Free State Project Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: House plans  (Read 14076 times)

MaineShark

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5044
House plans
« on: July 07, 2005, 07:48:34 pm »

Just FYI, I'm going to be starting a side-line doing blueprints (stock, semi-custom, and full-custom) for houses.  Basically, I've become very dissatisfied with the quality of blueprints from most commercial suppliers.  They often contain items which greatly increase the complexity and expense of building the house, for no real reason.  The designers often simply do not consider the physical requirements to install the plumbing, heating, electrical, and other mechanical systems, and often waste great amounts of space with their designs.  Keeping these requirements in mind when doing a design can dramatically reduce the cost of installing the mechanicals, and free up a lot of space (either giving you more living space, or allowing you to live comfortably in a smaller space).

So, rather than just complain about it, like most contractors, I figure I’ll actually get off my butt and do something about it.  I’ve done some architectural design work in the past, but that was a while back, so I expect it will take some time before I get myself re-trained on the new software.

I will be selling these blueprints at a competitive price, but I plan on offering a significant discount for FSP members who wish to purchase plans for use in building a house in NH.  By “significant,” I mean that I don’t expect to charge anything above-cost for stock designs or simple semi-custom designs, and to charge much less than the typical architect for anything beyond that.

Like I said, I’m not up-and-running, yet, but I figured I’d put this out there where people can think about it a bit.  If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll make a note of it so that I can be sure to update you, when products become available.

Joe
Logged
"An armed society is a polite society" - this does not mean that we are polite because we fear each other.

We are not civilized because we are armed; we are armed because we are civilized..

5thconcerto

  • Friend of the FSP
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 697
  • To live free!
Re: House plans
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2005, 10:00:53 pm »

That's great, Maineshark! I have over 25 years in home-building, and am constantly amazed by the lack of common sense in most designers.
Logged

MaineShark

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5044
Re: House plans
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2005, 11:48:02 pm »

I have over 25 years in home-building, and am constantly amazed by the lack of common sense in most designers.

It's scary, ain't it?  "Let's put all the plumbing over here, except for no reason we'll put the toilet just on the other side of the main support beam, so the plumber will have to drill a 4" hole through the single most critical structural member in the whole house!"  It definitely makes you wonder...

Joe
Logged
"An armed society is a polite society" - this does not mean that we are polite because we fear each other.

We are not civilized because we are armed; we are armed because we are civilized..

rmills

  • FSP Participant
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 63
Re: House plans
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2005, 11:52:37 pm »

I myself can't appreciate the issues you all are talking about as I'm not in construction but you certainly are giving me some concern!  I'd be interested in seeing some of the plans you draw up!
Logged

KBCraig

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1466
Re: House plans
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2005, 02:30:00 am »

Wonderful idea, Maine. Especially since you dare to sell plans without the blessing of the AIA!  ;)

I have a friend at work who is a singer, who is blessed (or cursed) with perfect pitch. He can't listen to hit songs, because even slightly off-pitch singing amounts to fingernails on the chalkboard for him.

I have the same reaction to "stock plan" houses.

In this land of the "ranch on slab", my biggest rant is the non-functional front door. If served by a sidewalk at all, it's one thrown down as an afterthought from the driveway, or perhaps leading out to the curbside mailbox, where no parking is available.

Next rant: scraping together a minimal pad, instead of building with the terrain. There's a new development half a mile from my house. The terrain is beautiful, but "stock plan" houses were thrown up as "affordable housing" (i.e.: a stapled-together mobile home on a slab instead of wheels). The lots are smallish but not tiny (20+ feet between houses). Being on a hillside, these houses would be perfect for basements, but nooooooo.... They scooped out a little bit of pad, and poured a slab. That's the only way they know to build houses here (yet another reason to get the hell out of Texas!) Some of these houses have 40% grade driveways; if their driveways were level, the floor of the garage would be the ceiling. They're wasting 400 ft^2 by keeping the whole house on grade, instead of having a basement garage. The price difference is mostly a few hours of excavation.

Next rant: building from the outside in, instead of from the inside out. I despise houses that are designed to be seen, instead of lived in. Frank Lloyd Wright advocated designing a living space, and wrapping a shell around it. In all fairness, he often failed, and required owners of his homes to live with his inflexible designs. I believe all of us here recognize Howard Roark as the perfect architect in this regard.  ;)

Finally: I agree with Maine that most houses are designed with no regard to function (see my rants above). And even when properly designed, construction details often default to habit, rather than what makes sense. For a good example, look at the corners of almost all stud-framed homes. There is no insulation there at all. By the simple method of turning two studs 90 degrees, insulation can wrap around the corner, and have two fewer "through" studs.

Speaking of insulation, I'm a huge fan of blown cellulose. The insulative properties are superior, because it goes everywhere, instead of just where batts allow. It's bug-proof (perhaps not as important in NH as in Texas, where we have huge wild cucarachas that we politely call "water bugs". And, in the age of closely spaced houses, it has excellent acoustic damping. When I build my dream home, I plan to blow cellulose in the interior walls, just for noise control.

Maine, should the Lotto ghods favor us, I'll be giving you a call. We'll start with the heating system and work out. :)

Kevin
Logged

lloydbob1

  • Guest
Re: House plans
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2005, 07:44:56 am »

Here in New England we have been building Capes and Colonial styled structures for 350 years, both, timber framed and stick built. All the design you need! One still needs to be careful not to stick the toilet over the carrying beam!
When ever I see one a  Ranch house, I can only think that with a little more wood it could be a Cape with an upstairs.
Contemporary's?  Who wants to make all of those valleys?
Nope, give me a Cape or Colonial any day!  You can draw the plans on the back of a paper bag.
Logged

5thconcerto

  • Friend of the FSP
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 697
  • To live free!
Re: House plans
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2005, 09:37:03 pm »

"You can draw the plans on the back of a paper bag.


I've worked for framing crews that followed sketches drawn on napkins. If everyone knows their business, this is possible. As framers, we knew the needs of the plumbers and electricians. Not all crews do, or did.
Logged

Evenstar

  • FSP Participant
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 113
  • FSP Participant
    • My Blog
Re: House plans
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2005, 10:26:45 am »

My husband and I (without any archetectural training and only my husband's grasp of physics to go on) have been playing with floorplans for houses for quite some time now.  We would be the "complete custom" type of people, and are considering working with compressed earthen block (assuming we can find a place without zoning to prohibit it).  Is there any way of estimating how much it would cost to have our plans (drawn up in personal level archetict software) looked over and turned into something that might be useable by a contractor?  Also, how far in the process is it necessary to go if we're planning to do most of the work ourselves (we've looked at both paths).  I realize that a changes add to the cost after the process is started, both in the floorplan design part and (even more so) in the building part, but I'm looking for a rough estimate.  Our most recent concept is a single story dwelling built with a box for the (open floorplan) kitchen, living room, dining room; a "wing" to one side for master suite; another "wing" for kids rooms; and another "wing" for home office; with each wing and the central box being about 25' x 25'.  It shouldn't be too terribly complex, though we haven't started to try imagining the roofline on that yet.  :)  Also, any specific pitfalls to watch out for in dreaming up a floorplan on our own?
Logged
Searching for my place in "Life, the Universe, and Everything" one day at a time.
Maybe I've finally found it... in NH! (www.FreeStateProject.org)
Visit my blog.

pcwallis

  • Guest
Re: House plans
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2005, 06:19:29 pm »

When my wife and I get to NH we will be  building a log home.  Can anyone advise where we can get house plans for a log home.
Logged

EC

  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 46
  • Let Your Spirit Soar!
Re: House plans
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2005, 07:07:33 pm »

"You can draw the plans on the back of a paper bag.


I've worked for framing crews that followed sketches drawn on napkins. If everyone knows their business, this is possible. As framers, we knew the needs of the plumbers and electricians. Not all crews do, or did.


Yep, 5th : )

I'm the obsessive type...HaHa!

   Done...Finito...In My Head Before I Break Ground! 

...more or less... ;)

...adapt and overcome in the field a bit...done deal!
Logged

EC

  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 46
  • Let Your Spirit Soar!
Re: House plans
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2005, 07:46:28 pm »

...meant to add this to my previous post...had to head out for a minute...

Good For You , MaineShark!

Just keep the process and drawings and structual components simple and strong...

Even if the building is complex...
simplicity in the gathering together of the parts is a good thing, imo.

And light, bright and open, too : )

The Best to You on this endeavor!
« Last Edit: August 11, 2005, 07:48:27 pm by EC »
Logged

5thconcerto

  • Friend of the FSP
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 697
  • To live free!
Re: House plans
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2005, 09:20:27 pm »

When my wife and I get to NH we will be  building a log home.  Can anyone advise where we can get house plans for a log home.

Phil,
 Here is a link to a Log Home Builder in Canterbury, NH. Pictures and plans are on the Website.
http://www.model-log-homes.com/NH-log-homes.htm
http://www.crockettloghomes.com/featuredloghomes.html

Alan
Logged

BarryD

  • Friend of the FSP
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 65
Re: House plans
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2005, 03:05:23 pm »

Great links 5th!!

Having a cabin would be great, but it looks like it could get over-the-top expensive real quick though.
Approx. 45-75k for plans + price of lot  + whatever a contractor charges you to build it + inevitably going over budget due to upgrades wanted or wierd things like drilling a well or sewage/lot problems = $$$$$$$$$$

Still a great idea though. I guess I need to start paying my "idiot tax" on Saturdays and start buying lottery tickets.

Barry
Logged
"If you're going to be a sheep, be aware of who's the Shepard."
Me

lloydbob1

  • Guest
Re: House plans
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2005, 04:33:12 pm »

"You can draw the plans on the back of a paper bag.


I've worked for framing crews that followed sketches drawn on napkins. If everyone knows their business, this is possible. As framers, we knew the needs of the plumbers and electricians. Not all crews do, or did.

What happened to 'Screw the other Contractors'? ;D
Seriously, the lines of Colonial structures lend themself to relative ease of plumbing and wiring.  At least they don't inhibit them. Whether there is a basement or not can be a factor in performing these functions.  Keeping all of the plumbing, on all of the floors, on the same wall helps. I helped build a timber frame house in Alstead, NH in 1980.  One nice thing about timber framed houses is because the frames are self supporting, you don't have to plan interior walls and staircasings until after the house is built!
Logged

Posterity

  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 274
Re: House plans
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2005, 05:31:28 pm »

I've looked at a lot of home plans on the internet and in books but I've never found anything I really like.  So add me to the list of those who will be creating a custom design.

What are the building costs in NH?  I realize that's a vague question because it depends a lot on the design and the materials used, but I mean just a general ballpark figure for an average stick-frame home with good quality (but not extravagent) materials.  Ultimately I'd like to build a timber frame home, and from what I understand they cost about 25% more than a comparable stick-frame home.


When my wife and I get to NH we will be  building a log home.  Can anyone advise where we can get house plans for a log home.

A quick google search came up with these directories of log home builders in NH:

http://loghomelinks.com/states/nh.htm
http://www.directorynh.com/NHBuilders-Contractors/NHLogHomes.html
Logged
"...secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up