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Floor Plans Answered

I own a house in one city, and work in another.  In order to avoid driving back and forth everyday, I have bought a small lot and plan to build a small house there.  I am severly limited by the size of the lot and the money I have to fund the project.  Therefore I have decided not to exceed a 20 foot by 20 foot design.

I'm looking for your help.  Attached is a photo of a couple of post-its that I laid out a quick floor plan on.  I've re-arranged it several times, and finally have something I think really maximizes the space available to me.  I'm simply asking if you guys see more ways to do so.

Some quick notes- this is far from a final design.  The first post-it is the second floor, and the second is the ground floor.  I'm not sold on the upstairs restroom, it just depends on the slope of the roof I decide on if that will be possible.  In the kitchen, I alloted 2 feet per appliance, but will need a bit more, so it's nine feet wide which should fit.  The doors on both sit rooms will swing out, not in as shown on the second one.  I will base the electric and have a tankless water system based out of the pantry with the washer and dryer.  I would also like to possibly remove the wall that encloses in the the kitchen, but  not sure how that would effect stability.

Any thoughts on any aspects of the design are welcome, except for making it bigger.  Thanks!


Dr. Pepper

8 years ago

Looks like you need to contact a general contractor. Too bad that I live so far away.


8 years ago

Just to get started thinking about this.

What town, state?
What building code to they use?
Exterior wall thickness?
Interior wall thickness?
What purpose are the "Sit Rooms"?
Foundation type?
Expected number of persons occupying?


Reply 8 years ago

1.) St. Joseph, MO
2.) I dont know. I didn't realized codes were standardized, I'll see if I can find out.
3.) Likely 2x4s with 3/4 plywood outside, and drywall inside, and some type of siding (vynil?)
4.) 2x4s with drywall.
5.) A place to take off shoes/hang up coats. Also serves as a double entrance to keep air from going in or out as easy.
6.) concrete slab, no basement.
7.) just myself.

Another quick note, I think I've decided against the half bath upstairs. I'm really just looking for ideas at the moment, if you have better suggestions than what I've put forth I'd love to hear them.


Reply 8 years ago

Attached is my version.  My reccomendations are made based on 38 years of experience in Texas and YMMV.

I would reccommend not making any of the bedrooms, living, kitchen smaller than 10' clear.  You'll loose 8" in each of these as drawn to wall thickness.

I would build the bath upstairs as a "dormer" or at least stub the plumbing out for it.  If you don't need it who ever you sell it to later will want a bath upstairs and an easy "remo" to add it will be a selling point.  You need a tub in one of the baths as a selling point.

All bedrooms need to have a closet and window to the exterior or they aren't bedrooms.

The stairs are going to be longer than you think they will and I added a closet under the stairs.

There is no provision for HVAC since I don't know what is typical in the area.

You could leave all of the upstairs "unfinished" if you just need the downstairs.

You can cut this to the bone and save some more money now but when it comes time to sell and you have to "give" it away to get rid of it you might wish you had planned it better.

My version.jpg

Reply 8 years ago

The code they currently use is International Building Code, 2006 edition with a few specific changes, most of which are simply jurisdictional clarifications, and which can be seen in full here.


8 years ago

> I'm not sold on the upstairs restroom, it just depends on the slope of the roof I decide on if that will be possible.
. Don't face it in the wind.  It may be convenient to just open the window but think of the passer-bys below.

Download the free IKEA room planner, you can create a floorplan and furnish it too.  Or free google sketchup to create the floorplans.

Maybe do a yurt or geodesic dome, most room for your limited floorspace.

I think prison cells are bigger than what you have planned.

For half a million, you can get a studio apt in NYC that size, one floor only.