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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rue Martin

Lately, the housing market in WaterColor has been pushing for a 2400 square foot, 4 bedroom plan with a secondary master suite on the ground level.  The following plan has been popular, incorporating a covered parking area and a separate family room on the second level.  The curb appeal is more conservative than the Rising Residence, and the living down has a more universal appeal.

The plan originated as an efficient box to minimize cost for an old builder client of mine.  The main volume of the house is 23'x52', because the maximum span for a 16" deep floor trusses is 22' .  The 52' length allowed the plywood subfloor and wall framing to course out.  Depending on the view opportunities and the parking requirements, the additive porch masses can be easily reconfigured to adapt the plan to a multitude of sites.

Note the exterior access to the space under the stairs.  Without a basement, pouring a slab in this space at grade gained 30" of ceiling height to maximize the utility / storage.  The water heaters are more commonly replaced with Rinnai tankless units, which are better suited to second home use.  They don't develop sulfur smells in the tank from anode rods, and they aren't on when the house is unoccupied.  They also don't run out of hot water when everyone takes a shower after a long day at the beach.

These plans are available for purchase through

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rising Residence

Thanks to the success of plan sales through Sundog Books, Southern Living and Coastal Home Plans, the blog can shift attention away from production minded projects and focus on end user driven custom designs. With financing for new homes still difficult to obtain for many aspiring home owners, the second home market for cash buyers has heated up the Florida panhandle.

Aside from the attention grabbing roofline of the curbside elevation, the interior of the home features an inverted floor plan, or living up design. With lot sizes shrinking and families getting younger, placing the living areas up can help capture views and maximize volume ceiling details.

One of the better bunk bed areas I have seen. My friend Seleta Howard has an extensive collection of bunk areas on her blog, "Simply Seleta." I like how simple and inexpensive the elements of the room are to build, while adding 4 beds to the total of this part time rental.

A desk area for catching up on work while on vacation is a must have. These floors are 6" red oak with an ebony stain. Personally, I like the floors a bit darker, but you can't beat the durability and cost of the red oak. Heart pine is my second choice option, but is typically double the material cost for red oak. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $4.25 to install and finish.

Fresh bathrooms to recreate the spa experience are also becoming more popular. Multiple master suites and full size closets are the norm in the current design climate.

These images are from a home in WaterColor, Florida. The builder was Regal Stephens, and the project footage was right at 3000 feet between three levels.