Summerfield? Can you help this Alaskan, plz?

October 23, 2011

I would love help/input from anyone. We are in the last stage of finalizing our plans & I'd like to post what I have already for your input.

Summerfield - I've greatly admired how much you have improved others' plans & wondered if mine had any jiggle room?

First - this isn't a typical house project - not big. We are building in a remote town in Alaska with a 150# snowload roof. The less angles the better.

The less square footage the better - our mill rate is insane at 20 mil.

We are empty nesters & it's just us 98% of the time. Believe me - what I put on here is a huge improvement on the space we have now. I still don't know how I raised 4 kids, a husband & 2 dogs! :)

Hubby works an odd schedule, thus the way our bedroom (main floor) is designed. I hate a closet in my bedroom simply because I can't access it when hubby is on his 2 weeks of nights. We don't have a lot of clothes - I'm not into shoes so we don't need a huge walk-in closet. We are close to retirement age so we need as small as we can get but big enough to be able to sell if need be. We would have no problems selling this house in this market - it's going to be a very energy efficient house and as many things as Alaskans desire in a remote place would want (given the square footage we have to work with).

We don't need a 'sitting area' in the bedroom. The bedroom is designed for just sleep. We keep it dark most of the time because of sleeping (our Alaskan summers have a lot of light!).

I love my laundry in the bathroom now & so we carried that into this plan. I have stacks of my clothes & bins filled with clothing items in my bathroom - thus, a closet near bathroom is desired.

One thing I don't like in the main bathroom is the view into the utility area from the toilet. The smaller item is the Monitor/or Toyo oil heater so it cannot be covered. All Monitor/Toyo stoves have to have outside access so it can only be on an outside wall.

Another reason we didn't do a master bath was the noise issue with hubby's work schedule, plus, it's the only bathroom on the first floor so it has to have public access. I'm fine with no 'master' bath...I've never had one & I don't really care.

The big improvement for me will be the kitchen. I cook big & right now, I have less than 3 ft of counter space to work off of. I use the kitchen table behind me as a landing area. I wanted a raised dishwasher & raised oven because I have back problems.

The only window in the kitchen is to the left of the sink so I'll be able to see who comes to the door. The main thing we like is the south facing wall in both stories which will have a wall of windows to our beautiful view. It will make the area seem so much bigger.

We have very relaxed entrances here in Alaska. We have to have a pretty big buffer zone to keep out the elements - thus the entry. There is no grand entrance per se unless you count the deck entry into the kitchen living area from the deck. Again, a much-needed Arctic entry to the deck.

We went round & round with our offices. We both need our own space but we wanted them close together. We thought of having his office upstairs but I knew I'd never see him. We can store major stuff elsewhere but have oft-used items in our respective spots. We live rather simply & don't like a lot of clutter. I love the 'control center' - it's close enough to the entry & kitchen so I 'know' I will use it but far enough away to be out of line of sight from anyone else.

We have a boatload of 5-gallon buckets of up to 20 different food items, grains, beans, legumes, etc. We will keep one representative bucket in the pantry itself & the rest in the shed DH has out in back. We also plan to utilize a 40-foot connex at some point - right now we will use it to store building materials. We are building out of pocket.

We will have a crawl space. DH is thinking of utilizing passive solar technology. We are building with economy in mind.

We plan to build in cabinetry, shelves & drawers along the east wall of the Living Room - that east window is a high transom and along the S/E corner beside the Toyo stove in the corner. I'm wondering if I have room for a window seat along any part of the south wall. I'd like to grow herbs there, as well.

So sorry for the crude drawings - I used Picnik to draw in the stove (lovely, huh?) ;) and a couple other things. The measurements are as accurate as could be.

We have the foundation in so the walls that cannot move are:

East/West wall between Living Room & Bedroom downstairs

North/South walls of carport on both sides

East/West wall between Exercise Room & Guest BR

North/South walls between the attic spaces & Exercise Room & Guest BR

The 2 freezers. Living 300 miles from Anchorage, we have a lot of food storage. One freezer is pretty much dedicated to Red Salmon & other meats & carry overs from the other freezer. I would dearly love to keep my other freezer in my kitchen as I use it a lot but I could not find a place for it. I do really like my new Samsung French Door fridge w/the bottom freezer. It's really easy to roll out & it has a lot of space. I may just put the things I access all the time in that - it has a really neat roll-out tray on top. I've been keeping a list on my freezer & writing down things I utilize a lot & it's really not that big. I think the FD freezer would work.

One thing I do wish I had in the 2 freezer area is a landing spot for putting things while putting in/taking out. I make a ton of freezer dinners/lunches for hubby & me & I'd need something to cart the food. I was thinking maybe a rolling cart?

I have comments & questions on the drawings themselves.

I really appreciate any & all help anyone can offer me. Gardenweb has been a GIANT help to me in all my planning. It's so amazing that there is so much talent on these boards & all those who offer their expertise here - thank you!!! There are more pictures below the houseplans...I don't know why there's so much dead space between them all.

Main floor

Top floor

North wall of kitchen. The angled corner is squared now. Ignore the staircase in the upper part.

West wall of kitchen.

I've posted this before but just so you can see it in case you didn't...this is our South view. There are mountains like this all the way to the East & West. We also have mountains on the North side of us. There's a big river to the South, as well.

Comments (38)

  • rhome410

    Would keeping a cart in the pantry work for your freezer use?

    Would you feel better if there was an angled wall (connecting tub corner to closet corner) with a door in between your master bath and the utility area? I sure would be, especially since it is used by guests.

    I can't find an explanation for the wood stove in the arctic entry on the South side. It seems too small for clearances and will it provide heat to anything other than that tiny space since it's all walled off?

    Upstairs... Can you fit the bathroom into any of the attic space so that guest bedroom has more room? ..Although I see that this way, your plumbing walls are all aligned.

    It's hard to tell about your South wall window seat with the plan so small and without the cabinetry you plan drawn well as furniture placement for those rooms. The only thing that makes it iffy for me is that whatever you build in there, if it goes back (west) far enough, eventually runs into the tighter aisles along the kitchen, so a transition from cabinetry to clear aisle may be tricky.

  • lavender_lass

    We have cold winters, but nothing like yours (we're in eastern Washington) and -27 degrees is about as cold as we get...and winter lasts four to five months. So, I don't know if this will work in your situation, or not.

    Could you have a banquette (maybe even bump out banquette) on the wall, right where it says dining area? This would give you more room for seating with a table pulled up to the banquette and a few chairs on the other side. It would also give you a great view, out the window.

    As for the herbs...what if hubby did have his office upstairs (maybe a small craft/office area for you, too...and you made his office a place for your herbs. A window on that south side would really open up that small space and it would also be wonderful for starting garden plants in the spring.

    It says on your plan that the upstairs could eaily be converted into a master suite. Is that for you or for resale? The exercise room is nice, but that would make a beautiful master suite and then hubby's office could be in the guest room upstairs...or the downstairs bedroom.

    While I don't know if any of these ideas will work for you...I do like that you know exactly what you need for storage and heating capabilities. That's something we've been trying to incoporate into our remodel, too. We're not as remote as you are on our farm, but still have quite the drive into town, after a big snow! Best of luck with your project :)

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  • melaska

    rhome...the cart, that's a great idea.

    Angled wall - never would have thought of that - good idea!
    I'm not sure of the clearances for the wood stove. I'll have to ask DH. Could that Arctic door be changed to the kitchen/dining area? That would enable us to keep the door open for heat. The wood stove is only for emergency heat.

    I'll ask hubby about the bathroom taking up some of the attic space. We talked about just leaving out the washer/dryer to get more room.

    I need to make the plans smaller. Plus, make my post way more easy to read. I was in a hurry & didn't edit myself. Wish I could change it!

    Thanks for you input, rhome...I really appreciate !

  • melaska

    lavender...thanks for posting :) We have family in Kennewick, WA - are you close?

    Never considered a would fit nicely with our small space.

    At present, our living, dining & kitchen is 24 x 13 and we'll have 32 x 16 in the new place so for us, it's an improvement.

    I do like your herb idea but we went round & round on our 'work' areas being in close proximity to each other & on the same floor. If his study were upstairs, we'd never see each other. We do plan to build a small greenhouse on the property at some point.

    The exercise room: It's for resale purposes. Very easily converted to a master suite with en suite bathroom since the plumbing wall is right there. We wanted all our living & bedroom downstairs - we're in our early 60's & I prefer a main-floor bedroom.

    The exercise room is vital to us since we need to keep up our fitness. It's so hard to get into town sometimes with the roads so icy & filled with snow (we live 15 miles out of town). If I'm healthy enough to exercise, I'm good enough to climb the stairs TO exercise :)

    Hubby works a very different 8-week cycle work schedule, 2 of those weeks is 2 weeks of nights, the next week is off, week of days, week off & so on. He works 12-hour day/nights so noise is an issue. Light is another issue. We need to be able to have total darkness. Our Alaskan summers are very light so us having that master bedroom upstairs would be wasted on us!

    I also don't like a closet in our bedroom for that very reason - I end up putting my clothes in the bathroom stacked up on top of the dryer or in bins on the shelf above. We really like having our washer/dryer in or very near the bathroom.

    Thank you for your input - I really appreciate it! :)

  • lavender_lass

    Kennewick is southwest of us, but not that far. Maybe 100 miles? We're only five miles from the Idaho border.

    I can understand wanting to have the main living areas downstairs. We have longer days in the summer, too...but nothing like yours. I love the 45-60 minutes of twilight, in June.

    Just an idea...but since you have long summer days and long winter the herbs really need a window? Could you put some glass shelves over your main kitchen sink, with a grow light above? It might be just the thing to have fresh chives in the winter :)

  • lavender_lass

    Melaska- Here's a link to Dilly's post on the kitchen forum...all about banquettes. She has lots of pictures and links to Houzz, too. Hope it gives you some good ideas :)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Dilly's post

  • summerfielddesigns

    melaska ...

    thank you for your kind words :-)

    i will try to see if i can help you ... the plan seems to be fairly well limited , since your foundation has been set , and it looks like the plumbing has , as well ...
    doesn't allow for much "jiggle" room ...

    if i am able to come up with something , i'll post it for you ...

  • melaska

    Thanks, Summerfield - I really appreciate it.

  • lavender_lass

    Melaska- What exactly is an arctic entry? How is it different than the carport entry...besides the stove?

  • melaska


    It's just a double entry & buffer between 2 zones. It's nice to have a place to peel off wet, muddy, snowy boots, coats, scarves, gloves & such. It helps keep the warm air from the house from rushing into the cold outside.

  • summerfielddesigns

    here is what i was able to do with the first floor ... please let me know if this is a possibilty , then i can do the upstairs ...

    utility and wardrobe can switch places , if needed ... also , i was unsure if the heater in the great room could be located as shown ? i can move it back to your original spot ... just trying to get as much window , as possible , to take advantage of the view :-)

  • melaska


    I just want to cry this is so beautiful!!! I cannot believe you did this with what I gave you. I hope you do this for a living 'cause you are amazing!

    I'll have to ask hubby about the heater in the living room - he's at work but I'll show him tonight. I'll get his input for the whole design as well.

    Question: You kept the raised dishwasher in, right? We had a corner sink in an earlier design but we decided to move it down so there would be continuous counter space up to the raised dishwasher/micro & wall oven.

    Thank you SO much, are a real blessing to Gardenweb! :)

  • lavender_lass

    Melaska- Your plan is beautiful! Summerfield is so amaing! I think your storage areas work so much better now. You even have space for a window in your control center...maybe a greenhouse window, for a few herbs? :)

    As for the raised dishwasher, would dishwasher drawers on either side of the sink (or even one on the island) work for you? They'd be easier to use, without bending over as much...and you'd have more continuous counterspace.

  • melaska

    Thanks, lavender...I know - Summerfield has an amazing talent. I keep looking at her plan over & over :) I've been reading your thread on Summerfield's design for you - you are going to have one amazing home!

    The greenhouse window for herbs would be great :)

    I've researched drawer dishwashers & wasn't comfortable with their reliability vs a standard DW. Living in a remote town in Alaska, you have to think about things like that. I can't call the repairman like I could if I lived in Anchorage. Believe me, their appeal sounds great.

    Another thing I'd worry about is I cook big & I think I'd overwhelm those drawers.

  • lavender_lass

    Melaska- Thanks, I'm really excited about my plan, too :)

    Dishwasher drawers are a bit new, but hopefully, if you had two, one would still be working, until the repairman came out. As for cooking big, I know what you mean...I always have dishes, but with your new prep sink, have you considered a larger main sink, with one bowl? I've always had two bowl, too, but on the Kitchen forum, a lot of people love their big sinks for washing out large pots and pans.

    If you really like the raised dishwasher, you could put it where the fridge is in Summerfield's plan, move the fridge down to the end and put the second freezer in the pantry. You'd lose a little pantry storage (maybe a freezer on each end?) but you'd gain some countertop space, around the cooktop and by the oven. I think that might be worth it, but I do a lot of baking!

    Oh, I forgot to say, on the other thread, my mother-in-law doesn't cook the way she once did, but she still manages to make tons of Christmas cookies and birthday cakes...all made from scratch :)

  • melaska


    I do plan on having a one-bowl sink in the main part. I'm wondering if one in the island would take up too much room? Plus, it's not a really big kitchen.

    I do like your idea about switching the raised dishwasher with the fridge. Then, move the cooktop down a bit.

    There is a 2nd freezer in the pantry's marked FRZ in the bottom part of the pantry. A really good place for it.

  • lavender_lass

    Melaska- I like the freezer in the pantry...would you have room for both of them in there? It looks like you could put one on each end and still have lots of storage.

    I think you could use that little sink, on the island, especially if your main sink is going to be the single bowl. It would be nice to get a glass of water or add some water to a pan, even if you have dishes soaking in the main sink. You don't have another sink in the pantry or mudroom, so I think you could use that second sink.

    We have one planned for the pantry area, so I didn't think I needed one on the island. I can still have one sink for watering plants, without taking up all the room, in our only sink. Plus, we have this cool, old sink that came with the farmhouse that I want to use in the pantry. It has the two drainboards, but it's not very deep...perfect for a second sink.

    Your kitchen is going to look so nice and you'll have a wonderful layout. With the dishwasher moved to the other side, you'll have all kinds of space around the cooktop...and all the island space, too :)

  • melaska

    I use the freezer in my kitchen all the time. I was willing to lose it in the place in our original plan but I don't want to walk that far for both freezers. My freezer is white - my fridge is stainless but, I really don't care. I'm a function over form kind of gal.

    I mean...look at my present kitchen...anything would be an improvement after this! :) I raised 4 kids & a husband & 2 dogs in 3 feet of counter space...I was an everything-from-scratch kind of cook. Good thing my kitchen table was behind me but working at that level wasn't good for my back.

    Hubby never got around to putting up the cupboard doors after painting. It's been almost 4 years - I'm used to the easy access so it will be strange going back to closed cupboards. I'll have to work in some open storage for most-oft used items.

    It pains me to post this pic but you gotta have a 'before' pic, right? ;)

    I do intend on a prep sink in the island...I'm wondering what the best size is. I know I've read threads dealing with that issue. I'll have to search.

    It's hard to imagine that this really will happen after almost 34 years. Every year we would say, "Next year for sure!"

    I can't wait to see the progress on your beautiful's going to be so amazing!

  • melaska


    Thanks, again, for your great work. :)

    Talked to hubby tonight (he thinks you did a great job) & here is some feedback:

    Is it possible to change...?

    1. Entrance: He'd like more of a landing space before entering the carport door.

    2. Can you switch the wardrobe & utility area with the bath area? He needs a common plumbing wall with as much interior wall plumbing as possible. Helps with pipes not freezing & it's more economical. (Our exception was the W/D in the original - couldn't be helped)

    3. Water tank removed from under stairs to utility. In the utility area:

    These are the 3 shapes he had in the original utility area:
    - Surge tank (about 4.5' high, 20" wide or so)
    - Toyo or Monitor oil heater
    - Toyo demand hot water heater

    I noticed you have 46' 4" dimensions on the side (North to South) - the original has 44 but I can't see where the extra 2' 4" came from?

    Thank you so much for helping us - we really appreciate it!


  • melaska


    So sorry, but I forgot something...

    For the kitchen:

    Could we rearrange some of the items...starting at the side of the kitchen where you enter...


    Raised dishwasher with micro above (moved close enough to make it easily accessible to the sink - do you think there would be space left over? Maybe we can use any extra space for a pull-out pantry on either side of the fridge?)


    I was thinking this would give us more continual counter space.



  • summerfielddesigns

    made revisions to accommodate your needs ... let me know if everything looks ok ...

    your revisions to the kitchen layout did not include a place for the oven ... see if the location now is ok ...

    i recommend that all main sinks have at least 2 bowls ... i increased the size of the prep sink and gave you a large and a small bowl at the main sink ...

    i increased the carport landing area at the first step ... if i take the whole landing higher , you won't be able to open the rear door , or tailgate of a car without the car protruding beyond the carport ... the vehicle in the floor plan is the dimensions of a ford explorer (for reference) ...

    located all the major plumbing stacks in the central wall , along with the exhaust from the cooktop ... the stack for the bathroom sinks is directly below the bathroom/bedroom wall upstairs ...

    i do not know what the difference is in the dimensions ... i used the wall depths and room sizes that you indicated ... you may want to re-measure the actual foundation again , just to verify ...

  • melaska

    Thank you, Summerfield!

    Hubby is at work so I'll wait to get his input before responding. He's off tomorrow so we can take more time with it. We really appreciate all your help!


  • lavender_lass

    Melaska- Oh, that looks nice! You even have a greenhouse window, in your control center :)

    The bathroom is wonderful and will be perfect for guests or as a master bath. I like the laundry, in the closet, too.

    Congrats on getting your new home! After 34 years, you definitely deserve it...and it's going to be just right for you and your family. I hope your DH likes the plan, because I can't wait to see the upstairs!

  • melaska


    Oh! I just now saw that greenhouse window - thanks for pointing it out! And, THANK YOU Summerfield - it's so lovely :)

    I really like what she's done. I have to wait to get hubby's input before replying to Summerfield - I don't want to send her down the wrong path & waste her time.

    I'll tackle him tonight & he's off tomorrow (but, alas, he's on 3 weeks of nights starting tomorrow night!) His night shift is normally 2 weeks. He'd usually have a week off in between shifts but there's a medical emergency with a worker. Oh well, we could do with the OT to help pay for this house! :)

    Our original design had the W/D in the closet - so this is good.

    I can't wait to see what she does with the upstairs, either. We just got our 2nd 'termination dust' (snow) so it will be fun counting down the months with planning & plotting to start work as soon as the snow leaves in the Spring. :)

  • melaska

    Hi Summerfield,

    Hubby was finally able to give some feedback...I wanted to wait until I had a chance to talk to him before responding.

    We really love your plan & have just a few things to change if possible.


    I love my garden window in the control center - thanks! :)

    Hubby would like a regular 30" right-swinging door into his corner office.

    Pocket door entry to back from Living Room:

    Our mistake...we had a pocket door from the living room to the back in our original plan but hubby realized it's a shear/bearing wall so maybe French doors?


    Is it possible to recess the freezer a bit so it's even with the shelves? The freezer is 32.5" deep. Thanks. Your pantry is a great use of space...I felt ours had too much wasted walking space but didn't know how to do anything else.

    Main floor bath:

    Could you move bathroom door to hallway even with the existing pocket door between toilet/tub & vanity area) - swing to the right against the staircase)and continue wall to the end of the stair bannister.

    Can you remove the pocket door between toilet/tub area & vanity? Thanks.


    Can you switch the freezer with the fridge? The fridge is 36" deep, the freezer is 32.5" deep. I think there's more wiggle room to recess the fridge on the mud room area (note the recess for the fridge in our original plan). I know there probably can't be anything done about the freezer but it's much shallower than the fridge. Thanks.

    Can you make the island a 3-seat island instead of 4? Same shape & orientation.

    Also, can you make the aisle space between the cooktop side & the island 42".

    Carport steps to entry door:

    Need large landing pad in front of door instead of in front of steps. (steps leading to the larger landing) Landing does not have to extend all the way to the west wall. It can end about the middle of the coat closet. Thanks.

    House dimensions:

    I'll have to check that out - thanks for bringing that to our attention.

    I'm still amazed how well you utilized the space we gave you...thank you SO very much for all your help!!!


  • melaska


    I think I see what I did with the dimensions.

    I looked at my original and see I put 20 x 16 for the Living Room. I should have put 16 x 20. It's 16' from south to north.

    I looked at hubby's original graph paper & the outside dimensions for the living area are 32' north to south (living room & bedroom) and the deck adds 12' which brings it to 44'.

    So sorry for the mix-up.


  • summerfielddesigns

    i've made the revisions , as you requested ...

    added french doors to the back hall from the great room ...

    kept 4' between island and counter ... 3'6" is too tight with the swing of the freezer door ... 4' is also better if 2 people are back-to-back ...

    kept the overall dimensions as they were ... let me know if this is incorrect ...

    bath entry works much better :-) ... i would still suggest keeping a door to the tub/toilet room ... pocket or in-swing ... if you are getting dressed and someone needs to use the toilet , you'd have to leave the room ... if you have a door , someone can shower privately and the rest of the area is still accessible ... let me know ...

    also ... how will the office areas be heated ?

  • summerfielddesigns

    just realised that you may be addressing the doorway from the living room to the stair hall as the "back" ... please let me know if i need to remove the french doors above the refrigerator , and change the door at the stair hall ...

  • lavender_lass

    Melaska- I'm so glad your husband likes the plan! It's such a nice layout :)

    I think Summerfield is right...for times when you have anyone over to visit, it would be nice to have a pocket door on the toilet/tub area. With the laundry and everything else, a person would feel a bit exposed, who is visiting. This would give you a little more privacy.

    Also, with the fridge, oven, raised DW/micro, you don't have any counterspace until you get to the other side of the sink. Have you thought about moving the prep sink to the other end of the island? This would give you more room to set things on the island, out of the fridge or oven.

    It's such a great plan and really customized to how you live. Summerfield is so good at getting exactly what you need and making it all fit into the space :)

  • melaska

    Hi lavender,

    We had a big ol' power outage this morning so haven't been online for a while.

    I do like your idea of the prep sink on the other end & I will probably do that.

    Hubby is outside gearing down from using the soon as he gets in & feels like he can pay attention, we'll go over everything so I can give Summerfield feedback.

    I'm going to ask for the pocket door back in the bathroom. Hubby is not a fan of pocket doors...he even had me switch out the pocket door in his office to a regular door. I tried *sigh* ;) He can just leave the bathroom pocket door open but at least the option is there for others.

    I really like the door into the bathroom where it is now. (hubby's idea) Opens it up so much more...hubby was thinking of his 'bum' when someone opens the door & he's standing at the sink ;) The door to the under stair closet will mainly be used as an entry into the crawl space so it's not a door to be used a lot. I might sneak some stuff in there but don't tell hubby! ;)

    I definitely hear you on the counter space to the left of the sink. I've got an idea but I'll put that on the post here in a bit.

    Thanks for all your encouragement & input - I really appreciate it! :)


  • melaska


    So sorry it took so long to get back to you but we had a lovely power outage this morning so things came to a big halt.

    I wanted to wait til hubby could be with me so we can look at this together.

    Yes, you are right - the French Doors should be at the Living Room leading to the bedroom. We forgot that wall is a shear/bearing wall. Sorry for that mix-up.


    How big is the island?

    What do you think about moving the prep sink to other end of island?

    I debated whether to just make my cooktop a range so I can get more space on the left side of my main sink...but my back issues still remain. I went round & round over freezer access in the kitchen but with my idea below - that may be addressed. Why don't we go back to the original L-shaped part of the kitchen (leaving your island in) & put the kitchen freezer elsewhere close by.

    IDEA: Put kitchen freezer in entry to control center. Recess freezer as far into the vestibule as possible & whatever space is left over,make into storage.

    Would that be possible?

    Hubby's words for it:
    For door directly above entry that leads to vestibule,
    show door swing to the left against east wall of vestibule.

    Move west wall of vestibule which is opposite that door
    to the east to make room for the installation of the
    present kitchen freezer in what is in the foyer that leads
    to the control center.

    (The deck arctic entry will rarely be used by anyone else
    other than us so it doesn't have to be accommodating so much
    to gear as the carport entry does.)


    Could we remove the door from the kitchen entry area into the control center & makea pocket door where the dotted line is between the two cabinets? This would also give me easy access to the kitchen freezer.


    You are right...please put back pocket door in bathroom :)


    Put transom window in bathroom above linen closet.

    We've decided to heat the main floor with in-floor radiant heating utilizing a boiler-driven thermal system that will be located in the utility room adjacent to the bathroom. Enclose utility area by extending wall that borders rod & shelves to the east ending south of west wall of linen closet. Install wall between west side of linen closet & utility area. Install pocket door opposite what is now the heater. (This also removes the window
    above the bathroom heater).

    Within the utility room will be located a direct vent Bedaris boiler about the size of the water heater shown in your latest rendering. Also we will retain the existing water heater shown in the rendering. (Toyo-Tomi fuel oil

    We have be able to put the surge tank along that utility wall but we'll field fit that as we go.


    I think I see what I did with the dimensions.

    I looked at my original and see I put 20 x 16 for the Living Room. I should have put 16 x 20. It's 16' from south to north.

    I looked at hubby's original graph paper & the outside dimensions for the living area are 32' north to south (living room & bedroom) and the deck adds 12' which brings it to 44'.

    So sorry for the mix-up.

    Office heat source: We are going with in-floor radiant heating.

    I am so sorry for all these changes...we really appreciate all your kind help. You've made our plans so much more useable - thank you!!!


  • melaska


    Just wanted to correct a word in above sorry.

    We have be able to put the surge tank along that utility wall but we'll field fit that as we go.

    Should read:

    We may be able to put the surge tank along that utility wall but we'll field fit that as we go.

  • lavender_lass

    Melaska- Just an idea, but could you put one freezer in the storage closet (recessed in the area where the current pantry freezer is now) and put the other freezer in the pantry, to the right of the present one...right across from the door? That would still give you a nice U-shaped pantry with one freezer and the other freezer close by.

    I hate for you to lose your shelves/storage area, by the control center. It seems like a perfect place for you cookbooks, garden books, display area, etc. The other cabinets (closer to the pantry) would be great for canned goods and other narrow storage. Just an idea :)

  • melaska


    I would still have cabinets near the control center. Only the width of the freezer will be taken up. It's more easy access for me...a compromise between being in the kitchen & pantry area. I'll have to think about it - my brain is a fog right now :)

    When do you plan to start your build? Can't wait to see progress pics :)

  • summerfielddesigns

    the island is 8'8" x 3'0" ... as marked on the plan ...

    i have reconfigured the kitchen using an actual corner sink ... this gives you more counter to the left of the sink , but not so much that you have to "walk" the dishes to the dishwasher ... allows you to retain the freezer in the kitchen , and gives a generous counter at the cooktop ...

    realising that i was allowed to "steal" some space from the vestibule , i added a storage closet ... much better than cabinets ! you can also see that , if you still desire , the freezer could easily fit ...

    in the bath , the window was placed to align with the upstairs bedroom window , and to give much needed light to the bath, wardrobe , and laundry area ... you can make it as small as you desire , but you do need the light ... relocated the linen into a lower cabinet below the window ... this allowed for placing the heater on it's own wall ...

    added a mechanical closet for the boiler and water heater , since both with have exposed plumbing and exhaust pipes which will be an eyesore ... i found that the monitor water heater is much more compact than the toyo , and it is wall-mounted ... using this , you will have the floor space for the buderus radiant heat boiler , and both are able to exhaust through the north wall ...

    since the corner beside the stacked laundry is essentially "dead" space , i suggest locationg the surge tank there ... it can then be concealed inside and enclosure that would match the surrounding cabinetry ...

    i am still unsure about the dimensions of the overall footprint of the house ... do i need to shorten the office/vestibule wing ???

    also attaching a proposed plan for the second floor ...

    please look over everything and let me know if any further changes are nessessary ... it will be a while before i can get back to you , but we have several months , i think ...

  • melaska


    Wow, you really knocked it outta the park in the 2nd floor! I really love how you put the closet on the other side & made the bathroom so much more useable. The W/D in the exercise room is great, too.

    I think switching the staircase up & down really helped. We had it that way at one time but I forget why hubby changed it.

    We decided to go with in-floor heating so we won't need the monitors in the main floor except for the Living Room, of course. This will give us more linen closet & window options in the bathroom.

    Clever idea to put the surge tank in that corner :)

    In this latest drawing, you have the outside dimensions as we do...48' East to West & 44' North to South for the main floor but I notice you have 46' 4" East to West for the upper floor.

    That closet in the entry to the control center is great! It gives us lots of options...thank you!

    We'll get back to you on the other items...hubby is at work. Thanks for all your help - take your time must be very busy.

    P.S. Do you like Alaskan Red Salmon?


  • summerfielddesigns

    you're very welcome melaska :-)

    thank you , as well , for asking about the salmon ... i used to enjoy , but now , i am unable to eat seafood :-( i do miss it !

    that 44' marker was done to see where the plan would be at that dimension ... i failed to change it before i saved the plan ...

    there is a conflict with the dimensions that are showing on your original plan ... with 4 - 8" walls from north-to-south and a 16' master bedroom , 16' living room , and 12' vestibule ... the overall depth of the house will be 46'-8"

    do the 8" wall depths need to be incorporated into the overall room dimensions ... the great room , for example , would actually have 14'-8" between the 8" walls , instead of 16' ...

    please verify the actual dimensions , and let me know , so i can see how it affects the plan ...

    thanks ...

  • lavender_lass

    Melaska- Everything looks great! Summerfield has done a beautiful job, with your upstairs plan, too :)

    If you're taking out the monitors in most of the rooms on the first floor, what if you moved the linen closet back over to the other corner and had a window seat under the bathroom window? I have always thought it would be so luxurious to have a window seat in my bathroom or walk-in closet...and this way, you'd have both!

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