I sometimes think of house plans like a plan for a dinner party meal. In the beginning, it’s impossible to know how it will taste, or what it will cost to create. The best you can do is imagine what you want and slowly plan it out, dish by dish, ingredient by ingredient, until it starts to take shape. Only then, after the planning is mostly done, can you start to understand the likely cost, and how it all works together, or not.
Houses, while much more complex, aren’t that different. Before any ingredients or even dishes are considered, there has to be a realistic vision of what’s possible. Are we serving tacos or filet mignon? We asked ourselves: in what sort of house could we imagine spending the rest of our lives?
The first question was: could it be the Yurt
? There was nothing to stop us from living in the Yurt for many years. It kept us relatively warm and dry, but it also had issues. Even if we invested in updating it, we’d still be left with a small, inefficient and impractical home. It’s not the kind of place that can be renovated into something significantly better. The ingredients just weren’t there and the idea of living the rest of our lives inside of a circle did not seem all that attractive.
So we tried to imagine a completely new house sitting in the same location as the Yurt. A few things stood out. First, anything we built had to take advantage of the view
. We imagined a house with glass doors facing west and a deck for entertaining.
Second, we saw room to spread out. The property is about 190 feet across and that meant we could consider single story construction. We figures that, as we age, a single story might come in handy.
Third, we didn’t need a large home. We imagined having three bedrooms and space that could feed and entertain six people comfortably. Most of the entertaining would happen in a “great room” that has a kitchen, living room and dining room in a single space.
Below is an early draft of the floor plan with the green circle indicating the Yurt’s footprint.