|Plan #2 Shingle House
First Floor 1139 sqft
Second Floor 1418sqft
Total A/C 2557 sqft
First Floor Second Floor
The program for this house called for an interior for a family of 4-5 and occasional overnight guests. The exterior was to be traditional, understated, and cottagey to blend in with the older neighbors.
I also wanted to leave as much yard space as possible for a swimming pool and a play area for the kids. This required the garage to be front-entry to leave the back of the lot all clear. Typical front-entry garage isn't attractive so I spent much time composing the front elevation so the garage doors look fully integrated to not ruin the house's curb appeal. (A better scenario is to be on a corner lot where the garage doors can be on the side to have a nicer front elevation. But having the garage doors in front like shown isn't so bad either.)
I also wanted to keep down square footage to maintain the cottagey look on the outside and to have more money left for the pool. "Less is more" was the motto of this house and one way to reduce unnecessary space was to eliminate a formal dining room. The all-purpose eating area was placed where it's good for both formal and everyday use. But to not miss out on having two eating areas, there is a breakfast bar over the kitchen counter that should get much use but won't take up the space of a regular table. I also added walls and French doors to the formal living room to make the space do double and triple duties as a study and as quarters for overnight guests.
As for the second floor, the rooms are efficiently laid out with minimal hall space to waste. I didn't cut out a playroom upstairs to make life bearable with kids and their messy toys. The balcony off the playroom would be a great extension of the play area for the kids and for us adults to enjoy the tree top views. But if the budget is tight, the balcony is a candidate to do later.
This plan although efficient is comfortable for family living and the square footage saved will make the house more enjoyable with a larger backyard.