Meeting with the Architect

Monday morning we met with the architect.  I am still trying to digest all of the information.  His drawing show the house going from this….

house this!!



We will be making changes to the back…no over head garage door.  The back porch will be MUCH simpler with no real deck.  We don’t want the extra cost or the extra maintenance of it.  There will be a porch but just a simple cement porch.  We also want to put in a big fire ring/patio like we have here at the farm and the deck along with the fire ring is over kill in our opinion.

I did want to show you this picture though as I know you’d all like to know about the sewing studio.  It’s the double windows to the back and the three windows to the right.

I am really in love with how the outside looks.  I even like the color.

The inside I am not as in love with…it’s all workable and with a few revisions we’ll figure it out.  Hubby and I are just simple people.  After years and years of living in small spaces we really value the open spaces.  We want small bathrooms and bigger hallways.  We don’t need separate showers and tubs.  I don’t want 48″ vanities…smaller is just fine.  I know that bigger is considered the norm now days but I have discovered I am not normal.

I look at a 4′ wide entry way and think, when (imaginary)grandkids are here and sitting on the floor to tie their shoe, I am going to trip over them as they will be right in the middle of the hall.  We just need more space at the entry.  I look at the open laundry area near the back door and know myself.  I don’t know how many times we throw things in the laundry room when company is coming and close the door and the mess away.  I want a laundry room with a door that closes…even if it’s small.

Seeing the architect’s design really made us rethink a few things…we are willing to eliminate the “garage bathroom” to give us more space.  The “house bathroom” will only be about 10 steps further away.  We have two bathrooms in the house..we really don’t have to have a third in the garage.  That cuts a big chunk of money out too.

People have talked to us telling us to consider resale value.  I do consider it.  When it comes time to resell this house, I will either be dead or going to the nursing home.  In either case, I don’t care.  We are doing this that will make it resalable.  We are adding bigger nicer closets to the bedrooms (one currently doesn’t have a closet)..we are adding a nice kitchen along with a double car garage and work area.   Mul tiple, big bathrooms are just not a priority to us….

Extensive cabinetry is not something we want either.  We want our antiques and their character.  We definitely don’t want a NINE FOOT island in the kitchen…six to seven okay…NINE, nope not for me.

Oh and hey, have I said my sewing studio..yep I am upgrading to a sewing studio, not sewing room.  It will be 13 1/2 x 23 1/2 along with a closet I am trying to finagle into the design that is 6 x 8.  Trust me, I spend WAY more time in the sewing room then I do in the bathroom….and that’s all I have to say on the house remodeling right now.

Feel free to chime in and tell me what you think…I’ll show some inside drawings once we tweak some things with the architect.

30 thoughts on “Meeting with the Architect”

  1. I agree with you on resale value. If you know you are going to be there for a while, have the house the way you want it. You wouldn’t consider the children’s needs as they don’t live at home anymore, so why consider someone, you don’t know and may never meet. You have great taste and we are all going to love the end result. Love the sewing studio. That is divine.

  2. Something to think about when doing the remodel is handicap accessibliity. When my hubby ended up in a wheelchair this spring even for a few weeks it opened our eyes. His 36″ wide wheelchair barely fit thru the 38″ hallway. He could not get into the bedrooms with 32″ doors. A 42″ door was great to have for going into the house and maybe plan for long range where you might someday need a handicap ramp from the driveway. How about a walk in /roll in shower on the main floor… I know that both of you are active and healthy at this time and this type of thing is the farthest from your mind, but is the kind of thing that can keep you at home longer or out of the nursing home. It was nice to have this much, but now have ideas for more updating here.

  3. Please consider higher stools in the bathroom, and yes, wider doors and walk in shower, which I have, and a ramp to the front door that is long enough that you don’t realize you are on a ramp. I also have a higher vanity in the master bath. of course I’m many years older than you, but this would help with resale value. When I go to public restrooms I go to the larger handicapped one, because the stools are higher. Yes, I can still squat that low, but it is not comfortable.

  4. Ooooohh, I have been waiting for this post! Congratulations on getting started!
    I want to tell you about toilets. We had a big house once, now we’re in a teeny one level and we love it. Anyway, when we were building the big house, my husband saw the plans that showed the toilet with half walls in the master bathroom. He told the builder “There have to be walls to the ceiling around the toilet and a door, with a light, light switch and fan inside.” We were the only ones on the block with a closed in mbath toilet and it was wonderful.

  5. P.S. I am “not normal” either!! Big bathrooms are stupid arrangements full of wasted space. We used our corner ‘garden tub’ three times in 9 years. Hooray for telling the architect where you actually need the space! Like in the laundry room, and that huge closet in the sewing studio, and wider entries, and hallways.

  6. From what you’ve said here, it looks like the studio is going to be upstairs. Mine is also upstairs. One thing that we had to really think about before we bought this house was, are we going to be able to get the 14 foot long arm table up the stairs and around the corner into the studio. We knew the machine would fit once we got it in there, but getting it there what a different story. Fortunately, we have a long, straight staircase, but we had to turn it down a hallway once we got it up to the landing. I have a Gammill, not an APQS like you, so I don’t know how small of pieces yours breaks down into, but on my Gammill, there is a 14′ long table, and 14′ long poles. 14′ long steel tables and poles do not bend around corners. It was quite a challenge, but we finally got it in there. We were thinking we might have to rent a crane and put it through the window, but with 5 very strong guys we got that 500 pound steel table up the stairs and finagled it long enough that we got it into the studio. I’m not sure it will ever be able to be removed. If we ever sell the house, the long arm may have to go with it, LOL. Just something for you to think about, in case you hadn’t already.

  7. I agree that handicapped accessible if probably something you need to think about. None of us is getting younger. The rest… what YOU both like b/c it’s your dream house and STUDIO (I love that). Resale? Anyone who buys a house changes things. I have never seen it not happen nor have I walked into 14 homes I’ve purchased in my life w/o changing somethings. Let them change it up. You are after all. LOL Enjoy the process.

  8. I agree with the small bathrooms. Ours is 8 x 16 and a total waste of space. We have a bathtub that has two steps up to get in. Ridiculous!! Keep it simple. Wide doorways are good. I was in a wheelchair for eight weeks and took the paint off the doorjambs trying to manouver into the bathroom. Before you eliminate the back garage door think of storing a riding lawnmower. We have to take the car out of the garage to get at the mower. I’ve been thinking of adding a small garage door at the back just for the mower. Looking forward to following your rebuild.

  9. As others have said bathrooms that will work with walkers and wheelchairs is important. I’m in my early 60’s and the knees to get into the tub showers scream at me. No we don’t want to think of those days, but reality sets in. Hope you never have to deal with this, but if you plan on living there forever it becomes scary as you age. It is your house and you need to design it for your needs. Just some things to think of in the planning process. But then remodel after several years is an option. Good Luck.

  10. Go with what you love and what works for you. My husband & I recently bought our dream/retirement home that fits our lifestyle, but does have more & larger bathrooms that we don’t really need. (I’m with you on that point!) The former owner had CP with physical limitations, and the whole house is handicapped accessible (wider halls & doorways, lower counters in baths) which we hadn’t considered before, but will probably appreciate in the long run. Sounds like you are tweaking the design to meet your needs, especially the size of your studio w/ the large closet. A girl can never have too much storage space for her stash!!

  11. In the spirit of handicapped accessible, consider having 2 good sized closets stacked on top of each other, one on the first floor, one on the second floor. You don’t need to put in an elevator now, but if you have the 2 closets, you can put an elevator in if you need it. I agree with the wider doorways. Put grab bars in the bathrooms while you know where the studs are.

    My parents are in their 70s now and want to stay in their house. If they had a few more little things done, it would be so much easier and safer for them.

    We have a beautiful garden tub which we use as a dirty clothes hamper. What a waste! I can’t justify using all that water (it takes about 40 gallons to fill!) to take a bath. I like simple, reasonably sized bathrooms. And I love the laundry room we added last year. I’m not sure how we did without it before.

  12. Cotton Pickin Scraps

    I love it. You will love it as soon as it gets finished. It will be a labor of love. Enjoy the new house and the new sewing room.

  13. Years ago my husband and I would go to the new home shows – all we could find were huge master baths which seemed be taking space away from the rest of the house. having said that my when my mom built, she made sure that the halls and doors were wide enough for wheelchairs on the theory this was the last house she was going to live in. Her bath is rather large, but again it was designed in mind for handicapped accessibility. Large shower with bench, raised stool, enough room to maneuver a wheel chair or walker still not feel uncomfortably tight with a caregiver assisting. Above all, when they were designing it was her tastes and not the vague future buyer of the house. For mom, that future buyer was not someone to cater to – after all, after she died, the house was going to my brother and hopefully one of his children, so the future buyer was way off in the distance.

  14. Great advice regarding accessibility in the event it is needed. I have two bathtubs in the house and wish so much I had a walk in shower in the master bath – I never use the tub. Your house is beautiful and I agree – you should make it “yours” and not worry about resale value. I wish you well on your journey to create your “dream house”.

  15. I know what you mean about the bathrooms. My husband says you aren’t spending your life in there so who needs a bathroom as big as a bedroom! I watch House Hunters all the time and they are always asking for “double sinks, walk in shower and a big tub”! Why? I would rather have larger living spaces. We built our house ourselves and we wouldn’t change a thing if we had it all to do over after 15 years of living in it.

  16. I agree with keeping universal design in mind. My parents had to redo one of their bathrooms to accommodate a zero entry shower for my dad. He has to have an attendant to bathe and this new shower is great. Before they did the reno we were always worried that dad would fall getting over the edge of the bath-even with the bath seat in there.

    the PBS show This Old House did a renovation on a house that included universal design. The ideas were great and very attractive. You don’t notice the changes until you really need them. HTH.

  17. OMG! You have done a lot of work in one day and now the plans for the remodel/addition! I’m so excited for you guys! Enjoy.

  18. It amazes me what a person can physically see, your new home, and what they can see in their mind’s eye, the new plans, and design. That shows such creativity to me. My 83 year old parents put in the higher stools in the bathrooms of their house when they built 6 years ago and I even love them! They also put in a long island that has a bar and that is where we sit and visit while working on dinner. It is a great place to “plant” a small child to eat so we can keep an eye on them (or for timeout). You’ll soon have a house full of those! My parents put in a walk in shower and wider halls and doors for walker and wheelchair ease and they seem normal widths to me now. The only thing they didn’t think to do was put in a ramp into the house and I would love that now for the suitcases on wheels I haul up the steps when we go for a visit! Oh, and when my now 24 yoa son was about 10 or 11 he decided my 8×9′ sewing bedroom was my “studio” and he has called it that ever since! Bless his heart!

  19. sounding a hearty “AMEN” to all the nods for building a handicapped accessable house from square one. that’s preparing for the future that will be comming sooner than we all like. I’ll also second the walk-in shower idea with the grab bars. makes for a much more stable and enjoyable shower if you don’t have to worry about falling every time you move.

  20. Love your plans. I have to ditto all the comments for handicap accessable. Also, think about spacing pocket doors. I love mine.

  21. I ran across a list of things-you-should-be-sure-to-build-into-a-house and the one I would never have thought of is a plug near the toilet for a nightlight. In fact, many of the suggestions were on where to put electrical outlets (on both sides of the bed, under the eves of the porch (for Christmas lights,) under each window (for Christmas candles.)) Another suggestion that caught my eye was low-voltage lights (possibly run with solar or other independent power) along stairways and other internal danger areas, for safety especially during power outages. I am designing a house now too, and trying to think about how to build it to function as well as it can in emergency situations.

  22. How nice your house is going to look! What fun you’re going to have tweaking those plans!

    That said, I do agree with the higher stools (not much more money actually) and carefully considering the height of the vanities and counters. Maybe, just maybe reconsider having a walk in shower with built in seat in one bath rather than a tub. Unless you’re a person who loves soaking, they are so easy to get in and out of and easier to clean.

    Most of all, have fun, and make it a home you’ll love!

  23. Looks good, how fun for you all! The only thing I will say in my husband comes from a family of 5 kiddos and it can get quite challenging on holidays as his parents only have 2 bathrooms. (only one shower so everyone has to use the one to get ready for church) With nearly 20 in the family, it can happen that a little one in training needs a bathroom, perhaps someone with an upset stomach and then another person just needing to go…easy to get in a rough spot waiting. One of his siblings livings in the area now so the overnight/showering is not an issue so much, but would be challenging if that hadn’t changed….just a thought from a been there/done that perspective. Enjoy the process!

  24. WOW!! Love the drawing. Bet the neighbors are going to love what you do to the house. Also like the colors you have, the pop of color in the peaks and the white trim really sets it off. Can’t wait to see pictures of it all done. It is going to be great!!

  25. I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. I wasn’t going to comment, but I finally decided to. We’ve moved around for DH’s job. We are now living in our 6th home. This house has a garage door that opens to the back yard. It’s an odd garage configuration…two stalls one direction and the third stall opens to the back. DH uses that as a workshop, lawn mower storage, etc. He just loves having that garage door that opens to the back yard. If your DH will be doing projects around the yard, its nice to be able to leave that door open. If it’s in the back, people driving by your house won’t see what’s in your garage. If anything, I might consider omitting the service door in the back. Just giving you my two cents! Good luck with the renovations. I’m really enjoying watching your journey!

  26. OMG–a sewing room 23 !/2 long and 12 1/2 wide—-with a closet…amazing—-I am with you—I spend more time with my sewing etc than in a bathroom….

  27. I’m with you. Our original plan had a HUGE master bath complete with double vanity and separate shower and tub. I knew the space would be put to better use as a mudroom so we made the bathroom smaller (single vanity and just a 48″ shower, no tub since our other bathroom has a tub) and will have a small mudroom with a nice deep sink in it that is separate from the laundry area. We know how dirty farmers get so I’m thrilled that dh will have his own cleanup sink. We also would rather have a bigger living room so we made that bigger and sacrificed the walk in aspect of the master bedroom closet (it’s only a normal closet now) and about a foot of the master bedroom. I’d rather have a bigger living room since we all spend more time in there. However, I am jealous of your sewing studio! I managed to get one about 14 x 16 which is bigger than my current one, at least.

  28. Your new home is going to be beautiful. Your family will have many happy times and memories here. When we remodeled our home we took pictures of the studs, electrical, pipes, etc. I printed the picture and then we wrote the measurements on the printed picture. This has been VERY helpful when the kitchen plumbing was a problem and also for the outside sprinklers.

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