Today we see many clients who, as they are mindful of the coming years, want to build a single story timber frame home. This is reasonable and should be, without question, considered.
These same folks often want to build a smaller, sustainable home. And while the two aren’t totally incompatible, sometimes we need to think through how we live, and our plans, so we can marry the two concepts.
Single story homes require a larger footprint (read that more foundation and more roof). They do offer the opportunity to live and entertain on a single level. When you add wider halls, wider doors, more room to maneuver to the mix, you can end up with a larger space than anticipated.
If you take the same space and move some of it upstairs, as in a story and a half plan, your home requires less foundation and roofing. You may want to use the upstairs living space now and move downstairs later in your life or you may want to plan for an elevator. Either way, you’ve maximized your living space while considering your later-in-life needs.
There is much to be said for climbing the stairs (remember…you probably are past having several children to pick up after and do laundry for if you are considering aging in place). Staying active is one of the best ways to …well, to stay active.
On the flip side, if you want to have your bedroom on the first floor, the upstairs space is great for guests. You don’t have to go up every day and when they visit, you each have your own “space”. It can even be used for a caregiver, if the need ever arises.
So, don’t be locked into the “I will get old and must live on the first floor now” mindset. Think about both how you live now and how you might need to live. Compromise is good and, with patience, you and your architect or designer, can design a home that offers the best of both worlds.
You’ll find plans for both single story homes and story and a half homes on the Goshen Timber Frames’ plan pages.
Just remember to “Build Boldly”.
That said, I’ll sign off for now.