a fair bit. I understand your warning to consider perspective, not just elevation. I have been, and will continue to do so.

    As for the kitchen - do architects not argue that the house shouldn't be 'exactly the same as everyone else's, without care for house orientation, use, etc?'
    While I appreciate that you have considerable design experience, network diagrams of how we use our home, and the preferred orientation of the house on the lot does favor the kitchen in its current location, and provides the best views, sunlight, use etc.
    Moving the garage to the side of the house also adds length to my driveway, which must be cleared by me before i go to work in the winter. As my commute will be an hour long in winter, I'd rather not have to plow an extra 20-30ft. Walking the extra distance to the kitchen once every 2 weeks when i do a grocery run would be far better.

    We experience extreme cold in our climate, so a detached garage is frowned upon. It's tolerable, but never ideal.

    Also all-ICF construction is gaining quite a bit of popularity around here, both for condos, and for residential homes. People view it as an investment, a lifetime home.

    I've always said 'Historically-INSPIRED, not historically accurate', so I'm ok breaking a few rules. In the end, a house that looks like a castle will always be a tough sell.

    The bank has approved us for quite a bit more than the estimated cost to build, so if we build with someone who offers a whole home warranty, they have no concerns. Another bank we are talking to even waives that requirement.

  • mrspete

    Okay, studying your pictures, here's what I've learned:

    Lavendar Lass' two tower-house pictures look like upper-middle class houses -- large, expensive, very nice -- but still within the realm of normal sized houses. On the other hand, your pictures are probably 8-10K in size. These are estates for multi-millionaires, not houses for middle-class working people. That makes me concerned that they aren't going to "downsize" into a 1300sf footprint without losing the things that appeal to you.

    I note that not all these pictures have towers /turrets, though that's apparently an A#1 requirement. Even in an already "grand" house, I don't think integrating a tower into a plan doesn't appears to be particularly easy -- though I think Lavendar Lass' two pictures do it perfectly.

    I note lots of curves in your pictures: Curved windows, round-top doors, curved stairs. Curves are expensive, but they're something you can work into your design -- and they mirror the round tower idea.

    I see that all of the roofs in your inspiration pictures are considerably more complicated than your elevation -- and none of them look even remotely like a Colonial. Note the window-roof relationship in your second picture: The roofline comes down a bit farther . . . and the windows kind of "reach up" into the roofline -- this adds interest to the roofline, and bringing the roofline down a bit reduces the roof's bulk a bit -- I think this type of thing could be brilliant in your smaller project.

    And I see that in the pictures with towers, the towers are always roughly the same height as the roof; whereas, in your elevation, the tower is taller than the roof -- and appears to have a 3rd floor window. So definitely the tower needs to be shorter /in better proportion with the rest of the house.

    LogBuildDreams pointed it out well: With the exception of the one actual photograph, all your inspiration pictures are wide, sprawling houses . . . whereas your plan is more tall and thin. They're not even close to what you're planning -- it's not a matter of inspired vs. accurate. No one builds an historically accurate house today; we all like larger rooms, electricity, storage -- things that weren't "a thing" in the past.

    Having said that, I think the smartest thing you've said yet is the idea of moving the garage to the end of the house. That'll give you more "wide", and at the same time will remove the problem of the garage out front.

    Landscaping can enhance the design, but it cannot make a 1300 footprint look even remotely like these pictures' younger brother.

    You've mentioned heating the garage. This may be even more reason to consider doing a standard garage attached to the house . . . and then add a second detached garage later, allowing the second one to be the heated workshop garage. I'm saying "detached", but it's quite possible to do a small connection between the two garages, giving you the best of both worlds.

    Since you're considering that one of the garage bays may one day be used for a handicapped vehicle, I'd consider going with a double-door garage (instead of two singles) for one portion of the garage. My grandmother had that type of door, and it was so much easier to drive into the center of the two-car space and help her out of the car -- we had the luxury of opening the car door wide, and I could stand to the side and hold her walker for her.

    After reading your comment about potential accessible vehicles, I noticed that you're planning to use two matching garage doors . . . and one taller door. I wouldn't do this. Make them all extra-large, if you really think it's necessary.

    I do agree that the garage-kitchen connection is poor . . . but this wouldn't be a make-or-break for me, IF the layout were exactly what I wanted. However, I do think you're minimizing the effort of carrying in two weeks' worth of groceries at once: Through two garages, through the laundry, down the hall . . . it's a haul.

    Have you ever considered moving the house's main entry and the living room to the far left? That would give them the ideal views /sun, and it would bump the functional rooms a little closer to the garage. Entrance-on-the-corner is a little Crafsman-y, but it isn't unheard of in other genres.

    One more garage thought: You seem to have some double-think going on with the garage. On the one hand you say that you must have a 3-car garage because it's the norm for your neighborhood . . . and on the other hand, you say this is your forever house.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    MrsPete, I'll try to find a few of my smaller inspiration houses. Unfortunately I posted those few from work, and couldn't find my other ones. The hard part is the exact house I'd love to own simply doesn't exist - so finding inspiration photos is difficult.

    - Ill play with the height of the tower some more. Hubby and I had discussed making it somewhat shorter.
    - I do love the look of dormer windows, and would like to put some in the roof, if possible.
    - Yup, we love the curved windows and doors. :)
    - Hubby is adamant on all garage being attached. Its one of his few make-or-breaks. I'lm playing with the location a bit to see if i can minimize it somewhat. If not, I may just change the location of the doors, and add some dormers to the roof, to make itlook like an addition...we'll see.
    - Thanks for the comments on the double-door....though hubby today was commenting on how he hates those. But I'll mention the usefulness to him, as hes a practical guy.

    - As for groceries, we currently haul 20 bags of groceries every 2 weeks from under a carport, 40 ft around our apartment, up an elevator and another 20 ft to our door. As we plan on putting a ramp in the garage, hubby just wants to have a rolling trolley to bring stuff up, a few bags at a time. Even when I lived in the 'far remote north' id carry 6 bags on each arm for several blocks. When I'm older, either hubby's trolley, or the grocery delivery boys can bring them in for me.

    - To clarify the triple garage - we need it because that 3rd stall will hold both the lawn tractor, and the snowblower. So not a 3rd car per se, but almost the space of one. ;)

    and now I'll upload a few inspiration homes that are on the smaller side. Note that I dont like the front-facing garage when it appears.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    (this one is on the larger size, but i like the styling)

  • lookintomyeyes83

    Cute house, small sq ft

  • lookintomyeyes83

    similar floor plan, also cute. Could happily love it without the garage, which Im not a fan of.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    another one.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    again cute tower, hate the front facing garage.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    not sure exactly what i like about this one, but its cute.
    Actually, yes i do. I like the windows. And look, its a garage that somewhat juts out, and is just attached to the house. I kinda like it. Tho it would suck for my driveway and force me to cut down trees :(

  • lookintomyeyes83

    too many hip roofs, but like the entry&balcony, and have no issues with the side garage.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    And one last one, that I really loved, tho again, preferring a 2 story over a 1.5 story.

  • dekeoboe

    I decided to join in on the photo game. Some have the front facing garage, which I know you don't like, but they have some other interesting details.

    dessinsdrummond.com has a number of plans that have towers. Here are a couple:

    This one from rillarchitects.com is interesting because it has the three car garage up front.

    And the photo showing the garage details.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    Thanks dekeoboe!
    I will comment tho that i find the tower on the first pic looks far too squat for my tastes (makes me think of a witches hut, rather than a tower). In general, i find a prefer if the overall tower height (including its roof) is 2.5-3x its width.

    Ill check out that house plan of that last pic you posted, thanks!

  • mrspete

    Trying to picture the rolling trolly full of groceries -- I'm picturing my grandmother's bright yellow yard cart . . . which isn't a bad idea, except that it would need to turn corners, and that wouldn't be easy. It might end with scuffs on the hallway walls.

    You can have groceries delivered?

    Two new thoughts on pictures:

    Look at the Sunday at 19:18 picture -- nice Tudor-inspired two-story house. Look at the brick walls on both ends. This type of wall WOULD make your house appear wider without large cost, and it includes a curve.

    And look at the last house (one that has tower + 3 car garage). Notice that the tower is recessed so far into the house that it's essentially invisible. I don't see any point in putting in this massively expensive item, which you want badly . . . unless it can be a focal point. It's a nice house (I like the overhang on the garage), but the tower makes me say, "Why bother?" It's a good lesson though.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    Yes, the wing-walls are quite attractive. Since building with ICF, these would likely be very easy to form up and install.

    And yes, we can have groceries delivered in our area - you just give the grocery store a list, pay them, and they pack it up and bring it to your home. Many seniors use it, especially if housebound.

  • lyfia

    Can you sketch out how the house will sit on your lot and also show how the road looks around it. The reason is everybody is so focused on the straight on view of the house. In my neighborhood of acreage lots you rarely seea house straight on. Most of the houses I see when driving is from the side as there is so much space between the houses. It is different than when in a more urban area. It is very likely the tower in its current location will be a focal point as will the garage doors. All depends on how the house is situated with respect to the road and open areas.

    Now I do think you need to improve the elevation with a much steeper roof. That is the common element among all your inspiration pictures except maybe one. It is costlier, but I think you will appreciate it in the end.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    Hi Lyfia,

    I've been working on getting the site plan (and how I hope to develop it) drafted up. I hope to post it shortly. :)
    Unfortunately we live surrounded by empty flat land, so in the immediate future there are little trees (except on one side of the property). However, trees grow reasonably fast, and I hope to plant as many as possible to grow my own forest. It might just look silly until the trees grow up a bit.

    I do hope to do a 10:12 or steeper roof (that original ref pic was 8:12, as I'd stated previously).

    I also stumbled across a good reference house that is shorter (being a 1.5 story) that also has the QUAD car garage attached.

    Euroworld's 'Hortensia' design was our original fave, but this one is also quite nice.


  • lookintomyeyes83

    Ok, so updated plan!

    The garage is still somewhat 'in the front', but I'm not certain that I hate it as-is. Hubby was OK with it from the perspective rendering.

    Kitchen and dining room were expanded, to be 'proper sized'. Wall of cabs on both left and right sides, with pantry in upper-left corner of the house plan.

    Roof is 10:12, which is typically for French country.

    This post was edited by Naween on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 15:43

  • lookintomyeyes83

    1st floor

    This post was edited by Naween on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 15:44

  • lookintomyeyes83

    2nd floor

    This post was edited by Naween on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 15:48

  • lookintomyeyes83


    This post was edited by Naween on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 15:47

  • lookintomyeyes83

    looking from the 'main road'.
    We already have cedars framing most of the property, and the huge stand of poplars that you can see in the right/back of the image. From aerial imagery, the poplars take up half our lot. :P

    Looking at this pic, I think ill move the driveway south (to the left) and have it curve more so that you approach the house better. We do plan to line the driveway with lilacs as shown.

    Sadly I forgot the lot plan at home, so Ill post it when im home.

    This post was edited by Naween on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 15:49

  • lookintomyeyes83

    Standing at the corner of the lot, looking to the SW.

    This post was edited by Naween on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 15:46

  • GreenDesigns

    Seems like the garage should be on the other side of the house so that the house would actually be the focal point of the arrival to the home rather than the GARAGE. With no windows in the kitchen and dining area, it would be a natural to locate it there.

  • zkgardner

    No windows at all in master bath or bed??? Don't you ever want fresh air?

  • lookintomyeyes83

    GreenDesigns, as I've posted previously, moving the garage to the other side of the house would place it along the south side of the property, casting shade over the parts of the house we most want to have sun. In its current location, it only casts shade on the ugly poplar trees I haven't the heart to cut down.

    As well, rotating the current houseplan so the tower faces the main road would force the garage to block the front entrance when people approach the house.

    See below for a really rough sketch of the yard, and the house orientation (note: house likely isn't fully to scale, tho the treeline is.).

    This post was edited by Naween on Tue, Nov 4, 14 at 11:44

  • lookintomyeyes83

    Hrm, maybe I could leave the house orientation, but flip it like so (north being up)...I will try this render tonight and see if I like it more :) It'll really depend on how much shadow lands on my front kitchen window tho.

    This post was edited by Naween on Mon, Nov 10, 14 at 15:45

  • live_wire_oak

    Bedrooms are required to have windows both as a function of the required natural ventilation and light that is required in all residential construction, and as an emergency egress in case of a fire. That goes for any bedrooms, including those located in upper floors or below grade.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    Yes, they are just missing from the plan...must have exported weirdly, sorry!

  • scrapbookheaven

    On the second floor, I would prefer the secondary bath door to be closer to the bedrooms.

  • mrspete

    I wouldn't build the wing walls out of ICF. It's a premium-cost item, and wing walls are just for decoration. You can built as much (or as little) of your house from ICF as you wish. You could build just the first floor, leaving the second floor to be stick-built . . . or you can do the house but not the garage . . . or whatever combination suits you (and suits your budget). Don't feel that it's all or nothing.

    The exterior looks better, especially in terms of the stone usage. I still don't like the garage in front, but the roof is showing improvement -- though I like simple rooflines, I still think this one "needs more". It's not a simple plan, so a simple roof doesn't fit.

    Inside, the dining room looks much better!

    Your office is only 7' wide -- with shelves on both sides, that only leaves you 5' of space. Are you sure that's enough?

    In the main floor bath, I'd consider moving the toilet - sink -shower into a straight line (which would bump the window to the wall straight ahead of the door, giving you a nice sight line). Keeping all your plumbing in ONE wall will be cheaper. Also, I'd consider putting them against the inside wall. Since you live in a cold area, this means your pipes will be less likely to freeze -- and if you ever have to access them, tearing up an interior wall is cheaper.

    The simplified upstairs shows tremendous improvement -- and it'll be cheaper to build.

    I agree that I'd move the secondary upstairs bath door towards the hallway so that it'll be closer to the bedrooms. Also, a door right at the top of the stairs is a little uncomfortable.

    I don't think you have enough space for your toilet in the master. And you'll want to flip the tub so the bench is at the foot of the tub, not above the faucet (same thing in the secondary bath).

    I wonder if the master bath would work better if it were in the office space . . . and the office space were in the master bath area.

    Yeah, I assumed you'd add windows in the bedroom -- that is a detail.

  • lookintomyeyes83


    - Yes, we could build the wing walls out of wood. We'd like the 1st garage bay to be ICF IFF we go with geothermal heating, otherwise we'll likely stick-build and insulate. We do prefer the 2nd floor to be ICF tho.

    Id love dormers on that garage roof, though that will be a 'if the budget allows' item.

    The library is just that, primarily a library. I do hope to have a built-in desk at the end of it, and as my current desk is only 4ft wide, I think this will be sufficient, as it will be used for checking emails, gaming, and writing. While I would have loved the original window seat i had in, I tend to read on my stomach and will likely end up on my couch in my lovely parlor anyways, so i nixed it in the end. (And others were correct in saying it would be hard to inspect, maintain the crenellated balcony near it).

    Im not sure i understand your master-bath idea fully, can you provide a sketch? Then i can see if i can arrange it to still have wheelchair access. Yes, the toilet may be close to knee-bashing...our current apartment bathroom is very similar, and with an elongated bowl its knee-bashing....but I HATE elongated bowl toilets that we wont be using one. I'll flip the bench, thanks for the catch.
    As well, I had originally tried swapping the bathroom for where the office is, but it didnt work as welL (and removed the ability to have potential attic storage space used for storing files and things, and/or a second access point to the balcony).

    I've tweaked the guest bath since posting, with changes similar to your suggestions; ill revise my orig post.

  • LogBuildDreams

    Elongated bowl toilets aren't for you, they're for your DH. Ask my DW why she changed her mind about them after she made me put regular toilets in our last place. Then when our boy was born, she quickly realized elongated has a special place in a man's heart ;)

    Double check where you're running your plumbing vent stacks. I think you might have a couple placement issues there too. Mrs. Pete has it right about keeping fixtures together and putting some thought into where all this plumbing is going now, rather than when the plumber starts making your build bulk heads and false walls, or you start groaning about how there's an ugly pipe coming up the front of your pretty 10:12 roofline.

  • lookintomyeyes83

    LogBuildDreams - I'll def look into the stack locations.

    As for the elongated bowl - hubby currently also hates our current toilet with a passion, so it doesn't seem an issue for us. No children means the adults can simply learn to aim! ;)

  • live_wire_oak

    Elongated bowls aren't about aim. They're about dangly bits and the cold cold porcelain. And the intimate relationship with that cold cold porcelain that happens with a round bowl but doesn't with the elongated.

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