Have you ever looked at an A-frame house and thought that it looked like an inverted ship? That's because early A-frame structures -- called "cruck" houses -- first were built by medieval shipbuilders who moonlighted as house builders. The roofline of an A-frame reminds me of the keel of a boat.
Design K-21's gabled roof is so steep it's almost an A-frame. The "view side" features a two-story bumped-out gable with a double-high window. This bump-out makes the faade more interesting and creates space inside for a dining table and chairs. If you bump this wing out just a few more feet, you'd have even more space inside for dining.
I don't see a screened porch in Design K-21. Most folks would say this is a necessity when bugs are bad. It would be easy enough to widen one of the side decks, extend the roofline over the deck, and screen it in for outdoor meals or games on a rainy day.
As usual in many vacation homes, the street entrance of Design K-21 is an afterthought. Visitors who arrive via the tiny front porch will have to walk down a very long, narrow hall. This home lacks a serious mudroom, too. Where will coats, large toys and extra gear go?
Also, Design K-21 does not include a garage, and most folks will want protected space for their cars. You might want to factor in the cost of building a detached garage when you calculate how much it will cost to build Design K-21.
Since a garage will be some distance from the house, loading and unloading gear will be a chore in Design K-21. I'm wondering if the small front porch could be enlarged to create a pretty porte cochre ("carport" to the rest of us). A carport with an extended roof will provide protected outdoor space for unloading suitcases and groceries, and, as an added bonus, will create a lot more impressive entrance on the street side of Design K-21.
Just because a home is a vacation home doesn't guarantee it will be carefree to live in. If you plan to spend any amount of time in Design K-21 -- or if you plan to retire there -- now is the time to ask tough questions about adequate storage and accessibility.
(What features do you want in a vacation home? Write to Emily at email@example.com or to HPR Services, P.O. Box 1143, Reidsville NC 27323.)
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