Hindsight and Insight on Little House Living
I didn’t do a “favorite” post last year. I figure what might be my favorite posts aren’t necessarily that of our community.
Instead, I asked on the Living Large Facebook page yesterday what our community would like to see more of on the blog this year.
Kathleen Winn, a regular reader, asked to know, since we’ve lived in our house for a few years now, would we like to add more space and if so where.
I don’t like to dwell on what’s done, but since you asked, yes!
As you know if you’ve been following our Living Large journey, we did not intend on living in Our Little House full time. Our plans were to build another home, around 1,000 square feet, and use Our Little House as my office and a guest house.
Best laid plans and all of that. When we realized we didn’t want to go into debt until we were in our 80s for another house, we knew we needed more space.
Before we settled on building The Belle Writer’s Studio for my work and for relatively infrequent guests, we did look at adding more space on to all sides of Our Little House.
On the back, where the party deck is, builders told us that the roofline would prevent an addition that flowed with the house. The ceiling would be low and the sketches made the house then look like it had an addition and didn’t look normal at all.
The high side, the one that faces the lake below was a possibility and probably would have been what we would have done had my mother lived to make the move with us. We planned at least another 400 square feet, with a lower addition for her and an upper family room for us.
However, with fill dirt and pouring a basement, the estimated cost was double that of the studio. As well, anyone wanting to get to the family room would have had to walk through our bedroom.
In the end, additions were too expensive and all of them changed the character of Our Little House significantly.
Since our covered front porch was built out using tresses, extending the roof line, we have talked about extending the living room and bedroom the 6 feet of the porch sometime in the future; or at least enclosing it for a separate mud room.
If we could have a complete do-over, I would incorporate the floor plan from the 600 square foot cabin we stayed in during our trip last year to Tennessee, and I would have put in high ceilings to add depth, as we did in the studio.
The one most important piece of advice I could give to anyone thinking of building a small home is to survey your furniture and determine what you absolutely cannot live without and make sure to incorporate that into your floor plan.
At least when we built our house, we fitted it as a full time residence with laundry facilities, water, full kitchen and bath and a large bedroom closet, rather than the weekend/holiday home use for which it was intended. Still, I would have put in a lot more built-in storage had I known we would be living here full time.
What would you change in your home, if you could?