Saturday, November 21, 2009

Street Level Floorplan

This is the street level floorplan. We only have a scanned image, so it may be difficult to see the details, but hopefully you can make out the main layout. As you can see from the elevations we posted previously, the house steps down with the hillside. The main living area is over the smaller bottom level. We tried to incorporate all of our needs in a "not-so-big" house, using some of the principles outlined by Susanne Susanka. The total conditioned/heated square footage is about 1380 for the top floor and 863 downstairs. We probably wouldn't have needed the space downstairs, but most of our family and many friends live elsewhere and we hope they will visit often. The downstairs will function as a private suite when we do have guests--sound inviting?

We went with a custom design for our home because we weren't able to find all of the following characteristics in existing houses or in one stock plan:
  • One entry for us and our guests.
  • An ample closet in the entry for coats with shelves for shoes, purses, a charging station for electronics, and all of the things that usually end up on the top of a table near the entry. Significant environmental pollutants can enter the home on the bottom of shoes. We plan to have separate footwear for inside and outside.
  • An open floorplan with lots of windows facing the view.
  • A small office. After years of working in cubicles, this space is more than ample. It will have double doors with glass to close for privacy, while enabling us to still see the view through the living space.
  • A powder room that does not open off the main living area. You enter it through the office.
  • A large pantry.
  • A kitchen with separate areas (and sinks) for cooking and cleanup. No longer should we be bumping into each other.
  • A Japanese soaking tub. I've never been able to get comfortable in a normal tub. This one has a seat and requires less water to cover you up to the neck. It's more like a personal jacuzzi than a tub, but without jets. See a description on the Americh site.
  • A large walk-in shower.
  • Laundry in the walk-in closet. Why transport dirty and clean clothes back and forth when you can simply throw them in the washer and hang them up when clean?


  1. We recently read the "Not So Big Home" books and are basing our next home on those concepts. See my recent post on our blog.

    How interesting!

  2. What a nice way to get away and enjoy the outdoors! If you have a nice flat spot, not requiring special engineering like our house, you might look at Kokoon pre-fabs. It seemed to me to be one of the most cost-effective and they offer a small footprint.

    We also looked at Tortoise shell homes as a way to live temporarily on our lot before building. They are small, built sustainably, and offer solar power, water treatment options, and composting toilets.

    Hope you find something!

    Ruth and Tom