-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Dad's thoughts on the house plans

Below are Dad's thoughts about the house plans so far. Interestingly, like everyone we've shown it to, he much prefers plan A. Here's a picture of the plan A inside layout:

Originally uploaded by lynetter.

Extract from Dad's email - 8th April
I looked at all the options Eric made, and hands down his option A is best all round. You will accept that I am biased towards his first because it looks more in the country style of a large and functional house without any sense of ostentation. It also has the views concentrated towards the best directions. And the large open plan of the lounge, with the one little bedroom makes it emminently suitable for an area exclusive to you and Dave for most of the time, and suits for entertaining as well. Access walking is closer than in B, but will need cars under a carport.
Other parking easy to arrange further uphill.

Dave's shed cum cookery, cum lab, cum study, cum computer room is well placed for the garden access and helps make it an integral part of the rest of the house so won't isolate him while giving him his space. You will understand that you will make your spaces too about the place, and of course there is overlapping. There needs to be machinery storage so keeping the views downhill predominantly will give a place to put these essential structures so they don't impinge on your daily awareness when musing from your house window in the morning or late evening. I have been up at 05:30 and watched manificent sunrises as the light came over the horizon and watched the roos slowly hopping away to where roos go to sleep during the heat of the day.The same at evening. The strength of your block is that it isn't going to be overbuilt so your view won't include house tops. Not overlooking Tex's place is also important.

Will go through and add my notes as I first went through the plan. Need to be able to read Eric's writing to study the details of internal areas.

1.I assume none of existing trees will be sacrificed in placing buildings.

2.Placing main house (option A) downhill of the old house is great:
*a. old house is a shield to uphill stuff.
*b. Lower on block means easier to hide things other side of dam wall , especially container and Tex's sheds.
*c. Two stories doesn't get up too high and look backwards too easily and over the hill edge to see my carport and tank for the hobbit hole. These need to be uphill of the hobbithole and are over against the back fence. Your main tank will be less noticable unless you go to look at it from a small window looking back.
*d. With main tank uphill to supply head pressure for water the secondfloor areas will be able to get pressure for en suites and flooding the gutter with water when a fire threatens. Your gravity system can be supplemented with regional pressure pumps, but in the main you need to avoid reliance on using power to move water for use, except that you need to move water uphill to the main storage tank. This could be under roof and extra roof space for machinery storage.

3.Carport for cars at uphill means walking down when carrying things, and possibly fewer steps. Assume I am referring to option A as I was very taken with this in it's rough outline.

4.Love the two fireplaces. Very livable area that, with options for party space and yet has nooks for separateness.

5. Appearance of house is very much in keeping with old house. Viewed from the road it will look very friendly, spacious, gracious, and not ostentatious. I have worked on houses with front that no one would think of entering, or make use of for daily living. Just for show.

6. Don't think option C idea of connecting old house to new a good one. Old is on wooden stumps, and unless you trouble to replace these( no need), they present a possible access for whiteant infiltration into the new house. With the best will in the world, you cannot avoid thinking about these little blitters when building. They can use a roof connection to span to another structure. I saw the damage they did at Bethany Guest House and warn you that if you ignore them , they will beat you in the end. There are many horror stories, and yet they are able to be bested with forethought.

That is all for now. Tell Eric that I am very pleased with Option A, and parts of the other options which I will comment on later. Of course, this is your house and my thoughts are only for sharing and considering, not necessarily accepting. Planning is so wonderful because the imagination can soar to great heights.
When I get time I will sketch up plans I have for the hobbithole. Not going to have sod on the roof any longer, but will have a nice look in keeping with the concept, but not having the weight of sod roof. May change my mind again before starting. Can't get height I need without going about 2 feet higher than surrounding slope so another type of roof looks likely, probably old tiles that are placed in the shape of the sod roof but steeper.

P.S. Was able to use the pump to move water from the dam. Will check with the pump people to make sure not going to damage the pump doing this. Water scarce now and so will have to move the stock tank over to connect it to the tree watering system and pump water up to this from dam. Will extend this line to pump to the olive tree site too. May connect olive tree tank to lower supply but don't want to get too fancy, as just a temporary measure. Will go up next weekend to do these and deliver another load to the container. Couldn't take but one of the large cupboards in the tool trailer. Will bring back the the tool trailer and take a lot of stuff of Gran's up to store there as it is better. These are the things you wanted to keep. Took all the bottling stuff.

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