American domestic architecture has many roots. Two key influences are English country homes and the haciendas of the southwest.
Design J-65 blends both, with a symmetrical facade and a ranch-style front porch that could accommodate some rocking chairs if it were wider.
In general, American homes are more informal than their European counterparts. This reflects our frontier past and the influence of designers like Frank Lloyd Wright who introduced the "open look" into American design. Since Americans like to entertain at home, we also look for designs with plenty of space for parties.
Would Design J-65 be a good home for entertaining? The family room is wonderfully large for such a small house. The powder room is secluded, so plumbing won't be the center of attention.
However, when you have a crowd over, expect a bottleneck between kitchen and dining room. Whether you live in a 1,400-square-foot house or a 6,000-square-foot house, everybody always seems to end up in the kitchen (or close by) during a party. When the entrance to the kitchen is just a few feet wide, expect temporary gridlock.
The layout for the daylight basement is not shown here, and that's what intrigues me the most about Design J-65. Before buying, ask the plan publisher to provide the layout. It looks like there's a double car garage. If so, there must be structural support for the fireplace above.
Also, is there additional bonus space in the basement? Design J-65 would be even more appealing with some extra space for an office, hobbies or storage.
A basement garage is enormously inconvenient when carrying groceries or packages upstairs. I'd do anything legal to add a dumb waiter to Design J-65. If you agree, a qualified designer can help you make this happen.
Design J-65 is a compact house that might fit nicely on a hilly lot that was overlooked by other buyers.
(Reviewed by Emily Smith, senior consultant with House Plan Review Services, P.O. Box 1143, Reidsville NC 27323. Comments? Contact her by mail or at email@example.com.)
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