How should we position the house?

Thanks for the advice on Monday. We agree with most of you: Version 1 of our home plans has the most curb appeal for us, too.

Jean had drawn the turret in Version 2 based on a home in South Minneapolis I love, but once we saw it on paper, we realized it wasn’t in our character. And while we both like the idea of a turned garage, one of us doesn’t have the best record driving in small spaces. (Side view mirrors are expensive to replace.)

Back to our meeting at Rehkamp Larson. Jean had designed a cardboard mock up of our lot. Each tier represents a grade. On our back lot line is a burr that creates additional privacy.

We have neighbors to our south, and a schoolyard to our north. A road runs in front of our lot, while our back lot line presses against a neighboring yard. There is a 15 foot setback.

Here are two three-dimensional models. Jean broke up the exterior to make each home appear more interesting from the street, and less massive.

Version 1 sets traditionally on the lot. We like its curb appeal and that it gives us a larger backyard. Plus privacy. Because I’m a freak about who can see in our windows (whereas Matt thinks the sight of naked people can only raise property values).

Above: View from street.

But having a garage to the south limits sun exposure. (If we move our garage to the north, we lose our ability to take advantage of the natural slope to light our basement.)

Above: View from back.

Version 2 runs along the north lot line, with over-sized windows pulling in the light and view. With this home, you can feel the tranquility brought on by its natural surroundings, with views in all directions. And it creates a courtyard, a peaceful outdoor room in which to entertain friends and family. Mojito, anyone?

Above: View from street.

However, you have less privacy as your bedroom windows face your neighbors to the south (although plantings could obstruct your view). And this home extends further into the yard, using more of it.

Above: View from back.

How do you think we should position our house?

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13. August 2010 by Jennifer Jeanne Patterson
Categories: Home Building | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 comments

Comments (26)

  1. What a beautiful house, Jen! I think you’re going to care a lot more about light in a MN winter than you are your neighbors peering in your windows. This is especially true given the huge lot. So, I say, go for the plan that maximizes the use of natural light in the house, and then strategically plant evergreens or something else that works year-round to protect your privacy.

  2. Wow! I didn’t realized this was a step in having a house built. Thanks for stopping by. Stopping from Mom Loop! Have great weekend!

  3. You really can’t go wrong with such a darling home! Can’t wait to see the real thing when it is finished! I bet you can’t either!

    Following from Mom Loop

  4. Oh my gosh, it looks AMAZING!!! How exciting. We custom designed our house (much smaller scale than yours – a little log home) and although it’s a lot of work that goes into building, I have to say I’m so glad we did it our way. It’s been 4 yrs and even last night I was laying on the floor with the twins, gazing up at the wood beams in the ceiling, and thinking how much I still love this house. That makes it all worth-while :-)

    I came by from Mom Loop

  5. …kitchen windows on the west side of the house will make cooking dinner on a hot summer night a nightmare…however, east side windows will be wonderful in the morning sun!!!…hugs…uhmmm… windows!!!… windows!!!… windows!!!…strategically placed there is nothing like a window to bring in the beautiful sunshine from outdoors…so don’t skimp on them…

  6. Wow, what an amazing home this will be! I don’t have any idea on the position because I am from the Pacific North Wet (yes as in rain all the time) and we just don’t get a lot of frigid cold days! Stopping by from Mom’s Loop!

  7. I have no help for you. I am terrified for the day we finally get to build our dream house, because I will be constantly petrified with fear that I will do the wrong thing.

    Good luck to you, I love following your journey on this!

  8. I vote for version 1, because a larger backyard, plus privacy sounds like a win/win to me. That is going to be a beautiful house!

  9. We are hoping to embark on a construction project of our own this year. Hubby is talking to financing people today. i will definitely have to follow along with your journey to get advice and ideas!

  10. LOVE the new website btw. Still like version 1 and yes, as your Mom notes, watch the sun in the kitchen. You don’t want the water to boil before you’ve turned on the stove. I grew up on a busy street in Cooperstown and my parents put in half-window shutters on the inside that we close during the day. We were usually all gone mid day and they were painted to match the interior. Such great privacy.

  11. It looks lovely…..and like the new blog design! What a joy to pick and choose the design elements you like and brick and mortar them. Homes with character….

  12. I love all of them:) this must be so exciting for you:) happy weekend!

  13. I would have to vote for natural light. Our house is full of windows, as many as we could add, but I still wish the kitchen got more sunlight. I just love a sunny kitchen!

  14. Oh, I can’t wait for the day to be designing and planning our home! I think I like the idea of natural light also.

    Visiting from Mom Loop.

  15. Hello again,
    The position of version two sounds great to me. In terms of exposure, you can install reflective glass so people can’t see in. You will have maximum light and people won’t see a thing.
    Your resale value will soar as light is a valued factor. Reflective film on wall to wall windows are used in those luxury condos in big cities every where….
    Stopped by from the Mom Loop Comment Follow day. I am following you, please follow back.

  16. I am a huge fan of natural light…but with that said….I am a huge fan of a large back yard for the kids!! The second version would add charater to your lot… Good luck!! I am sure it will be great either way!!

  17. Wow, what a decision to make! I vote for Version 2.

  18. I would go with the first one and have a larger back yard. We spend all of our time there so that would be idea for me. I guess it just depends on your family too.

  19. That is going to be just BREATHTAKING either way! But I really like version one because of the plentiful backyard it gives you and privacy.

    Here from Mom Loop- and am already a follower, but if I wasn’t I would follow right now, because I love your beautiful layout- very serene:)

  20. I like version 1. The large backyard and privacy appeal to me. But I think you’re going to love the house no matter which version you ultimately chooses. Just have fun doing it together!

  21. Love it. I’m a fan of version 1. I wish you were building here in CA. I’d love to help you furnish it and create window treatments for you!!! Oh well. Napa is a bit far away. But boy would we love to get our hands on your house!!!!

    Looking forward to watching the house progress on your blog. Love the new template too.

  22. I’m chiming in w/ version 2 but I have to be honest I listened to little after “Mojito, anyone?” Would it have to be made in a carboard glass though?

  23. Looks like it will be an amazing home. You are blessed to be able to design your home the way you want it.
    Found you from Mom Loop.

  24. I think the biggest back yard option is the best. You’ll get the most use out of it. I want a little model house someday to play with!

    Whatever you pick, it’s going to be awesome!

  25. Pingback: Unplanned Cooking » Do you need a formal dining room?

  26. This one is a very creative representation of the house, in this way you could view what should be the best place to put everything even though it’s quite hard to make a small version of it. For me, any position will be fine just consider that if your going to put that part in a place, it will fit and very convenient .

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