This Space for Rent

Idle hands are the Devil’s tools (part 2)

Going back to the two-story (+basement) houseplan, I've fattened the house one direction, but squashed the house in a different direction, and come up with a version that's got more bedroom space, and a larger enough kitchen to properly support a downstair staircase that splits, one half going forward into the entry hall and the other half going back into the kitchen. Plus, by sacrificing the minimum 10x10 bedroom size, I can put 4 bedrooms into the second floor (or, as is more likely, 2 bedrooms plus a library plus an office with a daybed, given that the bears do not think much of this idea of sleeping by themselves.

One of the differences in this plan is I've rearranged the downstairs so that I can put a large span beam across the middle of the building, and then arrange it so that the joists that hold up the second floor are no longer than 13 feet. And, because we have children, I've arranged it so that there are no strawbales in the bathroom, but just regular old fiberglass (or something else that won't instantly rot in the presence of water being sloshed out of the bathtub); it's lagniappe that fiberglass is thinner and I can push the bathroom out to an ideal 8x8 size (yes, it will be smaller because inside walls have a nonzero width, but for the purposes of the quick sketches I'm making the ideal sizes are close enough for my purposes.)

I do not think that the roof of this plan will look quite so craftsmany as some of my previous roofs. This house is square enough so that a more prairie-style roof looks better than the steeply peaked 1.5 story roof I had on the 20x26 variant.

If I put a sunroom on the front of this house (instead of (or in addition to) the side) so that the main door was tucked away beside the porch, this house would start to look very similar to the prairie-style (but not designed by any of the famous prairie-school designers) house that I lived in when I was growing up in LaCrosse. (The funny thing to me about the whole bungalow/prairie style revival is that a huge number of the houses in my part of LaCrosse were prairie style, craftsman, and bungalow houses, so I grew up thinking that that's the way all houses looked. Imagine my surprise when I started visiting the suburbs and got to see how people designed houses after 1910.


Where’s the mudroom?

I don’t know how Portland is for precipitation, but if I were thinking of putting up a house in Vancouver and I had a couple of kids, I’d be figuring on on both kids, two friends each, plus parents, worth of wet rain gear/muddy boots/totally slimed outerwear at one time. That’s really rather a lot, area-wise.

(The reflex is the same number of folks worth of snow boots and heavy outerwear covered with snow, plus skis/snowshoes, but I think it translates.)

Graydon Sat Mar 18 05:47:02 2006

The hall doubles as a mudroom. The little triangular closet, plus the wallspace on the other side of the door, are where coats can go (and a standalone bootrack can be put down underneath the coats on both sides):

The closetspace is a bit small, and I may need to sacrifice the strawbale on either side of the door for conventionally insulated areas.

When I was growing up in LaCrosse, we didn’t have a mudroom; the front entrance was tucked under a corner of the porch roof in the usual not-obvious prairie style, and all we had as an entry hall was a 4x4 space with a 3x4 closet on one side where we shovelled everything when we came in from the winter or mud. And there were three kids in the house.

I don’t know how common it is to have everyone take off their shoes when they come inside in Canada, but the handy bench by the side of the stairs is a good place for people to sit down, take off their shoes, and place the shoes under the bench before going into the rest of the house. At chateau chaos, we just take off our shoes and place them by the door.

A Vancouver house would have the slight advantage in that it wouldn’t get really cold, and some of the muddy outside clothes could be left on the porch. If we moved down south to Toronto, I’d adapt the plan to have a sunroom flanking the front door, and I’d put a little vestibule in in front of the front hall.

David Parsons Sat Mar 18 08:57:39 2006

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