First of all, focusing on the main usage of the building was key. A lot of discussion went into ours, before we even bought our land. We knew we wanted it to have plenty of space for cars, that was most important to us. The living space was important as well, but that design became important after we figured out how many cars we wanted to fit into our space. We also knew we wanted a separate space for lawn equipment and any machines that would make a mess. We just didn’t want unwanted extra dirt in the space with the cars. So, a shed was built onto the back of the building that simply has a pedestrian door to go into, otherwise it is completely closed off from the garage area. So our plans were plenty of space for cars and a somewhat small space for living!
Some people ask, where did you get the floor plan for the carpartment? We didn’t actually get a floor plan. My husband, Brian drew up the rough plan. He is an engineer and he simply drew it up in autocad, or a program similar to that. We sat down and looked at the plans he drew up and made changes and tweaked it along the way. Since it is only 1,100 square feet and a one bedroom, it isn’t that complex. We wanted to have more of an open floor plan with the living room and kitchen flowing into the other. There were certainly challenges with doing the plans ourselves. We tried to have some forethought on how doors should open, where lights and light switches should be, etc. For the most part, it all turned out mostly the way we wanted, but there were some additions and changes during the building process. To begin with, we simply didn’t have enough closet space in the design. We only realized that once we moved into the one bedroom apartment, in between the sale of our house and the completion of the carpartment. Looking back, that was a complete blessing, because it allowed us to take some ideas from that small space and implement it into the carpartment. We quickly realized that a coat closet and a linen closet were going to be necessary. Brian even decided to put a walk in closet in the design for me, with him having a separate smaller closet. That isn’t something we had at either of our past houses, we have always shared a closet, but I have to tell you, I love having my own walk in closet!!! The way the bedroom is designed and framed, the walk in closet will be removed, once we build the house and move out of the carpartment space. The bedroom will become a heated and cooled garage space with a 2 post lift.
Brian also drew out where all of the plugs and lights were to go. This was a bit of a challenge and we had a few discussions with our electrician. He had some helpful ideas and kept us on track with codes rules, but in some cases, he just didn’t understand our vision and wants. In the end, we got everything we wanted, except for one less pendent light in the kitchen, which was no big deal. He had wired them all without giving enough space for the wrap around portion of the kitchen cabinets. The box was simply pulled out and the drywall guys patched over it. And due to us just not knowing better, we ended up with those non-tamper style electrical plugs, which I hate!!! I honestly thought those were a codes thing now, but since regular ones are still sold at Home Depot, I think that likely isn’t the case. We don’t have kids, so no one would be shoving something in the plug that they shouldn’t. Those are some of the most annoying plugs ever! They do get easier to use, the more you use them, I guess they get broken in.
I do believe that having floor plans to look at and get ideas from is helpful. It is also helpful that Brian and I are both visually minded people, so we could visualize everything along the way, while making changes or decisions on something. This has been a long and sometimes exhausting process. I am so thankful that all of that is behind us and now we can focus on getting everything the way we want it. Then we can get to working on our project cars, which is really what we want to be doing!