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Just getting started - Advice?

5 years ago

Hi there. Long time lurker - I've been dreaming about building for years - first time poster

My husband and I recently purchased 35 acres in Northern Minnesota. It is quite rural and heavily wooded (i.e. the view is pretty much the same every direction... woods). The situation of the property to the road leads to having either a south or east facing house. There is a nice high point with a gradual slope down to the west that we plan to build our house on. We would like to have a walkout basement and are okay if it is a side walkout given the site constraints. I dislike having main family spaces facing west as it stays light out so late in the summer months. Our current house has a open floor plan for the kitchen/dining/living rooms that runs east/west and I dislike having to constantly close curtains or blinds to avoid being blinded while using the rooms in either the morning or evenings.

We are a young family with one son and expect to have at least two more kids. Ideally we'd stay in this house until our kids are grown but it's hard planning for a lifestyle that we don't have quite yet. We are bursting at the seams of our current house so space and storage are high priorities for me but I'm worried about the expense (building, heating/cooling, future cleaning) of a gigantic house that we won't actually need. I am very much aware that "stuff" tends to expand to the space.

Must haves:

-Good sized mudroom as family entry from garage

-Some sort of foyer - doesn't have to be large I just dislike being dumped into a large room right when entering a house which seems to be very common in houses in our area

-5 bedrooms total (3 upstairs, 2 down), I like the master near the other bedrooms since we have a baby but I do not want any shared walls with another bedroom.

-Master bath needs to have a freestanding tub (YES I will use it, I use my tub now 2-3 times a week) and a walk in, doorless shower (I detest glass shower doors mostly because they never seem to stay clean)

-Very large kitchen pantry - we live in a fairly remote area so we buy in bulk, also need space for large freezer(s) somewhere in the house

-Fairly cozy family spaces on the main floor for everyday, large entertaining space in the basement so we have options for holidays and extended family gatherings

-Kitchen needs to have easy access to deck or patio for grilling

I am a civil engineer so I'm fairly comfortable with drafting and started playing around with floorplan ideas. I would love some feedback on what I drew up. The house would face south. We are in the very early planning stages and won't start building until next year so any general advice on house building would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance!

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