Planning Our New Home

One of the many things that has been on my mind lately is the construction of our house. You might recall that recently we bought some land to build a house on. It's a beautiful property in a great location on 7.25 acres. Before purchasing it I was beginning to despair that we would never find the right location for the "forever home." You can read more on that in my last post. Lately though I've been thinking about what kind of house we'll eventually build.

I've looked at home plans for years and I've always had an idea of what I would like to build. A general idea that is. Now is the time to get more specific. The farm house style is what we will end up with but there are many variations on the farmhouse look. So I went looking at plans. And more plans. And even more plans. I never could find one plan that had everything arranged how I would like it. Now what?

Design the Farm House Ourselves

The only answer was to design it ourselves! I began sketching it out several weeks ago and have almost completed what need to do before we hire someone to draw up the plans. I'm basing the look around this amazing house built by Lake Geneva Architects but hybridizing it with a farm house look. It's the finish of the exterior I like. The color of the stone and siding is perfect. Also I like how the front upstairs room cantilevers slightly over the downstairs.

It's the exterior look I like. I don't even know what the floor plan looks like but I know we can arrange a very comfortable home based on this exterior elevation and match it with the farmhouse style.

So you may be wondering what are we putting into this house plan? Let's go over that room by room. Essentially we're upgrading our home from a 1500 SQFT home with a galley kitchen to a farm house style home with around 3400 SQFT. The most amazing thing about our current kitchen is that we've tolerated it for nearly 11 years! Saying "Tolerate" is putting it mildly. Galley kitchens are terrible ideas for most homes. The problem is the kitchen is not just a kitchen but also a hallway leading to the garage and the laundry room. When someone cooks in the kitchen everyone eventually travels through there for something. No one used the front door or back door - they use the garage to come in and out of our house. Our usable counter space now has around 8 linear feet of space (and I'm estimating that on the high side) - broken up in much smaller segments.

The Farm House Kitchen

The new kitchen will have space, much needed space for our family of 7. It will have a large island - I'm looking at a 6x6 island with part of the island set up as a seating area so that even with 3-4 people gathered at the island there is still a 4'x6' work space. The rest of the kitchen will be in an "L" shape around a box making a roughly 15'x13' kitchen space with a sink and windows that look out upon the rear yard of the house.

A pantry, a LARGE pantry with a little work space. A formal dining room. Yeah I know, most people never actually use the dining room. I hope we do. I hope we can invite friends and family over from time to time in a place where we can actually fit people! I want people to be able to enjoy hanging out at our home rather then feeling cramped and waiting for the polite moment to make their exit.

An Office

My office. For my real estate business I really need a location to sequester myself to make phone calls and connect with my clients. I need that separate space where I can close the door and disappear during work hours. I won't be seeing clients at our house but since I work from home when I'm not showing homes a quiet space is extremely important.

The Bedrooms

A master bathroom with 2 sinks and a decent sized shower will be on the main floor. Our current bathroom has 1 sink and a small 2.5ft shower with an angle where the door is. Main floor master bedrooms are highly desirable right now and probably will be for a long time. This give you maximum longevity in a home. As we age (hopefully gracefully!) we may not feel like stair climbing to go to our bedroom. A Master bedroom on the main floor allows us to stay in this home for a very long time!

Upstairs the kids will have room to play. 3 kids bedrooms and a common room/bonus room. The two older girls in one room, 2 youngest in another room, and my son in the third room. Over the 3 car garage we would leave the bonus space unfinished. It's always good to have a future project to add some value!

Outdoor Spaces

I'm planning an outdoor screened in covered porch for enjoying the land. I would love to spend a Saturday afternoon in the fall by the fire in the fireplace watching football.

I'm still working and tweaking the plan so it's not ready for viewing yet but I will let you see a concept of the front elevation. The roof lines may not be exact but this is the working concept of the home in general. Please keep in mind this is a rough sketch and isn't complete.

That's where we're at at this point. Concepts and dreams. That's part of the fun right now. We can explore all the possibilities. Thanks for reading and check back for updates as we go!