The Evolution of a House Plan

As you might know, we bought this property in 2008, with the intention of having some bonfires here on the weekends and hanging out until we figured out what the heck to do with the place. We thought it might have something to do with miniature donkeys and an awesome place for all my tools, but we just weren’t  sure.

That year, we started dreaming up what we might do to the existing house to make it more like something we’d like to live in for more than a weekend at a time. This is what that looked like:


You can see we had some ideas: a bigger kitchen, a new Master suite, maybe a porch or two. We were also missing some things that are very important to the structure of a house, like support beams and hallways.

Luckily we spent some time (almost a year) refining the plan, and we got pretty close to something that made sense, even if it wasn’t altogether the best plan you’d ever seen.

It might have taken us a year, but as you can see, we figured a few things out, such as:

  • The two spare bedrooms with a hallway and connected bathroom
  • The master bed addition with a master bath
  • A bigger kitchen and living room
  • An attached garage

Granted, neither of us is sure about a couple of things like:

  • What purpose that mudroom (sans closets) serves
  • Why there is an office smack in the middle of the living/dining area (we think it had something to do with supports)

Finally, finally, we decided as smart as we are (there’s a joke there, somewhere) we might need some professional help. Okay, we need a lot of professional help, but what we decided on was help with our house plans.

Up until this point we’ve been focusing on the specifics of the house. Like I would specifically not like the house to fall down, so we worked on putting in the proper support beams. But now that I’m focusing on the house as a whole– picking out tile and paint and flooring– I’ve been spending more time looking at the entire house plan.

You’ll see that our professional architect did things we’d never dream of, like orienting the house East/West instead of North/South. I’ve documented my favorite features here, but I feel compelled to mention again some of the excellent features she included, like:

  • The larger kitchen (we also asked to extend the great room wall a couple of feet)
  • The master suite addition that included a laundry room and functional mudroom
  • Leaving more walls in place than previously considered. Like three.
  • The inclusion of a wrap-around porch
  • A deck AND and veranda

You’ll see that we gave up on the attached garage, but what we gained in design was well worth it.

There are a lot of aspects of building and remodeling that I think I can do a comparable job, if not a better one, than a “pro”. I mean,  believe in DIY almost as far as you can take it, obviously,  but now I also recognize the need for a professional for certain things. Otherwise we might be standing in our hall-less house right now, scratching our heads about why the random doors in the middle of the living room look weird.

So, what do you think, are you confident enough to do your interior plan yourself? Some of my favorite blogging architects did it for their kitchen, but then again, they are professionals.

6 Responses

  1. I’m sputtering at the thought of you dumbing down your blog so that grunting, rib-gnawing doofuses can take in the blog better. Pictures are great to support and illustrate what you are saying, but people go to blogs mostly to read stories and learn some stuff. If they want easy consumption, they can go to youtube. I, for one, enjoy your prose. The way you present yourself is one reason I subscribed. So this is a vote of confidence from me 🙂

    Anyway, as far as the drawings, some stuff should DEFINITELY be left to the experts. My gauge on knowing when to attempt something myself is whether something can be changed easily enough if I screw it up. An addition to a house is so set and so permanent, it just makes sense to get an expert’s take. As you found out, they see things that you didn’t even consider. Can you imagine kicking yourself later when you ended up with a useless mudroom?

    Good call.

  2. family camo! yes!

    close call with that den there. I really love the plans you ended up with and I’d like to come over to hang out in the hot tub. would that be too forward of me? 🙂

    1. You are totally invited to come hang out… I scrapped the hot tub idea though. (It’s just not my thing. I prefer a hot bath with chlorinated water!)

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you – for not only *not* dumbing down your blog with less words and more pictures, but for playing it up with more words!! Society today is full of enough mindless crap – we don’t need to add more to the mix! I turn here to *think.* Huh – what a concept: thinking. 😉

  4. Okay, I’m a day late to this party (sorry I didn’t catch it yesterday) but I just have to say that I LOVE reading in general and DIY diva in particular. Your voice is one of the best things about your blog – pair that with your kick-butt can-do attitude and minature donkeys, and well, you’ve got something great!

    Keep up the excellent work (on the blog, on your house, on your projects, on your life), and don’t let the turkeys get you down!

  5. By all means, WRITE. I enjoy hell out of your blog because it’s so much fun. I’m a person with a library of over a thousand books, so I could go on a long time about reading and books, etc. But I’ll spare you all that and just say, keep on doing what you’re doing. Yours is an absolutely unique blog that is fun to read and informative. Not many can say that.

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.