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Hi. I am new here and SO happy to have found this site! I am very new to this owner-builder circle/just beginning.
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Aaron in Valley Center, KS's Journal Entries


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Posted by Aaron in Valley Center, KS on 1/10/2011

I am in the design phase of our new home. I have reviewed numerous floor plans, and can't seem to find any that are quite right. At this point I am leaning towards designing my own. I am currently thinking I want a simple design that is low maintenance and affordable to build. My concept is a two-story home with a full basement with approx. 1,300 sq ft per floor totaling 3,900 sq ft of living space once the basement is finished. The home will be styled like a Federal/Adam/Colonial or whatever you want to call it. It will be a symmetrical all-brick home. Literally a rectangular box stacked on a rectangular box stacked on a foundation. The roof will be a gable roof with ridge vents, no valleys, dormers, nothing. I am thinking that this type of design will ultimately save money, and leaves a good potential for less problems. We will see. Here in Sedgwick County, Kansas an architect/engineer is not required to design/approve plans. The home just needs to meet the building code. I will post some preliminary designs soon. If anyone actually reads this, feedback is appreciated.

Posted by Mary in PA on 1/10/2011

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1/10/2011

Hi Aaron, I agree with you that a basic 'rectangle' with simple roof design (i.e. gable) can be an affordable (and do-able) design for an owner-builder. I personally think it can also be a very classic look, rather than the multi-gabled houses I tend so see in many builder developments. If your site allows for it, you might also consider orientation of the basic 'rectangle' to take advantage of passive solar. The design phase can be very fun, and sometimes frustrating. Good luck with it!
Regards,
Mary

Posted by Aaron in Valley Center, KS on 1/10/2011

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1/10/2011
Mary,
Thanks for the words of encouragement and advice.
Posted by Frank in Elkridge, MD on 1/11/2011

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1/11/2011
Aaron, like you, we are looking over plans for our house and we also feel a rectangular Colonial-style house would be less problematic for the trades. We are looking at a two-story house with 3,000 sf without counting the basement. We'll have a rough-in for the bathroom in the basement with a projected time to finish it within five years. Our concept will include a master suite on the main level and another master on the second level with two other smaller bedrooms. The idea is to plan for our parents to use the lower-level main bedroom and later on when we get sick of the upper level, we can move downstairs. 

We are also thinking of the resale value of having a master suite on the second level if a young family wants to be near the kids' bedroom. 

We don't believe in having the garage as part of the house. The garage will be to the side of the house connected to our game room.

Here is what we are thinking of doing:
Main floor: Master suite, large kitchen, study, dining room, game room - as you walk in the house you enter the foyer, and it's open to the second floor - study to the left - dining room to the right, connected to the game room. As you walk through the house, you see the kitchen - to the right is the stairway and the half bath and the game room - to the left is the main-level master suite behind the kitchen. We will insulate and/or soundproof this wall.
Second floor: Master suite, two smaller bedrooms - small laundry room and a bathroom for the two bedroom. Total bedrooms for the house, four each.

As you walk in from the garage, you enter the mud room and another laundry room.

Just an idea.

Frank
Posted by Aaron in Valley Center, KS on 1/11/2011

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1/11/2011
Frank,
Sounds great! I too am leaning towards a detached garage. We are on the same page on pretty much everything except living with my mother-in-law... just kidding. It is exciting to know that someone else has a similar plan in mind. Thanks for the post!

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