'My Dream House' is the first entry in House Plans Helper's 'Remodelog'. That makes it No 1. And that's the number on the street of our new dream home, our forever home. The one we'll be in 'for a while' whatever a 'while' turns out to be.
Let's start back when we bought the place in late 2011. As I said it's my dream house: near school, we can cycle into town, it has 3 generous bedrooms, a lovely big south facing garden and a garage for our bikes. All in all, just what we need for our family. We always knew we'd be extending it to have 2 further bedrooms because when the family comes to stay from overseas, usually for about a week, we want them to be comfortable.
Let's start by looking at the main points of this article...
The main take-away points from this installment are:
Get an architect to have a look at the home before you buy if you're planning to remodel.
You'll get to know the initial layout of the ground floor of the home, which you'll need to know to make the later articles on the design progression meaningful.
Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter up there at the top of the right hand column to get your floor plan and blue print symbols so that you can get started on planning your own project.
So here's a few pictures to give you an idea of the current layout and surroundings. We had an architect come and have a look at the house before we bought. He assured us that there was plenty of space to extend and that with a sensible scheme there shouldn't be any problems with planning permission.
I scanned this front elevation from the sales brochure. There are too many leaves on the trees at the moment for me to take a photo that shows anything much. I think my dream house is a beauty from the front.
Layout of ground floor from the real estate listing
I see so much potential in this house. Here's a floor plan of how we're using the ground floor as is. Our furniture is not the best fit but we're not going to buy furniture until the remodel is finished.
I've drawn on our furniture so you can get an idea of how we're using the house.
So here's the potential improvements list for the ground floor. I've included pictures of the interior from the sales brochure or that I've taken. The decor is dated but try to ignore it.
The front entrance is lovely into the front hall with a fantastic staircase. At the moment we're hanging our coats up in the wc next to the hall and as you can see we have a small shoe storage unit and there's bags on the floor.
The front entrance - better coat, bag and shoe storage required
The lovely staircase - definitely one of the features that made it my dream house
The kitchen layout can really be improved. Part of it is in a corridor and part of it is in part of the house that used to be a garage. The freezer is out in the north eastern corner of the eastern garage. The seating area is set back from the rest of the house so there's a lot of potential to get better light from the south and a better outlook from the kitchen dining area. We find the two sinks useful so we might look to keep two sinks (probably not in their current locations) in the new kitchen.
Kitchen dining area - a bit tight and not taking full advantage of the garden view
Utility / laundry room
The utility room is on the small side. I'm wondering if we really need a second wc downstairs. The boiler sits in the corner behind it which makes the laundry room small. We do a lot of laundry (normal stuff, sports that involve mud, I like table cloths and napkins when we have people over). A bigger laundry - one for the wish list. And a mud room.
Laundry - a bit tight. The wall on the right is the wc you can see on the floor plan. The space round the back is taken up by the boiler.
The dining room works well as a dining room. When people come over there's a lovely view through the the back garden. The piano is in a good spot on an internal wall and we can close the doors on practice sessions.
The only thing I'll change is the bay window - I'm not a fan of trapezoid or chamfered windows. I prefer box bays. I'll add some doors into the garden as well. The doors are a definite, changing the shape will be one of the first things to go if the budget comes under strain because this bay window goes up to the second floor as well.
Dining room - you can see the piano on the right and my laptop on the table (see comments in office section below)
The living room is a really nice size. We often find ourselves sitting in the bay window area with a cup of tea, reading, talking or just relaxing. I have a dilemma here. My instinct is to flatten that bay off to give the central bay in the dining room more impact. I'd better experiment sitting in the bay in the dining room and make sure I like the view there.
The conservatory is great when the weather is warmer. It's a space to get away from it all. My husband sometimes naps on the sofa there. The back of the conservatory is just a bit of a dumping ground for furniture that we couldn't fit in anywhere.
I'm thinking the conservatory and garage space will become part of a bigger living room with a study and conservatory.
Living room - you can see the chairs in the bay window and the door at the bottom opening onto the conservatory.
We need to carve out office spaces somewhere. At the moment I'm on the
dining room table which isn't ideal as it's right in front of the front
door and anyone who comes to the door is faced with a view of computer
and papers. I also have to move everything any time we have people over
to eat. My husband is in the sitting room (western reception room)
which he's sharing with the kids as it's their play room as well.
The garage is great for the bikes, which is our main mode of transport day to day. It's not big enough for modern cars though (built back in 1946). I've drawn our bikes on there. I'd like a really slick arrangement of coming in on our bikes and coming into a lobby where we'd each have a locker for helmets, coats, bags etc.
While we're on the size of the car, the gates need to be widened. I'm breathing in every time I drive through them.