OUR DREAM HOUSE (or so we hope)
Hello Closer Friends. Dave Aldwinckle here. The topic that most bears reporting is the progress on our house. As you probably know, we're building one this year (not next year, for reasons described here in our Housebuilding Part 2 update). Like Lyndon Johnson choosing his Vietnam war chest down to the tank design, we have a hand in just about everything that will be put into the house. This page will show you the professional layout blueprints from our builder, Matsuken Houmu.
(TIME-IS-MONEY-MINDED BROWSERS: CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE HOUSE BUILDING COST ESTIMATE: )
Well, once upon a time, I had this little concept in my mind that the house should be L-shaped. Here's a preliminary sketch full of whimsy I made in February 1997:
We have since abandoned the L-shape for a simpler square design. Why? Because 1) better use of space--less hallway and thus bigger rooms, 2) cheaper foundation construction (fewer corners means fewer support stakes to sink), and 3) we can get all the room-sunlight and balcony benefits in a square design as well.
Now here's how the square house looks, with the viewer Facing North and Facing West respectively:
This was done by our independent consultant, Mr Yasuda, unaffiliated with Matsuken,so this design was in no way binding. Things to note: 1) symmetry is maintained, 2) the bay windows (in the Facing West diagram) face the garden area (lying East of the house), 3) snow sliding off the roof falls nowhere we need to walk, and 4) all rooms that matter are on the sunny South side of the house.
Also, we removed his ersatz brick columns above and below the balcony (I've never understood the Japanese penchant for millimeters-thick brick tile--it falls off after a few good freezes), and replaced them with square columns covered with house siding that will double as mini storage areas (see upcoming vertical-view house diagrams).
Here are some horizontal-view house sketches from Matsuken (this is an older version with columns under the front balcony, which is remedied in the blueprints below):
Incidentally, if you want to get an idea of scale, click here to see how big the (L-shaped) house is in proportion to the land. (And if perchance you want to see low-res color pictures of the land in summertime, click here!)
And how much is it all going to cost? Our house estimate:
UPDATES CAN BE FOUND ON MY ESSAYS PAGE. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THEM.