Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Floridian's Layout

Acquiring our house plans was a process, we thought we were finished in Dec 2016 but it took another 5 months. It was worth the delays for during this time we saved money, bought a 5th wheel and prepped the site. Initially, Chip wanted to draw the house plans but that idea was quickly mitigated by his knowledge of AutoCAD-type programs being outdated and not having the computer software. Therefore, we started our search with stock house plans but found 99.9% didn't match our preferences, see the must-haves listed in my Brainstorming about our Dream Home post. Then we happened upon an architect out West that had a house plan that really fit the bill, with some modifications. We were getting excited and contacted the company. During our scheduled phone conference, a hour passed by with fruitful discussion and ended in hopes that we'd hear back quickly with the final cost for the plans, with our requested changes. Prior to modifications, the house plans would cost a minimum $6,000. Certainly, we were concerned about the high sticker price but knew this would be one instance to pay up, ensuring we got our dream home. One week went by, then another and still nothing. In week three, as I was delaying my follow-up call for the inevitable, wince-inducing costs to be revealed, Chip had buddy recommend a local drafter. Chip got the contact info and immediately set up a meeting. We showed him our ideas and examples of what we were looking for and he discussed his pricing, which was a third of the architect out West. We hired him, never looking back at the other company (and they never did contact us). We met with our drafter a half dozen times, sent numerous emails and scheduled a few phone conferences, while navigating how to communicate what we wanted structurally and aesthetically.  I'm grateful that we didn't work with the other architect as we got almost everything we wanted working with our local guy.

Meeting with our drafter for one of the last times to finalize the plans.

The Floridian 
The front elevation no longer includes the garage as we nixed that for the present, remember my discussion in Finally an Update....

The first floor layout.
So let me take you through a tour of our house: When you arrive at The Floridian, you'll walk up the wide steps to the 40' x 8' covered porch landing and enter the house's foyer. Turning to the right you'll see a closet and half bath, then off to the left of the foyer, our study/library. As you walk down the short hallway you'll see the living room with 4 glass paneled doors leading to the covered back deck and as you turn to the left the living room seamlessly transitions to the dining room and kitchen. At the same time you might be distracted by a strange, large object in the middle of the stairwell, which may puzzle you at first, but as you come fully into the living room you'll realize it's a slide. The slide is visible from anywhere in the living, dining and kitchen spaces. In the kitchen, you'll notice a 10' wide windowed sitting space that looks welcoming so you take a seat, have a glass of wine and enjoy the company while watching the kids of all ages use the slide. You've had your wine so it's time for the tour to continue - next we'll walk through the pantry to the utility room, which will have a half bath (sink and fancy slop shower only) for the purpose of cleaning up messy stuff (i.e. Chip with greasy hands/arms to dirty dogs and more). Then perhaps you'll step outside with Chip for him to show off his garage, or like me, you'll want to see the master bed, bath and closet and so we'll venture across the house to the master bedroom, which has sliding or french doors leading out to the covered back deck and a bathroom and closet that can be accessed both from the bedroom and from each other (i.e. walk into bathroom from bedroom, then enter closet from the bathroom to get dressed there to then enter bedroom again). Having finished the tour downstairs we'll venture to the second floor. This concludes the written tour but continue reading for more about the second floor.

The second floor has some wasted space - the Play Areas, which we had trouble avoiding. Originally, the stairwell was up against the front right corner of the second floor which I really liked as there was a window shelf and only one play/sitting area. However, in March 2017, when we submitted our house plans for review to the building department, they had a laundry list of items to be fixed or clarified and the biggest issue was the fireplace not having a chimney (I can just hear Homer Simpson's "d'oh!" every time I remember that glaring mishap). Adding a chimney forced the entire second floor to shift to the right. In the end, I wasn't disappointment with the upstairs changes as it won't be used as much as the downstairs area.

The house plans were fun to work on but challenging too. We submitted our house plans for a second time in July 2017 and were approved a week later! 

House Stats:
SF 1st Floor: 1540
SF 2nd Floor: 654
Total interior sf: 2194
SF Porches: 684 
Number of Bedrooms: 3
Number of Bathrooms: 2.5

Duration: August 2016 to June 2017

Cost Breakdown:
House Plans with Engineer sign-off: $2767 (includes the garage plans too)
Permit: $868.25
Permit to live in 5th wheel on site: $200
EPL (forms showing house meets minimum energy standards): $225
Impact fee: $0 (our county doesn't have this)
Total: $4060.25

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