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House Plans – Round 2

Our house plans are developing and our excitement is increasing. I think we’re almost there with the floor plan! Again, I’m purposely obscuring this photo so our architect’s intellectual property can’t swiped (as easily). We figured out how to incorporate a fourth bedroom that we’re calling the den. It’ll probably be more of a playroom, creative space for Precious and other kids to hang out in by the time we move into the house. It’s crazy to think that our little 6 month old baby will be walking by the time we’re in our new home. Also, the laundry room grew into an office/craft room for me. Yay! Now the trick will be finding a GC (general contractor) who will build this house for $100/square foot or less.

I like the philosophy of Rachel Peters, interviewed on Design Mom, about her custom built dream home—she intentionally had their architect make the bedrooms and closets small to encourage the kids to go outside and to make it harder to hoard junk. We’ve had a similar philosophy for our new house: keep the bedrooms small and the common areas big and open to promote togetherness. The minimalist in me likes the small closets idea but the thrifty part of me wants to organize and store anything we might use in the future.

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7 Responses to House Plans – Round 2

  1. Debbie says:

    I am so excited for you. But you don’t want a window in at least your master bath?! For air circulation and aesthetics…

    • mahlbrandt says:

      Good point. I love a window in the master bathroom for natural light. We talked about doing a high window or a window in the roof over the bathroom. Definitely something to keep in mind.

  2. JCF says:

    I love it! I like what you mentioned about small bedrooms and closets. I am always wishing we had bigger bedrooms and closets, but I think our real issue isn’t size, but rather how poorly designed the rooms are in regards to placement of windows and doors it is impossible to arrange furniture in our house in any reasonable way, and that drives me nuts! Luckily, it is a rental, so we’re not stuck here!

  3. I definitely vote for larger closets and storage. That way you can buy children’s clothes in larger sizes on clearance, and have them on hand for the kids to grow into. Also, as a foster parent it is good to have a few sets of clothes, and shoes, in several sizes available when kids arrive with next to nothing (which they do).

    Another item I’d change (if it were my house) is putting the laundry near the bedrooms instead of across the house by the garage. If you could bump out the master bedroom/closet wall to be the same as the studio/office, you could fit the laundry in near the bathrooms, which consolidates plumbing, saving $. Plus, where do you dress and undress, and generate wet towels, and put sheets on beds? Near the bedrooms and bathroom! Maybe have full glass doors to the outside on either side of the fireplace to compensate for extending that wall.

    Bigger bedrooms (especially for the kids) means that you could more comfortably fit 2 twin beds, our double bunks, so sibling groups could sleep together. Our bedrooms are 10 x 10 and they are way too small. Remember, it’s not just the bed, but you’ll want room for a dresser, a rocker or cozy chair, a bookshelf, maybe a child’s desk someday.

    You won’t regret the extra space, especially as your family grows. Now is the time to factor it in. Otherwise, a couple years from now you’ll be looking at doing a costly addition.

    Have fun!

    • mahlbrandt says:

      Wow, a lot of (unsolicited) advice here! We will have designated spaces for storage, of course, and I keep a small number of kids clothing in every size on hand for our future foster parenting adventures. I hear ya on the laundry near the bedrooms. We have that now and it is really convenient. However, having a mudroom is also really nice. I had that in the house my parents built when I was young. It was perfect for coming in through the garage and dropping muddy shoes and play clothes before traipsing through the rest of the house. We won’t be adding any more square footage to this design…if anything we’ll have to cut. When we’re looking at $100 a square foot minimum (some GCs charge $120+) adding another 100 sq feet is not really an option with our budget. We’re working with small bedrooms in our house now (I love the challenge) and we’re confident in the bedroom sizes we have here. We have a 10×11 bedroom set up for 2 children now (technically 3 could fit but DCS has a 2 per room max.). In our new house we’ll set up the 10×10 room for one and set up the 10×12 room for two (with bunk/loft beds). Sure, we could always come up with ideas and uses for more space but 2100-2200 sq feet is the maximum we want to go. Already a huge leap from our current 1420 sq ft house.

    • Bob Lawblaw says:

      ???! Since you decided to give so much advice here, let me give you some. A good rule of thumb for life in general…the best advice given, is advice that is requested. This tirade makes you sound like you made an assumption that the writer of this blog is completely clueless. A lot of planning goes into building a house. I have a hunch that the writer has thought about a lot of things that are conveniences for them, but not necessarily a convenience for someone else. Maybe they don’t care that the laundry isn’t where you think it should be. It may even be possible that the writer is an extremely intelligent, successful business person and millionaire who wants to build a modest house for themselves. That is the kind of possibility that you should keep in the back of your mind when you want to puke your brilliance onto other people. They just may be smarter, more successful, and more skilled socially (especially in this situation). Please, for the sake of your family and friends that have to be the recipients of your superior brain power; think before you speak or write things that make it seem like everything you say is a way to boost your self worth.

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