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Monday, May 25, 2009

voysey hollymount

Here are two plans which seem to be in the same general theme as those recently posted. The first is a 56' wide version of C.F.A. Voysey's Hollymount. This plan is done as a 3600 s.f. version, with the usual room components. In Keeping with the English Arts and Crafts roots- the garage is planned to be detached. Look what happens to the plan when it is adapted to the new economy. It loses 14', down to 40' width. The study morphs into a desk alcove. The dining area is expanded and opened in to the kitchen. The formal living room is made so it could be closed off as a playroom or study. The main living space is opened up to the kitchen area. We shed 14' of width and over 900 s.f. of avoir du pois.

playroom and study

One of the thoughts coming out of this new examination is the fact that given the requirement of giving up 10% in the expected square footage, many people are more willing to give up convention notions of public- private or formal-informal divisions in the house. Rather than devoting space to both formal and informal dining rooms, and formal/ informal living spaces, they prefer just one space devoted to each of these functions. With the single living space devoted to a huge TV and enough room to play the Wi, there remains a need for a more secluded study- and those with young children need a playroom to keep the kid's toys and games out of site during parents hour. We haven't really reduced our room count, but the spaces are more devoted to the way most of us lead our lives. The key to this is getting the typical nook space large enough for a 6 person table so the formal dining room can be bagged. In this way the dining room can become the playroom (close to the kitchen) while the formal living room can be closed off as a study. Here is a classic center hall layout adapted to these purposes.

This plan is for a new model for a community which was planned 3-4 years ago. Problems with the site improvements delayed construction until a lawsuit and some engineering issues could be worked out. The model home is just now nearing completion, but it was thought that perhaps the size is a bit too big. The homes are selling for 1.2 to 1.4 million, The goal, get something to start at perhaps 999,990.- Using my 10% and simplification formula, the following plan was proposed.

Previously, the smallest 1st floor was 3100 s.f.- this one clocks in at a tad over 2700. A high water table dictated slab on grade construction- very unusual in our area- but ample attic storage and radiant floor heat provide adequate compensation for the loss. The developers want to give a little more time to see if the initial price points will be valid, but this layout is waiting in the wings.

luxury retirement community

plans for the new economy

Many of us are trying to second guess what the buyers will be seeking when they return. That was the original premise for this blog. As a reminder, I'll start by posting up again the result of this inquiry from last January, an approx. 2500 s.f. plan, designed to compete with 2800 s.f. builder box ( a 10% reduction), designed on 4 sides, with a totally planned interaction with its site, and efficient use of construction methods and materials. I might add to this, a massing aesthetic simplified a bit from previous norms, with detailing perhaps a bit more elaborate. Besides this original blog plan, I'll add in some of the other stuff crossing my desk in the past 6 months in additional posts

Saturday, May 2, 2009

split plan

This is the plan that wouldn't upload yesterday

Friday, May 1, 2009

other plan concepts for the new economy

Part of what I've been working on the past couple of months are plans which might fit the sorts of ideas that buyers are likely to respond positively towards as the pursestrings loosen in the coming months. Being an old and in the way sort of guy, I of course am going back into the archives to see what made sense back in the old days when every construction penny was counted. Split levels and bi-levels. These housing types got rid of the basement, at least partially, and made use of all the volume created in the house construction. 4/12 roof slopes made the plans look a little dinky, but prevented not only the expense of building large roof volumes, but also the design burden of figuring out how to get up there, and how to use the new found space. These housing types have held on to a stigma in today's marketplace, and seldom sell at favorable price per s.f. rates compared to a traditional 2- story.

My thought is that if the roof pitch is increased to a more compelling 9 or 10 in 12, and the attic space is made accessible and useful, the construction economies can be enjoyed without compromising the price per s.f.

I took a plan I built back in the 80's as a contemporary- vertical cedar siding, clerestory windows- etc. and put on a more traditional steep roofed exterior. The cost per s.f. to build this should be advantageous, and the plan has a lot to offer. The image doesn't want to load right now, but I'll put it up on the next post.