Small House Plans – Country Living Plan Review #1
We promised you small house plans reviews so you can be ‘in the know’ when selecting your own floorplan. Here is the first one… an extremely well thought-out 1200 sq. ft. small house design.
First I’ll show you the floor plan and then explain what makes it so great, along with places I’d consider changing. Architect details here.
This small house plan is a perfect example of how you can live big in small spaces. It truly has some of the best small house design features I’ve seen as I’ll explain.
The design is about as inexpensive as you’ll ever get. Why?
* Eight foot plate (the outside ceiling height that the roof rests on.) Now you could make the living,dining,kitchen area seem bigger by bringing the ceiling up to nine or ten feet in the center. This adds volume without costing too much extra.
* Simple roof design.
* Minimal cuts.. As we’ve mentioned before, multiple cuts add to the cost.
* Two car garage but about as narrow as you can get and still hold two cars.
* Tiny front porch and a patio in the back instead of a porch. One thing people often forget is that every part of your small house costs. A 1200 square foot house with 525 sq. ft. extra outdoor space is a heck of a lot cheaper than 1000 sq. ft. of additional outdoor living space.
* One sink in each bathroom and only a tub in the master bath instead of separate tub and shower.
* No fireplace
* Looks like it has mainly 3050 windows.. 3′wide by 5′high (which you’ll see in the Elevation images further along) and they are a standard window size to be picked up from Lowes or Home Depot without special ordering. Anytime you special order, it’s going to cost more, plus there’s generally a no return policy on those items.
Quality small house design features.
* Just enough front porch for a welcoming bench and great street appeal.
* No wasted foyer space along with a living room capable of multiple furniture configurations.
* Love the Living room, dining room, kitchen layout. Couple of items to note. I would not recommend double french doors from the dining room unless you add a porch (roof) over the patio. I don’t care how much money you spend on double doors, they can leak if the rain hits just so. Better to opt for a standard door here.
And you might consider making the counter space from the refrigerator to the dining room into a nice pantry. Or shift the fridge to the right and create a corner pantry.
This house plan also has one of my all time favorite features.. a window in the kitchen! I just love having a window in my kitchen and if you notice, that’s a little hard to find in today’s stock plans.
* Moving to the right of this small house plan, the secondary bedrooms and bath are without flaw. The bath layout is even “right”.. meaning it doesn’t have my number one pet peeve; seeing straight into the bathroom from the living room. See how we had to flip a bath to fix that problem here at 5 Mistakes not to make in Small House Plans – Mistake #3.
Now, the bath is pretty small so I’d definitely put in a cabinet above the commode. Just don’t put a big clunker where you bump your head every time you turn on the tub water. The other option is to carve out shelves for the bath from Bedroom #3′s closet.
Now, granted the second bedrooms are not too big. But the spacious closets will help offset that by getting your stuff into the closets instead of cluttering up the rooms.
* Over to the master suite. I appreciate how it’s a little offset, and NOT directly off dining area or living room as many are with such small floor plans. Thoughtful design element.
Very spacious master closet although you’re not going to get rods on both the left and right side with a 5’2″ width closet. Hanging clothes take up about 2 feet, so better to have right side (wall with the closet door) with a bank of 12″ shelves. We put see-through baskets on our shelves to hold socks, under-garments, belts, shoes, etc.
Phew.. OK, if you’re still with me, you might want to stop a minute and sign up for our awesome weekly FREE Magazine.
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Let’s talk master bath: Couple of points to think about.. Try and shift the sink to the left so you can get small stack of drawers at right side. Also, you might just want a shower instead of the tub. As long as there’s a tub in the second bath, you’ll have one tub in the house; it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the master bath.
* Laundry Room.. can you believe the size of the laundry room for this small house? It’s a fabulous laundry space! And I love the location, too.
* Even the hallway from the garage is useful. Note the area for extra storage or perhaps a bench to sit down and take off your shoes as you come in. You could still have cabinets above and a place to hang your keys. I personally love having that little bit of space for coming and going.
* Lastly, the garage. I’m telling you, I think this architect thought of everything. It’s a two car garage, which most everyone would want, but with the width and 23’8″ depth layout it’s just enough for two cars and extra storage at the end.. or an extra long truck. That way you have a garage that functions ideally without additional cost. Sweet.
Now we check out the elevations (front and back views) of this small house plan.
This small house plan front elevation does NOT disappoint! It’s a simple, classic design that never goes out of style. And because the architect was careful to give it only enough gables to make it appealing, he/she has kept the construction cost down for you. Additional cost-saving measures are the standard size (3050) windows along with the low pitched roof.
Here’s the back of the house. Remember the floorplan showed a big patio.. not a porch. Let’s talk about that for a minute. First off, you can keep it that way and if you pour the slab for the patio instead of as a whole with the house, you’ll save about half the cost on that part of the concrete. Typically a house slab will cost twice what ‘flat work’ or driveways, patios, walkways and the like will cost.
However, a porch would definitely be a delightful living space. In that case, your contractor will pour the patio slab as part of the house and extend the porch roof by way of a gable.. At least that’s how I’d do it. And frankly, if it fits the budget, I’d add the porch.. and most definitely add a porch if the back of your home faces the west sun.
You might wonder what qualifies me to critique it? Well I’ve built homes.. small and large, for most of my adult life.. After putting numerous houses on the ground and watching them grow from paper to ‘real life’, I’ve developed a pretty good barometer for what works and what doesn’t. That said, of course, there are elements of a small house plan that might bug me but are perfectly fine for you. No problem; I just want to point them out to raise awareness and then ultimately you must decide.
Small House Lover, Darlene
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