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Houzz Home Building Forum: Our experience

Adam Thomas
5 years ago

For my original post, click here: link

Like almost everyone who has no idea what they are doing, my wife and I spent countless hours looking at internet house plans, trying to find something that would work for our family. Once we found something we liked, we decided to post it here, hoping that you guys would tear it apart, point out things we hadn't considered, etc. The feedback that we received on that original post really helped us clarify exactly how we wanted the house to look and function.

I made a sketch of our new vision, met with a draftsman, and 6 weeks later got back his 1st draft, which was a steaming pile of poo. Next step was to hire a proper home designer. Someone who has creative talent and the proper education and experience to understand form and function. During our 1st meeting with him, he looked at the glorious drawing that I made for about 10 seconds (9 seconds too long), put it aside, and said "this isn't how you design a house".

We spent a couple hours in his office talking about the look we were going for, viewing the photos my wife had compiled from here and Pinterest, and talking about our lifestyle and how the house needed to function. Then we met for another hour or so at our property, so he could get a feel for the property. I won't bore you with the rest of the design experience but it was several months of back and forth collaboration.

What we wanted was a farmhouse style house that had nice views of our land and water. The house will be brick, painted some shade of white. After reading one of CPArtist's comments in my OP, I became obsessed with roof size, almost every house I see looks like the roof pushed the poor house a few feet into the ground. I don't know if this will be a lifetime affliction or not, but we added the parapet feature to our house to add facade and lessen the prominence of the roof. Our driveway is ~800 feet long and will wrap around the pond. How do you thing the house will look on approach?

About the floor plan. I know you guys are going to hate the location of the laundry. It is 2 miles from everywhere. We just don't care. We have two dogs that we spend a lot of time with everyday, and really only do laundry on the weekends. So we wanted the dogs to be able to enter the house directly into their area and we could never find a way to have separate dog-room/laundry. There is a chute directly from our son's bathroom to the laundry, which should save a few trips up and down the stairs. Another forum rule we are violating is the 4 car garage. We will soon have 3 licensed drivers and there is a fair amount of equipment required to keep up 7 acres. We need the space. When our son moves out, I will probably purchase some sort of vanity car to keep em full. : ) If you see other issues with the floor plan (I know you will!), I hope you will point them out. We are still several months from breaking ground so feedback is encouraged.

Enough! Let me post some pics.

Front Elevation

Rear Elevation:

Floor Plan:

This is taken from the driveway. The house will sit on the other side of the pond, facing the camera. In other words, this is a view of the house, not from the house.

Hopefully that floor plan pic is large enough for you to see the details. For those who don't recall, or didn't read my original post, we own a 7 acre property in south Alabama, building our forever home. Active lifestyle. Seldom have overnight guests, but did want a semi-private place for them to sleep.

tl/dr: This forum helped us get from a floor plan we liked (hideous elevations) to a home that we love. We are still willing to love it more if you have some constructive criticisms to make. Thanks!

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