Thursday, January 13, 2011

Concerning Goal #1

Below is an abridged letter I sent to my parents recently, along with current plans to our home, which was Goal #1 on this here blog. My intent was to receive feedback concerning the plans and the reasons behind some of what we are looking at changing. Though some basic knowledge of our home is helpful, the two pics below should give you most of what you need to follow along below.

NOTE: If you want to give me feedback as well - please do so in the comments. Many heads, generally, are better than one. Unless you are a 435 member congress! But we will leave the politics out for today. But, seriously, give me feedback.

Mom and Dad,

Attached is what I am shortly going to take to the engineer to draw up final plans for our addition. It shows the old layout as well as the new. I am hoping you can help me before I do.

This has been a fun project - well, the designing. I should have gone into architecture like I thought I wanted to do when I was twelve, I really enjoyed doing this. The next phase will be difficult, painful, and a bit inconvenient. We expect that. We know that. We hope it is better than we expect.

We are kicking out the south of the house and leaving the rest of the house generally in its current state. Basically, we will kick it out to add a 24 x 26 living space plus a covered deck out the back. We will be moving the kitchen from where it is at to where the dining room currently sits. The dining area and a family room are in the new addition, along with a computer/desk space on the north facing wall (for the family, not for my work).

I am sending this to you because I want your opinion to know if adding this makes sense.

We want enough room to enjoy the family as we grow into the teenage years, but I don't want so much house that we can't save for retirement. I don't expect Social Security and will have to come up with my own retirement. A smaller home is just one way to combat this - both in expenses out now, as well as expenses in the future.

We love the house. We like its layout. It's just a little small for our family.

We love the area and the people - and though there are a few places to build, we honestly think our place is perfect if it were a little larger.

We like the city lot (park) behind us, we like the trail in front of us (and the view for what it's worth - we don't have houses right across the street).

Believe it or not, we like living on the busier road. It is not that busy now and though we are sure it will get busier, we don't expect it to get too difficult to pull out of the driveway. We like that it is the first street plowed. We like that we can get on it and go, no neighborhoods to go through. We like the hill, but not the incline on the driveway, something that we have decided to live with as we like so many other elements.

We want the space to be inviting. We want it to be able to hold large groups of whoever, family, teenage friends, and allow us versatility - like bringing in a ping pong table or family gatherings, or neighbor parties or large groups of kids as the kids get older.

We want the space to be small enough that we won't have too much of it in a few short years when the kids begin to leave the house. Nine more years and Dallin will likely be gone. A year or two after that, Emma, and the cascading effect happens with the rest.

Tell me what you think. Sell me a change if you think there is something we should. Before I sink a large amount of money into this, I really want to know from you who want the best for us, what you think. Make your case, explain what you will, and we would like to use that as part of our final consideration and final adjustments. Just don't hold any grudges if we don't use all or any of the suggestions. We are trying to make sure that we think through this before we go forward.



Click on the pics for a larger view.




  1. Nathan,

    I'm terrible when it comes to designing stuff, but I like it. You will love your double oven. I use mine all the time. I don't know how I would live without it. One question - what is that room when you come in the front door? More of a formal living room? Is there something you could do to it to make it more "functional", or part of the space that you will use more frequently? Could you somehow re-design it so it has some built-in mudroom type stuff? But maybe you don't want that right by your front door......anyway......We have a formal living room. It holds my piano. THe kids make forts in it. Once they're too big for that, it will go back to sitting there. Keep us posted. This is fun. Katie

  2. It is a formal living room, small, but formal. I have considered doing something with that space as well, but my thought process was to have another space set aside, away from everyone else, so that somebody can go to and get away from everything else. It may not be used that often, but with a household of 6, space like that can beome invaluable.

    That said, I like your thoughts about a mud room. With a household of 6, something like that would be really nice. I have already talked to Tiffany about some options, so thank you for the input.

  3. DO you need a pantry?
    Which door do you use most - and does it have a mudroom -
    The most expensive thing, as it looks right now will be the plumbing - do you have any other upgrades to plumbing that you want to do at the same time?
    Where's the garage in this design?

  4. The closet in the kitchen is our pantry. We usually use the door from the garage (which is the big box in bottom left). We are considering a mud room, but that is separate from this addition.

    We do have some plumbing downstairs to do. An unfinished bathroom that we will be finishing. But that is separate from what I am putting here. I actually think the plumbing will be relatively easy thanks to the crawlspace below. I talked to a plumbing buddy of mine and he agreed. The more complex issue - if not expensive, is the HVAC. We may need to replace the current one with a larger furnace/AC or add an additional one. I like the idea of having two furnaces and AC units, but space is an issue and will need to talk to an HVAC specialist to help me out with those questions.

  5. I don't know much about the houses and plans but what I have seen as my family has gone from 4 kids at home to all kids married and two grandbabies is that my parents and Zack's have enjoyed or want houses with a larger living space such as a kitchen and family room for gatherings. No matter what you decide the feeling in your home will invite people to come and stay regardless of the size of your home.