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Old 10-26-2013, 07:12 AM   #41
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No problems I find any info I get from a client is helpful, what isn't helpful is when they can't let an idea go! Some ideas are great as ideas, but don't work in reality. I see my job is to help you determine which work and which don't, but still try and make the dream come true. A great resource I send my clients to is a website called Houzz.com They have lots of ideas there so people can visualize what they want. Once I have the 'idea' of what you want, then I can much more easily help you get to that point.

Hey a question on your floor plan--the BIG spaces outside say the bay in the dining--is that indoors or outdoors? Your roof line look like it covers all that, that could be pretty dark back in there, just an FYI.
Thanks, we go on houzz all the time. That's where we are trying to figure out the counter back splash thing.

BTW, not that it effects the light but the roof over the porch is supposed to be at a different angle than the main roof, just don't know how to do that with the software.

I get your point about stuff that will not work. Like maybe my stairway to basement and hall ways. I think it shows what we are looking for conceptually but we are will to make changes for structural reality......
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:58 AM   #42
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I get your point about stuff that will not work. Like maybe my stairway to basement and hall ways. I think it shows what we are looking for conceptually but we are will to make changes for structural reality......
Glad to hear that. I had one client who was trying to fit a stairway into basically a closet depth! She just couldn't understand why it wouldn't work, it worked in her plan so just make it work! On one floor she had a couple steps going up, and then on the next floor she basically had them in the same location coming down--never mind that there was 9' vertical between the two. Needless to say, after a few meetings we both opted to go our separate ways. I wonder if she ever found someone who could do a vertical stairway.

Good luck on the house, and again if you (or anyone else here) has a question on something like this, feel free to drop me a email or private message and I will try and answer.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:02 PM   #43
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We demolished and rebuilt our retirement home. We demolished in Oct 2010, were weathertight by Thanksgiving and moved in late April 2011. We could have finished earlier but since we had two homes at the time there was no rush.

Our design process was almost 5 years! We had a lakefront so we were limited to our existing footprint under local zoning.

We're happy with the ultimate outcome. We have a great room with entry/kitchen/living room and a master bedroom suite on the main floor (ground level on road side) that we can add a ramp later on if need be and have one floor living. The walk-in pantry back wall is against the powder room back wall so if we really want to avoid going downstairs for laundry later in life we could easily convert the pantry to a laundry room. I made all the doorways and stairway wider to accommodate wheelchairs and a stair elevator if we ever need it. Also extra-large shower in the master bath with a low lip (and could probably be retrofitted to no-lip if we need to.

A family room/office, two guest bedrooms, full bathroom and laundry/utility room downstairs that walks out to the lawn on the lake side.

A few unusual things we did:
  • We don't have a boiler, but rather use a Takagi on-demand propane hot water heater that provides heat for the downstairs radiant heat in the slab, an upstairs hot water baseboard zone and our domestic hot water.
  • We built a hearth for the woodstove about 22" high over the end of the stairwell on the main floor and the woodstove is on it, whcih saved us a lot of space and puts the woodstove in the middle of the footprint
  • Our kitchen island is a 30" and 9" floor cabinet mated together with matching maple paneling finishing the other three sides and is mounted on felt pads so a couple people can move it if needed for parties, etc.
  • We have a buffet on the wall under the dining area windows of two over the microwave cabinets with maple shelves in between and a countertop that matches the kitchen countertop
  • The railing along the stairway on the main floor is a 36"x17" piece of metal art of cattails and waterfowl that I bought on the internet and had welded by a local metalshop into a railing that I designed.

My only regret is cheaping out and not spending the extra bucks for soapstone countertops and a farmhouse sink. We went with Corian which is nice, and very functional, but not as nice as soapstone.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:28 PM   #44
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pb4uski...! Wow... Nice.
You surely did your homework, but then I would have guessed that... and lakeside to boot! Great for many, many years of enjoyment.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:06 PM   #45
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  • We don't have a boiler, but rather use a Takagi on-demand propane hot water heater that provides heat for the downstairs radiant heat in the slab, an upstairs hot water baseboard zone and our domestic hot water.
Does that work well? I wonder how efficient my boiler really is.
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:57 PM   #46
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Does that work well? I wonder how efficient my boiler really is.
So far, so good. I figure even if I only get 5 years out of the on-demand hot water heater that I can replace it for less than $1k. I saw a newer version of mine for sale on-line for ~$800. To me, it beats spending $10k on a boiler.

See this link for more info. IIRC our system is open rather than closed.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:16 PM   #47
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Good point on the farmhouse sink, that is on our list.

Additionaly we are doing the pot filling faucet by the stove (extend to fill pots on the stove)
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