Just picked up revised plans from the architect. We want to keep the house under 3,000 square feet and this new plan comes in a bit over 2,800 aquare feet. I get a sunroom and the downstairs rooms are a bit bigger than in the first plans. Even though I loved the front to back foyer it just took up too much space and it wasn't living space. Also in this plan the laundry is right next to the master, right where I wanted it. Living space is a very personal thing and what works for one family might not work for another but I would love to hear any feedback. This one might be a winner for us!
The architect is back from his vacation! During our two hour meeting we talked about how to make all of the space more usable - make the foyer and mud room smaller, condense the upstairs area. The architect sketched while we were talking and came up with an exterior and interior plan that still fits the look we are going for. We want a traditional exterior and a more open interior plan, but not totally open. I took the new plan home to look it over and called him the next day to go over a couple concerns. He said he will put the first floor into the computer to see what the square footage will be for the first floor only before he continues. We want to keep the total square feet as close to 2700 as possible. Most of the time it is just my husband and myself at home so lots of square feet is not necessary, we want to live and use every room! And I want to be able to afford nice finishes and extras on the interior. But it will be a few days until he can get back to me! All this waiting is KILLING me! I'm not always the most patient person, so this experience is testing me. I'm doing lots of yoga breathing!
A few days before this past meeting, my daughter, two of her daughters and myself spent 3 whole days in New York City! We had a blast and it certainly helped to ease my anxiousness to move along on the planning phase of the new house. I think you can tell by the picture that it was a little cold, but that didn't stop us. In Abby's words – we walked 160 miles!
Hopefully I will be able to post revised plans SOON!
We have some changes for the architect but now he is out of town for 10 days!!! I just have to keep reminding myself that delays are going to happen. So while waiting for his return, my husband and I decided to out and look at flooring.
I had seen some pictures of stone and brick floors and thought that they looked pretty cool.
But am not sure that I would want the whole first floor in stone or brick. Would definitely consider for a sunroom or a bathroom. I'm always for the "real" thing, stone and wood. At one flooring store we were looking at their wood flooring and I asked about the floor we were standing on. It was an engineered floor that was hand scraped. It had been down on their showroom floor for five years and it looked great! They said they didn't even really take care of it, maybe an occassional washing.
After we got home I did some research on engineered floors and this is what I found. Engineered floors are built of many layers and the top layer is real wood. The bottom layer is plywood and makes the this type of flooring more stable. These floors are made in almost any wood species. One needs to check the thickness of the wood layer. Some have a very thin layer, .6 mm. This type can be re-coated but not sanded or refinished. It has a lifespan of 20-30 years. If the top wood layer is thicker 2-6mm it can be sanded and refinished 1-5 times and the floors can last 40-80 years. Engineered wood floors are more resistant to moisture than solid wood floors. Engineered wood floors are often used in shopping malls so they need to be durable. They are also a "green" material. Not as many trees need to be harvested to make these floors.
We will definitely think about these floors. Has anyone had any experience using them?
I waited with anxious anticipation as I sat in the architect's office, I was going to see the preliminary plans for the first time! I had a terrible thought, wonder if I didn't like them? But as they were unrolled before me I smiled a big smile! I loved the front exterior! And then he showed me the first floor, still smiling! And then the second floor, smile still there! I could imagine my family and myself living in this home that was before me on paper. It just looked so cozy and comfortable.
Our builder was there as well, and as we took a closer look there were a few questions that came up, but over all we were very pleased. The ball is now in our court. My husband and I need to take some time to closely look over the plans, room by room. If there are any changes we want to make we need to get them to the architect as soon as we can. We need to break ground by April if we want to be in by the end of October. Our builder gave some good advice, to remember its not a race. It's more important that we do it correctly, not quickly.
We did spend some time tonight going through the plans. We realized quickly that some changes are not so easy to make. For example, our builder thought that maybe the half bath on the first floor might be too far away from the great room, but we really can't find anywhere else to put it. Also I wanted the laundry near the master bedroom on the second floor but it just doesn't seem work any place else. Others changes are easier to make, adding some windows, putting a bay window in the dining room, adding coffered ceilings. Of course these all add on to the total cost.
But take a look at the following pictures of the front, the first floor, and the second floor. I took picture of the plans with my cell phone so they aren't of the best quality, sorry about that. I welcome all comments! I'd love to hear what you think and any suggestions you may have! Thanks!