Finding A Floor Plan

Since we planned to use our existing furniture in the new house (and since I enjoy playing with these programs), I took the time to draw our furniture. This proved really worthwhile in deciding room dimensions and layout.

On the left is a picture of the living room in the drawing program and the way it turned out. We had considered putting the television against the far wall, but experimentation in the 3D mode showed that there would not be enough room to get around the sofa with it turned facing the other way.

One design problem was that we wanted a formal dining room, but since it would be used much less than the other rooms, we did not want to take any of the view away from those rooms in order to give the dining room a view. As a result, the dining room is in the middle of the house and thus has no windows.

So although we only have one dedicated guest bedroom, we have four rooms where guests can sleep. Our last house was larger than this one, but we only used about half the floor space, so we actually have a lot more usable floor space in this house. The only room in the whole house which we are not in every day is the guest bedroom, and it is also the smallest room.

The living room has a nice view out the front of the house (left), but you can also look through the den and the views out the side of the house (right).

The study/guest-room has its own scenery out the side of the house (left) and also looks through the kitchen and breakfast nook into the den and the views in front (right).

It is easy to overlook things which go outside the house, such as electrical and water outlets. The rental house we lived in while buildiing did not have a water faucet by the front of the garage, so to wash the car, we had to stretch two hoses from the far corner of the house; we barely got a trickle. So for this house, we knew to specify a water faucet by the garage, but we did not think to specify one on the right, as well as the left, side of the house, front and back, and we wish we had.

Builders tend to put water faucets in the middle of walls which will be covered by shrubs after a few years, making them difficult to get to. (The inset shows the hidden faucet; click it for an enlargement)

After a few years of struggling, we added water faucets in more convenient places, including the following two.

If you have a long driveway, like we do, the street end of the driveway may be too far to stretch a hose. The sprinkler system backflow valve goes out by the street, and it costs very little to have a faucet attached to the sprinkler system's water pipe. Since this pipe is removed and stored during the winter, you don't even have to worry about the faucet's freezing.
This faucet, installed near the deck steps between the house and the garage, is handy when power washing the deck, mixing weed or insect killers, filling sprinkler cans or water jugs, spot-watering plants or when washing up after working outdoors. We don't even have to bend over to use it.

In planning Judy's house (below), we specified that the water faucets be placed in convenient locations instead of in the middle of walls. (Not pictured is a faucet near the garage access door on the right side of the house.)