A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

house plans

October 23, 2008
Emilie Phillips

These aren’t complete or necessarily in agreement, but here‘s what we have now. The .dxf files are CAD files. I’ve been using qcad on linux to edit them.

There’s a patio door onto the porch that’s not well drawn. The floor of the bottom floor is a concrete slab with radiant heat tubing. The concrete slab for mass. The radiant heat so we can later add solar hot water panels. The garage may need to get reduced for price reasons, and then we’ll have to do seasonal shuffles in and out of it. Ventilation and summer window shading have not yet been figured out. The south windows are in the ballpark of correct for winter heating, and the floor provides enough mass. We’re thinking SIP construction because it is more airtight, and one of the contractors we’re talking to has a history of making really airtight houses. But we still need to go talk to a conventional stick frame contractor to see if his prices are any cheaper.

Oh and the intended lot is H-32-1.

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Comments (5)

  • Oooh.

    I might be having trouble parsing the blueprints, because I usually do. Plus, your blueprints are magenta, which is linguistically difficult to accept.

    So, questions/comments:
    1. The lower floor BRs have only East or West windows, which I find surprising, since they’re on a corner. Am I missing something obvious?

    2. Laundry room is next to a bedroom, which limits when you can wash without waking the guest / kid.

    3. I’m a huge fan of having the laundry on the same floor as the MBR. My mother mentioned this as a “shoulda” a while ago, and now that I’m living in that situation, I am loving it. The MBR will be inhabited sooner and longer than your lower-floor bedrooms.

    4. There’s an issue to warn you about with super-airtight construction, like my parents’ place once was: potty smells (and kitchen smells). Eliminating them requires ventilation, which kind of defeats the purpose of being totally airtight. Another issue is that the house settles, so the windows need to be redone within 5 years, but that’s probably mostly unavoidable.

    Your house design has almost no sharp angles. I bet I could mesh it… Now to figure out how to convert qcad into something usable. (Actually, I bet I can’t, because I bet the design isn’t actually clean CAD.)


    • 1. The lower floor BRs have only East or West windows, which I find surprising, since they’re on a corner. Am I missing something obvious?

      Yeah, north windows don’t get any sunlight, and so are to be avoided. There’s an issue with the eastern bedroom, where the east side is under the porch, and so doesn’t get sun either.


      3. I’m a huge fan of having the laundry on the same floor as the MBR.

      It isn’t as high priority to be on the main floor, and there’s already too much crammed up there, so it got put downstairs.
      This is one of the issues Tyson and I have been having where we can’t get a straight answer as to what drives cost. We’ve gotten both that pure square feet drives cost, in which case keeping it small and leaving the laundry downstairs is best. And we have gotten that fancy rooms like kitchens and bathrooms drive cost, in which case expanding a little bit, but leaving the quality alone should hurt much.

      4. There’s an issue to warn you about with super-airtight construction
      Heat Recovery Ventilator. It is a now commonly available product, and makes so that we don’t have to use any of the dozens of DIY suggestions from yesteryear.

      • I’m curious what the ballpark figure is for the cost of this thing.

        1. Oh, of course. And I suppose you have the BRs on the North side so that the open space gets the sun? Any room that doesn’t get morning sun almost certainly needs one of those sun-simulating lights that come on in the morning, lest people get all SAD.

        3. In the planning for the Gates building, I overheard that empty space is basically free. So, if your single-family dwelling economics are anything like $80-million institutional complex economics, … uh, yeah. I vaguely remember my parents deciding to expand the house a few feet also, because it was cheap. But my memory might be exactly wrong in that latter comment — what I’m totally sure of is that for price reasons the dimensions changed, and I’m only fairly certain it increased.

        4. Nice. By the way, your text spills out over the feathers in the background, which means my eyes parse that as “Meat Recovery Ventilator”, which is slightly disturbing.

        • 3. In the planning for the Gates building, I overheard that empty space is basically free.

          We were planning a solarium, under that assumption, but we got told that would cost as much as having that space as livable area. Not just the one story worth of livable area, but as many stories as the solarium was high.

          Estimates are between $300k and $400k. $300k is what we can nicely afford.