Hand in Glove: Playing Amateur Architect


I have been dreaming of this house for years and now it is finally coming to fruition. I have known I wanted to create a place that would allow us to get away, to casually entertain family and friends, to take on new hobbies (chicken raising, boating, hiking) and indulge in existing ones (home design, gardening).

To get our architect, Scott Boomhover, started with plans, I provided him with my own hinky version of what I wanted the house to look like. Some of our criteria was to have both open spaces and to have spots carved out for lots of folks to sleep over. We also wanted to use as much of our existing furniture from our house in New Jersey, items we have collected and been storing over the years, and pieces from my recently closed office.

So I set up PowerPoint as an informal drafting program. Since the building will basically be a 40′ x 50′ rectangle, it was easy enough to set up a grid with each box representing a foot. Then I measured existing furniture and fixtures, secured measurements for such items as double and twin sized beds and tweaked wall placements based on the placement of those items.

Every time I went into a bathroom, I calculated, measured and remeasured how much room you would need for a water closet. I thought for the first time about such unglamorous spaces as utility and mechanical closets. I thought about which direction doors needed to swing or slide in. And I thought down to every plug, especially those in the floor, and plumbing placement. Much of that work would have to occur when we are pouring the initial foundation and slab.

It was a fun intellectual exercise that I engaged in over several days but finished up on a flight to Virginia Beach and back for a wedding weekend.

Most importantly it put the exclamation point on what is an obvious statement. Building a “simple” getaway home is not so simple!

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