Mar 19, 2009

Advice Needed!

So Mike and I have been going back and forth since July on whether we should build a house or buy an existing home. We wanted to see what was out there in our price range and I'm pretty sure we have looked at nearly every house that has come on the market since we moved here in July. There have been, I think, two that we could maybe see ourselves in, but they would need some serious updating and work before we would feel 'at home'.

We have also been talking to a General Contractor for a little while now, trying to get ideas on building costs and home construction.

After much thought and prayer and back and forth we have finally decided that for the price of what we could buy a home for and the money we would have to put into it to fix it up, we could build something brand spankin' new! Something that was ours from the get go and built just the way we like it.

Anyway, onto the 'advice needed' part...

So we have been looking at house plans extensively for sometime now and have, so far, narrowed it down to three contenders. Now, these are not for sure the three finalists but they are our favorites thus far and we have searched high and low to find them so, will you please take a minute and tell me what you think? Which is your favorite and why, and what don't you like? I would love to hear from you because I think you all might find things that are great and things that are not so great, things we didn't even think of.

I'll tell you what we like and don't like about each plan just so you can get and idea of what we are looking for and where we are at.

And just in case the pictures are too small, I'll add the links so you can go directly to the websites that these homes are posted on and you can see bigger pictures and more information there.

You also might be able to click on the photos below and then go to a new window where the photos are bigger. Not sure on that though.

I'm so excited to hear your feedback!!!

House #1 - The Chalkrock

Things we like :

-Karli really like the exterior look on this house.
-We love where the garage is on this house. The lot that we are getting is on a hill and we think that this garage will work really well with where the house will be on the lot.
-The master suite is exactly what we like.
- We really like the way the stairs are laid out in the entry.
- There is a ton of bonus room upstairs where we could wall one of the bonus parts off and make it an office for Mike (this is a must in any home we build due to Mike working from home).
- We really like the open floor plan.
- This house has the least square footage, which mean $$$ saved!

Things we don't like:

-We would have to wall off one of the bonus rooms to put Mike's office in, and that would then require putting another set of stairs in, probably in the laundry room. (We really want his office to be totally seperate from the rest of the house.)
- We would need to change the laundry room into a mudroom. If you're not from Northern B.C. you might question this, but anyone living up here will agree with us 100% . A mudroom is a MUST!
- The kitchen is a little on the small side. (But I could totally deal with this.)
- There is no pantry in the kitchen. Bummer!
- Mike doesn't love the outside look of the house.
- There is no place for a bathroom for Mike in his 'office'.
- Would prefer walk-in closets in the rooms upstairs.
- Basically, we would have to make a lot of changes to the floorplan to get what we really want.

House #2 - The Yellow House (as we lovingly call it).

Things we like:

-Mike really likes the look of this house.
- The garage placement would work well for us.
- Lot's of open room.
- Decent sized kitchen, with pantry.
- Rec room and Bonus room upstairs, so plenty of space to make an office for Mike.
- Shop in the garage for Mike to build me stuff :)
- Love where the fireplace is because we really want to make is share a chimney and put a fireplace outside on the porch too. We had this at our last home and LOVED it!
- Plumbing a bathroom in the bonus room would be relatively easy for an office for Mike.

Things we don't like:

- Karli doesn't love the outside of the house.
- Don't love the master bathroom and closet placement.
- Again, the laundry would have to be turned into a mudroom and the laundry put downstairs.
- Don't love the foyer/entry, with the stairs right there when you walk in.
- Don't like the upstairs bathroom but think we can easily make it more functional.
- Again, for Mike's office we would have to wall it off and make another staircase in the laundry/mudroom for access.
- Basically, again, a lot of changes to the plans to get it to where we want it.

House #3 - The Big House (again, don't know it's real name so we made it up) :)

Things we like:

-This is the biggest of the three homes by quite a bit, so it has most everything we need/want already in the floor plans. We wouldn't have to make many changes.
- Mike and Karli both really like the look of this house.
- The kitchen is BANG-A-RANG! (and it has a little pantry)!
- Love the open kitchen and family room.
- Like that the stairs aren't right off the foyer.
- Great master suite.
- LOVE that there is already a second set of stairs to a space for Mikes office, WITH a bathroom already in the plans!!!
- There is already one more bedroom than we would need so we could fit another baby in there, should the need arrise, (no, I am NOT making an announcement)! Or it would make a great guest room.
- You can't see it, but the back of this house is STELLAR!!!
- Every room has a nice walk-in closet.

Things we don't like:

-This is the biggest of the three houses which means more $$$.
- The laundry would have to become a mudroom, with the laundry going downstairs. (Do you sense a pattern here?)
- The three car garage is a bit much. We would probably take off the extra garage, thus making the bonus area over top of it obsolete too. (Which isn't a huge deal since there is still room for Mike's office).
- Who really needs a second bedroom suite in their home anyway? I mean, it's nice and everything but we would probably take out the extra bathroom in bedroom #2 to save on money. (That's what I'm telling Mike, but I just don't want to clean another bathroom!) :)

- So once again, a few changes to the house plans.

Now, we know that we will probably never find a home that has exactly what we want in it. Well, unless we visit an architect and have something custom done, but we aren't really into that, aka. don't want to pay the extra $$$. We understand that a few changes will need to be made to any plan and we are willing to do that.

So, now tell me what YOU think!


Kobe Family said...

i think you are smart to build your own especially if Mike can do most of the work. As you probably already know, building supplies have come down in cost considerably! So if you can buy i bulk when things go on sale, save even more! I like them all, but I'm with you on the first one. I think it's whimsical..just cute! Bonus rooms upstairs are very noise with little kids in them so be prepared for that. I really like sending them downstairs to play. But the room is still great. If you are planning on staying in this house for the rest of your lives look for something that won't be too big when it's just you and Mike later on and I'm with you who want's to clean another bathroom? I could say more but I think I've said enough!

Lynn said...

I love them all!

I think personally that if Mike can do most of the work himself....then that would be the best choice for you.

Whatever house would take the LEAST amount of work needing to be done on it by an outside contractor or carpenter....

Does that make sense??

HAve fun deciding! This must be SO fun!

Final score:Boys 5 Girls 0 said...

I like the second one because I have always wanted a house with a front porch that wraps around the fron and side of hte house! All of them are nice though! YOU will have to keep us posted!

Kara said...

I'm voting #2, because it is Mike's favorite, and I am his favorite, so it is just right to do I suppose!
Okay, really, I do like it and I would just put the mudroom in the garage, it is big enough. Then I would put another laundry in the bsmt too, that's two laundry rooms and you can get it all done so quickly! Just call me mom!
If you don't like the outside just mix it up with stone, siding, etc.

Kelli said...

That is so exciting for you guys to be building a house!! We had so much fun designing and building ours. I wish we could do it again!

Anyhow, I REALLY like the second house. It seems to have the best use of space and is really open, I like that. The only thing I don't like is that you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the rest of the house from the garage. But the kitchen is huge so it might not matter. Love the extra space in the garage and the double bath upstairs and, of course, the wrap around porch and covered back porch.

I agree with Kara on the laundry room...I would keep it where it is because you will hate having to run downstairs all the time to change loads, carry baskets, etc. I LOVE having my laundry room right off the kitchen. You could move the wall between the kitchen and laundry room to make the laundry space bigger and have a mud room and laundry room there. It would make your kitchen smaller though. I don't know, just brainstorming. I love this kind of stuff! Anyway, that's my two cents. I can't wait to see what you decide on! Have fun!!

TL said...

I'm with Kara but instead of making the laundry room a mud room why don't you make the shop/storage area a mud room and then keep the laundry room. That is the only thing I do not like about my house, the laundry room is in the basement and it's such a pain to get it done. When we had our house in St George the laundry was right off the kitchen and I loved it. Good luck! Have fun, I love looking at house plans so thanks for sharing.

Dana said...

I love number two because those are the plans that I want when we build (funny you guys are looking at that one!!).
For the outside, take off the shutters and do Hardy Plank siding in blue. And I'm with Kara, just put a mudroom in the garage, it's big enough.
But I love how big number 3 is (it's massive)!! Maybe it's just me and being crammed in a little place...but I LOVE number 3, too.
I can't wait to see what you choose.

Marissa said...

I think house #2 would best fit your needs. I agree, I'm not crazy about the way they've designed the outside either but I think stone and wide siding would be cute. You could maybe make that extra Shop/storage place in the garage the mud area plus add stairs there.
It's cute! Good luck.

Arah Debra said...

I love them all, but the third is probably my fav. I love the master sweet and the way the kitchen and great room are set up. I like how open it is. Hard choices, but it looks like you guys did your research. I'm sure any of them would be great. Good luck and congrats!

Trish said...

I like them all but love #3. I love how open the layout is on the main floor and the master bedroom away from the kids. You can still move the fireplace to the outside wall so you could have your indoor out door fire place. I would love the laundry room on the same floor as the bedrooms, I hate packing the laundry up and down stairs.I always trip up that last step. Good-luck. It's hard work but lotsa fun:o)


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