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Old 03-06-2020, 08:40 AM   #81
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Fermion,
Just my opinion.
I think a second bedroom with bath is worth adding. It sounds like with minimum changes you could make this happen upstairs.
I also think the detached garage would work great for you, because you will need some storage, even if you are a zen master at reducing clutter.
Good luck. It sounds like a fun adventure.
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I was a little off, it is more like 1200 square feet.

She is putting the master bedroom, kitchen, master bathroom, large pantry room, laundry room, and breakfast nook on the first floor. The second floor would have kind of a loft appearance with a area for our computers, couch, TV, and a decent size gaming table (for board games and D&D). We would just have a toilet/sink on the second floor.

Concerns I have are:

1) No garage, but I guess we could always build a detached garage building later.

2) Not really 2 bedrooms although the 2nd floor could be considered sort of a loft bedroom I guess.

3) No storage room for things like bicycles (again, could later build a garage)

I think her footprint right now is 24 x 28 feet but the lot could support a larger footprint.
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Old 03-06-2020, 03:51 PM   #82
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It's not always age related. You could get in an accident tomorrow, breaking a leg, paralysis, or some other injury that requires you to use a wheelchair. There are many situations that could limit your mobility, making stairs problematic. Unless your building site is limited, I would always vote for a one story home over a two story.
I broke a foot in a wreck age 19. Tore the opposite knee. No stairs for weeks. Mom had to bear hug me to get me off toilet. No grab bars. Agree that no one plans on failing at stairs until they do

Friend broke ankle on dream cruise. Stairs on her butt. Firemen carried her out a couple times for medical appts. (Military base). She is why I bought a 1 story house. Scared me straight
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Old 03-06-2020, 06:36 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Fermion View Post
I was a little off, it is more like 1200 square feet.

She is putting the master bedroom, kitchen, master bathroom, large pantry room, laundry room, and breakfast nook on the first floor. The second floor would have kind of a loft appearance with a area for our computers, couch, TV, and a decent size gaming table (for board games and D&D). We would just have a toilet/sink on the second floor.

Concerns I have are:

1) No garage, but I guess we could always build a detached garage building later.

2) Not really 2 bedrooms although the 2nd floor could be considered sort of a loft bedroom I guess.

3) No storage room for things like bicycles (again, could later build a garage)

I think her footprint right now is 24 x 28 feet but the lot could support a larger footprint.

I lived in eastern WA for 15 + years and imo a garage is a must have item. Summers are HOT/sunny and your car will deteriorate more quickly in that sun. Your thighs will sear on hot seats. Winters can be cold and icy and you'll be scraping...

Dust is also a concern for storage of things like bikes and mowers. The desert wind can cover your gear with gear destroying silt.

I would build an attached garage.
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:07 PM   #84
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The smallest I would be interested in is a 2/2 1500 sft, with good storage and an attached garage.

It's really nice that you have another piece of land, but I doubt you will receive a pre-advanced notification that something will prevent you or DW from accessing that parcel, or being unable to climb the stairs.

As to resale, do a Zillow search and see how the little homes are doing.
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:14 AM   #85
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I lived in eastern WA for 15 + years and imo a garage is a must have item. Summers are HOT/sunny and your car will deteriorate more quickly in that sun. Your thighs will sear on hot seats. Winters can be cold and icy and you'll be scraping...

Dust is also a concern for storage of things like bikes and mowers. The desert wind can cover your gear with gear destroying silt.

I would build an attached garage.
I prefer a detached garage, both to prevent exhaust gases from entering the house, and if a fire should start in the garage it won't take the house with it. From a practical standpoint, I can run my woodworking tools in the garage without the noise being overwhelming in the house.

As I mentioned earlier, we keep our cars outside. We're surrounded by trees so sun and hot seats are never really a problem. We typically only have to scrape windows a few days a year, not a big deal.

I keep our mower, tiller, and other garden equipment in a detached 8'x12' shed off the back of the house. This prevents the dirt, gas smells, and whatnot out of my garage where I do woodworking. I originally built our shed in 1990, but moved it to the back of our house in 2005.

2005 - Moving The Shed
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:36 AM   #86
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Just don't make the kitchen too small.

I'm trying to sell a late relative's home...3 bedroom, 2 bath, great area of town.

But only a galley kitchen more suited to a one-bedroom NYC apartment...1/2 the size of the one in my townhouse...that appears to be what's killing offers.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:01 AM   #87
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Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. We are moving forward with the build, put an offer on the lot which was accepted after they countered and I ignored their counter offer for a couple days

I am a bit nervous about spending money during this potential financial crisis but life goes on, right? If it is end of the world, then does it really matter if we started building a house and if it is not end of the world, might as well start while we are fit enough to do it?

I console myself that this money is not just tossed down the drain like it sometimes feels when you do anything that has the word boat in it. There should be value there if we do things right and as engineers, we generally always do things better than right.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:51 AM   #88
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I am thinking about expanding it to maybe 1600 feet and work in 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms instead of 1.25 bathrooms.



No bigger than 1800 sq ft, but sounds like for resale we should be in the 2 bedroom 2 bath area.



Normally I would not care so much about resale but you never know what life is going to throw at you.


We are in the same process in the state just south of you.
We stared thinking 1800 feet, moved up to 2100.
For resale, 3 beds sell easier than 2 beds. You always have to consider resale. You never know what life brings.

Designed so that we call live on lower floor if we had to.
Also notable: we own a 600 sf condo in Portland. It is small!
But okay for 3-4 day visits.
Finally, we moved from 3700 sf into 1000 sf home and started building. 1000 sf would be okay but after living in 3700, we are cramped.
Affluent America problems
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:58 AM   #89
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.... if a fire should start in the garage it won't take the house with it. ...
IIRC by code you need to have double drywall between the house and detached garage and the purpose of the double drywall is to help defer a fire in one section spreading to the other before the fire truck arrives.

We currently have a detached garage and had an attached garage in our prior home... I prefer attached to detached.
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Old 03-08-2020, 02:08 PM   #90
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We are in the same process in the state just south of you.
We stared thinking 1800 feet, moved up to 2100.
For resale, 3 beds sell easier than 2 beds. You always have to consider resale. You never know what life brings.
I guess it depends on your location but I know plenty of people that would choose a 2 bedroom over a 3 bedroom. There are a lot of empty nesters and people without kids looking for homes.

I just renovated my house and changed it from a 3 bed 1 bath to a 2 bed 3 bath. I'm pretty sure it'll sell it for just as much, but even if it doesn't I don't care that much because it better suits our lifestyle now.
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Old 03-08-2020, 03:18 PM   #91
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...
We currently have a detached garage and had an attached garage in our prior home... I prefer attached to detached.
DW insisted our house had a 2 car garage, something I considered a luxury, she was right.

I really like our attached 2 car garage, on a rainy day, it's nice to unload the groceries and walk into the house without getting rained upon.
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Old 03-08-2020, 03:23 PM   #92
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I think 1200 sq.ft. should be fine. I once lived in a home that was not much over 900 sq.ft., but I have more than double that now.

Two car attached garage was near the top of my list when I last looked for a house - glad I got it.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:49 PM   #93
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You always have to consider resale. You never know what life brings.
I'm always amazed how people build or remodel with resale values in mind. We built our house for us, not some future buyer. Odds are the future owners would change everything we did anyway. Styles and preferences change often so anything you plan today will likely be outdated when you go to sell it. Make your home what YOU want, not what you think some future owner will want.

We always joke that whoever ends up with our house will paint our tongue and groove cedar ceilings white or cover them with sheetrock.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:54 PM   #94
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IIRC by code you need to have double drywall between the house and detached garage and the purpose of the double drywall is to help defer a fire in one section spreading to the other before the fire truck arrives.
And self closing doors to prevent exhaust from seeping into the house if you have your car running in the garage. Physically separating the garage from the house is still a better option for safety and noise control.

Attached garages may be more convenient, but we never park in our garage anyway so that is not an advantage for us.
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:05 PM   #95
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OP - what/how is your wife designing the house, I'm interested as thinking I should design a new cabin.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:23 AM   #96
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No one can possibly know how small is too small...only you can answer that.
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:47 AM   #97
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What are your plans for it? Permanent residence or second home? I think 1000 is a bit tight for 2 people as full time residence, but there are numerous people that do just fine with that size apt or condo. 1000 sq ft, especially as 2 story, will be quite small footprint each level. Even split up, as 600 main floor and 400 second, those are fairly small. I just think having larger rooms and more space will be nicer if you are living there all the time. Having 1/4 acre is good, it allows some space outside and not being right on top of your neighbor. It also lets you spread out the house footprint some without problems with setbacks.
When my DW and I were dating and living in 1000 sq ft we were really happy when we upgraded to 1250 sq ft with extra loft and bedroom than we were used to. That really helped but eventually we outgrew that space for 2100 sq ft and now we are in 3150sq ft so go figure.
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Old 03-09-2020, 08:33 AM   #98
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Between age 11 and 13 I lived in an 8'x30' travel trailer (240 sq/ft) with my mom and stepdad. We traveled around the country from job to job. It was tight but I don't remember it being an issue. The only negative I remember was having to fold up my bed every morning into a couch. I had a few toys, but mostly played outdoors. We didn't have a lot of "things" so space wasn't really an issue. We had everything we needed, a place to sleep, a place to cook, bathe, store clothes, watch TV, play games, etc.

My first apartment was a two bedroom, one bath with 750 sq/ft. It had more than enough space for my wife and I. Even when our daughter was born we had everything we needed. We lived there about five years.

Our first home was a two bedroom, 1-1/2 bath single wide mobile home, also 750 sq/ft. We lived in the mobile for 13 years and never considered space to be an issue. It wasn't built very well, but it was home and we were quite comfortable.

When we built our own home we were constrained to a 40'x40' area between our garage and septic system. So I designed our house to fit that 40'x40' area. We knew it was going to be our forever home so we planned a single level. With a 6'x24' front porch we ended up with a 1456 sq/ft home. With nearly twice the square footage of any home we had lived in before it felt like a mansion to us. Fifteen years later it still has more space than we really need.

More space just means more "stuff". The more stuff you acquire, the more space you need. Now you see people buying 3000+ sq/ft homes with three car garages, and they STILL have to rent storage units for all their stuff.



I'm not a strict minimalist, but I do tend to prefer owning fewer possessions. When you get rid of the things you think are necessities, it's surprising how little space a person really needs.
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Old 03-09-2020, 03:53 PM   #99
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There's been some good ideas here. There a reason why many cities and HOA's don't allow 2 bedroom houses--for future resale and protection of neighbors' home prices. They're just difficult to sell down the line.

As many have said, two floors are not preferred for a couple in retirement. Go one floor.

And I'd be careful on the style--trying to emulate the houses in the area. I've not seen a mansard roof built in 25 years.

I think of floorplans from the inside out. Since so much time in retirement is spent in the bedroom, don't give me 10' x 10' bedrooms. 12' x 15' should be a minimum for bedrooms. For a living room, 13' x 22' is about perfect. And as they say kitchens sell houses, so careful design of a kitchen is important.

My cousin is an architect, and he did a great job designing my parents' lake house--1700 square feet. It's not too small and not too large. The 36' screen porch is like another living room in the Summer--and cheap space. We got 3 great carpenters and built that house ourselves in 6 weeks.
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:39 PM   #100
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There's been some good ideas here. There a reason why many cities and HOA's don't allow 2 bedroom houses--for future resale and protection of neighbors' home prices. They're just difficult to sell down the line.
There are entire cities that won't let someone build a 2 bedroom house? I can't believe that no one wants a 2 bedroom. There are 10's of millions of empty nesters, childless couples, and single people looking for homes.

I deliberately renovated my house to go from a 3 bedroom into a 2 bedroom and I'll have no problem selling it when the time comes.
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