Making Plans

I know it has been a long time since the last post, but that does not mean we haven’t been busy!

I’ve spent most of the last month working with a contractor to create a buildable set of drawings.   Come along if you would like a quick tour!

The Main House
Image of an engineering drawing of a hillside house with carport
Drawing of the north side of the Logger’s Retreat, as it will look from near the top of the driveway. Not shown here are details of the north (i.e. kitchen) deck.

The new design of the main house is very similar to the original.  It has essentially the same footprint & only slightly more living space.   Since the design has not changed much, I’ll mostly just point out the differences.

Image of an enginerring drawing of the west face of the house
The front door and breezeway, looking East. Again the details of both north and south decks are not shown here.


Image of an engineering drawing of a hillside house, from the other side
Looking North from near the garage. As before the decks are not shown here, and also the details of the steep eastern edge of the driveway between main house and garage, which will have to be stabilized and reinforced to accommodate the hot tub.

Because of changes to the building code, we may not be able to have quite as much window space in the master bedroom upstairs.

The old design had wrap-around windows at the southeast corner of that bedroom, but code may no longer allow that. These days they generally want at least 32 inches of wall space between a window and the nearest corner or door.  This is one detail we have the structural engineer looking into now.

Image of the eastern face of the house, showing two stories and a basement
This is approximately how the house will appear as you look West, from near the picnic area.

The eastern face of the house will look similar to the old design.  In the drawing above it shows a sliding glass door on the left and a standard door in the middle. However in the current plan those will both be double French doors instead.

Image of the Upper floor plan showing outside decks
The new upper-level floor plan is essentially the same as the old one.

Here you can see the upstairs floor plan, as well as the upper-level decks. The only significant change here are the decks themselves.  The north deck will be  a few feet larger than before, extending eastward in front of the north-facing window of the octagon.

Not shown in the floor plan above are all of the kitchen counters and cabinets, but our plan is for all of that to be pretty much the same as before.  At this point the plan still is to have  bar stools around the kitchen counter area, but they will probably not have swiveling tractor seats, and not be anchored to the floor.

On the south (master bedroom) upper-level deck, we plan to add a set of stairs connecting it to the lower-level deck.  That u-shaped deck area on the right will be attached to, and one step down from the south deck.  It will wrap around the hot tub.

The lower-level deck will now be rectangular and significantly larger. It used to wrap around the large oak tree that grew there, close to the house.  Since that tree is now gone, there is no longer anything for the deck to wrap around.

Image of the lower floor plan.
And here is the lower-level floor plan.

On the lower floor, the south (right side) bedroom gets a larger closet and a full bath instead of a 3/4 bath. Double French doors open onto the lower deck instead of a sliding glass door.

The middle (“family”) room also gets French doors opening onto the lower deck but is otherwise no different from the old design.

The north bedroom gets some additional square footage plus a larger closet, and its own outside door too!   The drawing shows it opening onto a small deck, but I am pretty sure that won’t be necessary as the hillside there will already be at door-level.

The Garage
Image of a garage with living space above
The garage as it will appear from the main house

The new garage will be quite a bit different from the old one.  The footprint will be wider by two feet and longer by one foot.  But the biggest change is the living space we’ve added above the garage.

Image of the east side of the garage, showing both upper and lower levels
Looking West at the east side of the garage. At the south (left) side, the roof extends over the deck and covers it completely.

On the south end of the garage there is an upper-level  deck which wraps around the southeast corner of the building.  Stairs on the east side will provide a way to get to the deck (and the living space) when coming from the main house.

Since the deck provides the only entrance to the living area, the entire deck and east side of the building will be protected from rain and snow by an overhead roof.

Drawing of the garage below with living space above
Looking North, at the south end of the garage.

This is what the south end of the garage will look like, looking North.  The old garage was separated from the railroad-tie retaining wall to the West (to the left in this view) by a narrow walkway.  Our plan is to push the garage directly up against the hillside and use the west wall of the garage itself as the retaining wall.  This should save some construction costs and will also provide more usable yard space on the east side of the garage.

Another benefit of pushing the garage directly up against the hillside is that the west side of the deck will actually be at ground level there.  We’ll landscape a ramped path up to that spot as an alternative way to get to that deck (and into the living space).

Drawing of the west face of the garage
This is looking East, at the west face of the garage. The lower half of this wall will be a retaining wall — i.e. holding back the hillside above.

Now for the floor plans…

Lower floor plan of the garage which includes a small half-bath
This is the lower floor of the garage. In this orientation the main house will be to the left.

The lower floor will be two separate 2-car garage areas connected by a fifth (internal) garage door.   This internal door will allow us to move vehicles and equipment from one garage to the other without having to drive all the way up and around the property.

The second (southern) garage area — which in the old garage was a shop — will provide sheltered parking for anyone using the living space above.

Floor plan of the living space above the garage
The upper floor of the garage has two bedrooms and about 1000 sq ft of total living space

That living space itself will be a comfortable 2-bedroom, single bath home, with large East-facing windows similar to the main house.  The kitchen will have lots of cabinet space and be large enough to accommodate a round 4-person dining table.  It will be well-equipped of course! 🙂

The east bedroom has the best view and is large enough to fit a king bed.  The west bedroom is a bit smaller but still large enough for a queen bed.

So that’s the tour, and that’s “The Plan.”  After our structural engineer is done with his part, we should be able to submit the plans to the county for approval, and also to send out for bids.  With any luck that will happen by the end of March!

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