Thursday, June 7, 2012

Plans for Betsy

Despite the fact that winter has arrived, miss Liongirl appears not to have noticed and is soldiering on with an alternating wardrobe of tutus and princess frocks. All of which are completely inappropriate and inadequate in coverage. She has not developed a relationship yet with ANY of the cardigans, coats or tights in her wardrobe.  I am endeavoring to choose my battles and bake cakes instead.

Oh and I'm poring over some house plans, trying to make some more decisions. Care to take a peek?

Well first let me show you Betsy in her current state.

The original part of Betsy has 3 bedrooms and a sleepout in the old front verandah. Can you see my miniscule kitchen probably shrunk down in order to fit Bed 4? Not only is it tiny, but it's also really dark and has a spectacular outlook onto the carport guttering. (Sarcasm inserted here).

 About 15 years ago, previous owners added a large granny flat linked to the house by the deck. The granny flat has quite small skinny rooms but includes a kitchenette and second toilet/shower. Mostly since we have lived here it has become a storage area for stuff that we are trying to sort and get rid of. It has at times been a great space for building lego train sets and I even cleared one end recently for my sewing gang. The deck is large but only one small section has a roof so  for much of the year it is either too hot to sit on or too wet to use.

Our goal was to create a more functional use of the space that we already have rather than increase the size of the house as Betsy already has quite a reasonable footprint on the block due to the granny flat. And did I mention that we have silk purse aspirations on a sow's ear budget?

So, here is what we have come up with.

Let me explain a little. The front part of the house (blue) will remain unchanged. Down the track we will probably steal a little space from Bed 2 to make the bathroom larger but  there is no budget for that right now.

The red box with the cross is a proposed addition of an ensuite and bedroom that we may get around to adding in 5-10 years. With small children we are completely used to having no privacy in the bathroom, one bathroom is less to clean and there is no budget for that either. However in a house this size we realize that most people would anticipate an ensuite so we didn't want to be short sighted and not leave room for one. The area would have skillion roof and would be simple to add later. The carport will move to the front of the house and become a double instead of a single. If we run out of money this may not happen either. We wanted to put it at the very front of the block but were unable to due to the fact that our house is on a corner   and the carport must be 9 metres from the boundary.

We plan to take out the wall between Bed 4 and the kitchen to make it  a much larger space and then close in the verandah along the side of the granny flat to link this area to the kitchen. This would create bigger, more functional rooms including a second living area, a small sewing room/study for me and the displaced 4th bedroom. These rooms will all face north and have an outlook over the garden. The yellow area marks out the only new footprint we are adding in order to fit a laundry/entry. The deck is a similar size but will have a gabled roof covering the entire area. The deck faces East and we wanted  a high roofline to maximise light into the house and also to make the most of a view onto the huge poinciana tree in our backyard.

At the moment the back of the house is a real dog's breakfast, with rooflines galore. Sorting out the new roofline has been the trickiest part. This is the granny flat end where the verandah will be closed in.

And the back of the house with about 8 square metres of deck that has a roof.

So, there you have it. If anyone else is like me and enjoys playing with floorplans, please let me know any ideas/criticisms you might have as we are still fiddling around a bit. Also if anyone has experience with either large span bifolds or stacking sliding doors, we would love to hear about that too as we are trying to choose between them. I am hoping to share my kitchen and laundry ideas soon too. 

In the meantime I  might just go and get miss Liongirl's clothes ready for tomorrow. Pink princess frock from op shop? Check. Tiara and matching bling necklace? Check. Tacky merchandised bike and matching helmet? Check. Equally nasty merchandised princess footwear? Check. Oh look, she's good to go.

Oh, it's a single digit temperature outside? I think I'll go and bake another cake.


  1. Hi Mel,
    Have you got any quotes back yet? You certainly have a large footprint to play with (makes my place look like a cubby house!).
    The only suggestion about the doors is (be they either bi-folds or stackers) make sure you still have plenty of other openings to allow for good cross ventilation. It appears they are on the eastern side - where your cool summer breezes will come from. We lived in a house which had heaps of bi-folds - great when they are open. But at night when we closed them up, it was stifling.

  2. I love house plans!!!!
    I wrote about them here:
    My youngest has started drawing them too which is a little bit sweet!
    I'd love a versatile space as large as yours..! Unfortunately I live in a warren..

  3. I love your has amazing character!
    Look at you little cutie....

  4. I love your plans! You do have a large good to have the space more suited to how you live. Can't wait to see it come to fruition! xx

  5. Wow that is such a big house with so many rooms! (we live in a tiny cottage)
    Each season change I have to put my girls clothes away in a storage box otherwise she is wearing winter clothes in the middle of summer and swimmers in winter. She gets excited now when I get the box of clothes out that has been hiding away for a season :-)

  6. That is such a huge area to play with. I do like your new plans, especially the large kitchen. One day I hope for me also. *sigh!*

    I understand completely the "choose your battles", kids just don't get the need for rugging up. You could always make a warm fur trim princess cape or keep baking.

  7. Oh yes I am all for choosing your battles Mel. Your house plans look great! I bet you are so excited! I love the character your place has. We have a newly built home which I am very happy in but I am still trying to build some character. It is evolving slowly.

  8. All very exciting! Having just gone through renovations (and still painting months later!) my feeling is to do it all in one go if you possibly can, rather than go through the process twice.
    Am curious about your bedroom 3 opening off another room, does that work for you now? Will you change the use of that room in future?

  9. Fiona, we would LOVE to do it all in one go but the budget does not allow it. Plus the red area will not actually improve our lives at the moment and will just increase our debt.
    Bed 3 is actually a sleepout with french doors of the master. The room marked study is actually the front foyer of the house and bed 3 opens off this as well. Our 3 yo has this room and we keep the french doors shut with a blind down all the time. We use the door from the foyer into her room but down the track when we add the extra bedroom she will swap with her brother and he will go into bed 5 and we will use the front room as an office area. Thanks for your tips, all input appreciated. melx

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  11. Looks like you guys are as crazy as we are, lol. Looks great.

  12. That's all looking wonderful!!!! Your place is amazing as is! I hadn't really seen pics of the back deck and yard. It's lovely!

    My hectic full-time working life has really kept me away from the blogging world. It's good to see that you're making all this progress on your reno.

    My kitchen is almost finished. I've been too lazy to post because I haven't actually gotten every thing in its proper place yet. Suffice to say, it looks great and I finally feel like a proper gown up with a pantry!!!!

    Sorry I've been a stranger.
    x Rachael

  13. This is really a very lovely house. may it be in the budget.