Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I am Completely, Totally, Clueless

Posted by Mandy at 8:08 AM
Over the past couple of months, the husband and I have been looking at house plans. I thought this would be a really fun experience, but as I sit and look at this book of "the 425 best-selling home plans" I feel very, very, small.

One would think you could figure out what your family needs in a home. How many bedrooms, bathrooms, one-story or two. An office? A playroom? Do we need a formal dining room or is an eat-in kitchen sufficient? I. Have. No. Idea.

So far, my favorite "on paper" house plans are laid out with the master bedroom and main living areas downstairs, and the other bedrooms upstairs. I've been told by a few people that it's a lot cheaper to build up than out, so to get the most space for your money, two-stories is the way to go. That sounds appealing.. but does walking up and down stairs to put away the 13 loads of laundry a day I'll be doing speak to me? Not in a nice way...

"I'd love to go for a walk today... but I can't move my legs after climbing 10 miles of stairs. Sorry."

My biggest debacle is bedrooms. How many should we have? At first, I thought 4. One for us, three extra. Kids can share... that'll be fine. Now, 5 is looking better. Someone may NEED their own room. We fill up 4 bedrooms with just the three kids we have now. Oh I don't know. It's a good thing this isn't a time-sensitive issue... we have tons of time to try to figure this all out.

Have you ever built a house? Done a lot of house hunting? What would you want if you could pick and choose your ideal home with a large family? Help a lady out!


Lee Ann James said...

Get a good, big kitchen!

Natalie Wright said...

We have not built at this point put have drawn out plans and researched what we want extensively! It may be cheaper to build up than out but like you, how many times do I really want to run up and down those stairs in a day! What will the cost over time be to heat/cool 2stories vs. building out? this may not apply for you but for us if we build that is where will die and so does that mean as we age the upstairs could be totally wasted space? We have decide building out is best for us! In our house now we have an eat in kitchen and dining room, i wouldn't want it any other way! When it's just our family we use the eat in kitchen but if family and friends are here we use the dining room and holidays we have to have both areas to fit everyone. We also have an office now and it's in the plans when we build. It's not large 8Wx10L would be my guess as to what we have now and it's perfect. We have 4 bedrooms at this time and if we build we will also have 4 bedrooms and then a "playroom" so you could call it 5 i guess. We thought well if our kids are older when we build will we really need this playroom...the answer became yes bc then we could use it as a tv room or just an area where they could go with there friends (boys or girls) and not be in the bedroom. Good luck!

Reagan on Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 said...

My dad is a builder and we moved 11 times in 13 years into my mom and dad's "dream home." Turns out their "dream home" was only dreamy for about 6 months--just enough time to build a new one!

Matt and I looked to buy a house for 3 years but couldn't find a plan we liked in a location we liked for a price we could afford (a 900 sqft home in a nice part of town here is about $290,000). So last year we built a new house. We looked at HUNDREDS of plans and were super overwhelmed. Finally we walked thru a builder's model home and said "we'll take one just like it." He tried to show us more plans but we didn't want to see them.

What our collective experience taught us is that our home will never be perfect unless we are content with what we have. We have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car garage, an eat in kitchen (nothing formal--no dining, no formal living ...). This house is smaller than what we moved from and what I grew up in. It's is the BEST house I've ever lived in because really, it's my family that makes it home. At times do I wish we had an office or a playroom? Sure. But do I love the money we save from NOT having a McMansion mortgage? YEP!

All that said, I agree with LeeAnn--most families hang in the kitchen--make it big and open!

Anonymous said...

Okay,2 story=make sure you have laundry shoots.At least two.

Do you have lots of formal dinners?If not,go with the eat-in kitchen.

I always say go for more bedrooms but more bedrooms equals more money.I have a teenager now "who wants to be left alone" and since she shares a room with her sister,that is near impossible.

and another thing,if you can afford it,get an in house vacuum system.

The more bedrooms,the more bathrooms I feel you need.The average is 2 but I think a half bath on the main floor,a main bath on the second floor and then a master bath in the master would be great..even more ideal is 3 and a half baths.The kids at some point will be fighting over the bathroom.

I have always loved the basement idea,and I dont how the water table here is as far as having one,but that would take care of your playroom/office.Of course,if you chose 5 bedrooms,as long as someone wasnt in it,you could use it for an office.Or an interesting thing I have seen is a little built in desk in the kitchen(makes monitoring easier).

Girl,I could talk about houses forever.(I distance schooled for CAD when I was younger,and Jamie is now CAD...LOL)

Maury on Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 said...

Here is my take on a 2 story home.....No. This is my reasons after living in one.

The laundry...up and down...I did make the kids do a lot of it, but it still was a pain in the rear.

What about a baby? Up and down, all night long. The won't be in your room forever.

It is loud. I don't know what newly built 2 story homes sound like, but ours vibrated all their footsteps upstairs, and that drove me crazy. Sounded like a heard of elephants up there.

If you get a child with issues that doesn't sleep well....MAJOR headache at night. The kids were upstairs, we were downstairs, and have I told you how Zach's headbanging humming vibrated the ceiling and woke us up at night?

Or how I fell down the stairs being half asleep after getting up in the dark? 2 babies in a 2 story home at night= no fun! lol

1 more thing...when we had M in our home, I was really nervous b/c with the kids being upstairs playing, I didn't know what was going on up there. I needed to know what was going on at all times...and you would to. It is just easier to check on them when you are all on one level.

We had 4 bdrs and 6 kids, and it worked great, but they were really big bedrooms. I think that makes a difference. 2 rooms were big enough to easily fit 3 kids in. The playroom would be a nice addition with a closet, so it could always be an additional bedroom.

If you go 2 story, my suggestion would be to have all bedrooms on one level, put your laundry room upstairs, and maybe have a playroom downstairs. Maybe the playroom could be big enough to have the option for it to be a master later on, so then you could be up or down? I don't know. If it is an eat-in kitchen, which I prefer...make sure it will be big enough to accomodate a large table...or a built in like Brandy F :)

Mandy on Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 said...

lol Maury! I can really see me going NUTS hearing "elephants" upstairs all of the time! Maybe a one level is in our future.. ;)

Liz on Tuesday, 27 July, 2010 said...

I have owned 3 hours, and built one of those. It is so hard to think of something "in theory" and know what it will be like in real life. The layout is so important to me, almost moreso than the actual number of rooms. Some houses "make sense" and function well while others don't.

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