Our lot had a huge influence on the layout of our home. Most often, lots in central Austin aren't that big. If they are, most developers, contractors, investors, etc., snatch them up, build two units and turn around to sell them for a quick profit. It's a big bummer for everyone else. The city of Austin states that any lot over 7,000 square feet can have more than one home. One of the reasons we were able to buy our lot was due to it's size - 6,668 square feet. Below is the form survey that was completed a couple weeks ago. The blue line represents the new structure (including the deck) and must be inside the green dotted line to comply with Austin building code.
Because of the the city setbacks and our lot being very long and narrow, there were limitations to what we could do with the design. Austin has an ordinance on impervious cover defined as, "any surface in the landscape that cannot effectively absorb or infiltrate rainfall. This includes driveways, roads, parking lots, rooftops, and sidewalks. When natural landscapes are intact, rainfall is absorbed into the soil and vegetation." Our max impervious coverage is 45 percent. Ours plans are at 41% which still leaves a decent sized backyard, which was important to us. For this post, the square footages below reflect actual living space. It does not include the garage, storage, porches and balconies.
FIRST FLOOR = 1,108 SF
SECOND LEVEL = 1,440 SF
TOTAL = 2,548 SF
Our architects created this floor plan based on our needs list: a two story, 2,000-2,500 square foot, open floor plan, 3 bed 2.5 bath, carport (at the very least), storage, large kitchen island, office, mudroom or entry space with storage, master bathroom toilet closet, master bath large shower and walk-in-closet, a proper laundry room, lots of natural light, and high ceilings. A garage, screened-in-porch, and fireplace were things I really wanted but thought I could forego if necessary. In order to get everything we needed and wanted, we had to compromise on a few areas by keeping them on the "cozy" side rather than spacious. The alternative would have been giving up the screened-in-porch completely, which I wasn't willing to do.
Having ample storage is huge. Our garage will give us some space but not a lot, so we'll have an outdoor storage unit as well. The first mudroom sketch below was the initial plan. When our architect sketched both so we could compare, option 2 gave us more optimal storage.
The old mudroom is now a pantry/storage/mechanical closet with close access to the kitchen. The garage entrance is at the front of the house with a storage bin and coat closet. Storage problem solved. The second floor will have laundry room storage and attic space above the master closet. I also decided to take a couple feet for the large master closet to create a small storage closet across from the laundry room for random things.
For the layout, we chose to put our master bedroom on the second floor to save space for the main living areas and office on the first floor. Originally, the office was closed off to the dining area to serve as a guest room (which is why we chose to add a shower to the downstairs powder bath). Since we don't need that extra bedroom right now, we thought if we opened it up to the main living space it would be way more functional. Pocket doors will separate the two rooms for added privacy in an office, but I love that we can open it up, too. One thing I love the most about our house is the direct view of the backyard right when you walk through the front door. We'll have this big beautiful tree that we'll be able to see from the front of the house! How amazing is that?
Construction is steadily progressing. We're still getting a ton of rain and this week's forecast doesn't look too promising...
An inspector came out last week to view the plumber's work which got partial approval. The rain had washed away most of the sand so he had to re-bed it before tomorrow's scheduled inspection. Once that's approved, our foundation guy will dig trenches and lay the cables to anchor the concrete, the plumber will come back out to wrap the pipes in the trenches, and the electrician will add conduit to power our kitchen island. Once that is all complete, we'll have our final inspection and then pour the concrete. But, this is all dependent on good weather. I'm hoping for the best. May your week be sunnier than here in Austin.