Anyone who has ever moved will agree: moving sucks. At 44 I kept thinking, I’m too old for this shit. And then I remembered my favorite aunt. She has moved something like seventeen times, probably more but who’s counting? – upgrading, downgrading, building up, tearing down, gutting, bingeing, purging…you name it; the woman has done it all and always on her own save for borrowed braun of friends. She bid adieu to each house leaving it better than it had been handed to her and us scratching our heads as to why she would wittingly give up the sweat equity for the next diamond in the rough. So with her on the forefront of my mind, I am slowly unpacking us into the current and hopefully last rental knowing that I still have one final move to make once the new build is finished.
After getting through our first bout of arguments related to design, husband and I reached what felt like a good compromise on the house plans. We prioritized our ‘must haves’, drew out an initial set of plans on scratch paper, transferred them to Autodesk and then converted them into a CAD drawing to show our architect.
Our rendering is a 4br/3ba contemporary open-plan concept; its footprint resembling a U shape that opens to the backyard. We plan on using two 45’ high cube containers and five-40’ high cube containers which, combined with the open space afforded by the center portion of the U, will give us a little less than 3500ft of interior living space.
Here’s a peek at our initial sketch and its corresponding breakdown:
GROUND FLOOR (Left side of U)
Small office at front of house
Mudroom/Laundry w/entrance to side yard
Half bathroom -maybe 3/4 (still debating)
Open plan kitchen w/serving window to outdoor patio & grilling area
GROUND FLOOR (Center of U)
GROUND FLOOR (Right side of U)
Guest room w/bathroom at front of house
Master suite w/entrance to backyard
SECOND FLOOR (Left side of U)
SECOND FLOOR (Bottom piece of U)
Breezeway with sitting/reading area
SECOND FLOOR (Right side of U)
Kids hang-out/game room loft area
The only two deal breakers for me involve the bedrooms. First off, the master has got to be on the ground floor. The kids are now old enough that I don’t feel the need to have them next door and with the current state of my knees due to all the marathon training, stairs will not be an option for me in the not so distant future. Second, closets. Did you know that Spanish homes don’t typically have closets? Who was the genius that thought up this obvious design flaw? Brilliant. Just brilliant. I’d like to have some serious words with this individual.
One of the more unique aspects of the design is our plan to use the longer 45’ containers up on the second story. We have done this purposefully in order to create a roof over the outdoor patio/grilling area. Doing so gives us just shy of 200ft worth of coverage, not huge but enough to get the job done.
There is no second set of containers above the right side ground floor of the U. So how can we get the kids loft space without any containers on that second story? The plan here is to use I-beams and pitch the roof. By pitching the roof to span the great room and loft spaces we can maximize the benefit of solar panels. As for the roofing over the left side of the U (kids bedrooms), we are tentatively planning on a green roof, using succulents native to Granada.
I was initially worried about the architect’s interpretation of the above information but he actually seemed to have a pretty good handle on it. He’s currently drafting a plan to show the interior dimensions of the project. Upon finishing and getting our approval, he will then present the plan to the local government to get permitting in order. I have no idea how long this process will take but just knowing that it took us almost a full year to purchase and close on our land, licensing on our car is still ‘in process’ eight months after the fact and we’re going on a month with still no internet hook-up, I sigh and mumble, ‘Typically Spanish’ which I’m thinking may have been a better name for this blog.