This was created to be a cool, highly functional design that is truly affordable. The designers were challenged to find innovative ways to reduce cost while instilling useful features and amenities. The overarching strategy was to re-think the main factors in construction cost: labor, building size/square footage, and materials. The approach used to reduce paid labor was to integrate Do It Yourself “DIY” projects into the designs. This is a great way for the home owner to reduce costs while instilling their own sense of style into the home. The strategy towards reducing square footage resided in reevaluating certain domestic conventions. For example, you won’t see a formal dining room in this design, rather an eat-in-kitchen serves to meet the homeowner’s daily dining needs. In approaching material cost reduction, this design features open floor plans and simple forms that translate into a home that is economical to build. We know everyone likes lots and light and air but windows represent one of the more costly components of a new home. The designers were challenged to utilize a modest amount of glazing strategically to bring in as much light as possible while keeping construction costs low. Good design on a budget is all about identifying where to allocate budget for maximum effect. It’s really easy to design when cost is not an issue. But for most of us we need to strategically budget our hard earned money and make the most out of each dollar. The design started as a simple one story box with a generous living area that flows into the kitchen. This plan would work well on almost any rural lot. The optimal solar orientation for this design is with the large double sliders facing south but the design will still perform well in other orientations as long as the passive solar guidelines included in the construction documents are followed. Fiber cement board is a great siding option that is both affordable and durable. It can take on a variety of different looks depending on how it is painted, giving homeowners the option of personalizing their preferred color scheme. Windows were used conservatively to keep construction costs low but splurged a bit on the dramatic double sliding doors in the main living area. This feature will allow the living space to feel even larger as well as allowing outdoor entertaining in easy proximity to the kitchen. The shading devices not only improve energy performance but also can give the house a distinct look. The slab-on-grade foundation option allows the homeowner to opt for a polished concrete floor, which offers a clean look that saves material and cost. Several DIY projects were created that use typical construction scrap material so that you can furnish your house with scrap material, thus diverting it from the landfill. Butcher-block style panels can be made from leftover 2x4s. These panels can be used for desks, tables or benches and have a hearty modern feel. Simple T8 or T5 fluorescent light fixtures are inexpensive but unsightly. A simple cove made from ¾” pine can hide these super efficient fixtures. A typical closet door panel outfitted with cubbies or shelves is a great place to keep car keys or a purse. A single sliding panel can be used as a colorful design element while a pair or more can be used to discreetly hide clutter. For the kitchen design the focus was on producing an affordable kitchen that could still meet the functional requirements of the average American family. For the price it’s really tough to beat IKEA cabinets and furniture components. While a laminate countertop is not as nice as solid surface options, they can be up to five times less expensive. Open shelving instead of full cabinets not only makes the kitchen feel more spacious it also saves money and makes it easy to locate items. Cabinet depth refrigerators provide a flush fit that comes at a hefty price. A recess was designed into the back wall of the kitchen to allow the same flush look with a more economical conventional refrigerator. Details like these are key to getting a great look at a low price. A ceiling light is a great DIY project that can turn a plain fluorescent fixture and some 3/4” pine into an easy to make custom wood fixture. A DIY butcher’s block of 2x4s and four IKEA table legs can produce a sturdy wood dinner table Polished concrete is a great surface for bathrooms since it is so low-maintenance and easy to keep clean. Colorful, mini-mosaic tile can bring life to the bathroom but can be quite expensive. When working with a tight budget its best to find a good deal on an expensive element and then coordinate cheaper items to it. An oversized IKEA sink works well with a simple wooden counter. Simple shelving instead of full cabinets can reduce cost yet create an open feel for the smaller bathroom space. In the master bedroom, a heavy wood bed looks minimal and sheik on a polished concrete floor. A storage cove painted in a contrasting color can be both a decorative element as well as a useful storage element for books, candles, reading glasses etc. Color can also create a cool, layered look when the back wall and partition wall are painted different colors. The partition wall can hide any clutter that is generated in the dressing room. The dressing area can fit a desk and mirror, making this a great place to apply makeup before the day. The 14 ft.-long closet is a generous allotment of space for your clothes. The sliding glass door and picture window admit ample natural light, which is supplemented by a cove light on top of the partition wall that provides plenty of ambient light during the evening. A DIY bed made from scrap 2x4s can be built with a wide edge for seating. Radiant heat is a great option if you are going to use slab on grade construction. If pursuing this route, make sure that there are thermal breaks between the slab and the perimeter of the foundation to avoid unwanted heat loss. Alternatively, simple baseboard heating is also a budget friendly option that is more flexible to install than duct work for a forced air system. For a house this size, a central ducted system can increase construction costs. However, using an efficient split-ductless heat pump unit is a budget friendly way to cool your home. Due to the home’s modest size at just 1400sf and efficient design, it won’t take many solar panels to make this house a zero energy home.
|PDF plan sets are best for fast electronic delivery and inexpensive local printing.|
|5 Copy Set
|5 printed plan sets mailed to you.|
|For use by design professionals to make substantial changes to your house plan and inexpensive local printing.|
|One electronic set for bidding purposes only. Not a legal building set for construction.|
|Ideal for semi-sloped or level lot, home can be built off of grade, typically 18” - 48”.|
|Ideal for level lot, single layer concrete poured directly on grade.|
|Additional Construction Sets
|Additional hard copies of the plan (can be ordered at the time of purchase and within 90 days of the purchase date).|
|Choose this option to reverse your plans and to have the text and dimensions readable.|
*Alternate Foundations may take time to prepare.
*Options with a fee may take time to prepare. Please call to confirm.